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By Herb Shuldiner
WardsAuto.com, Mar 19, 2008 11:22 AM

NEW YORK – Flair, grace and elegance mark the history of Buick design, says Edward Welburn, General Motors Corp.’s vice president of global design.

That’s why his youngest designers are eager to work on the brand. “They love designing Buicks,” he says.

At a press conference on the eve of the New York International Auto Show here, Welburn gives a sneak peak at Buick’s latest concept by revealing a partial view of the Invicta that debuts at the Beijing auto show next month.

Welburn declines to say whether the Invicta name will return to Buick after a gap of 45 years as a production model.

But the concept, co-developed by GM studios in North America and China, will influence a future generation of Buicks with its design cues, he promises.

It’s possible the new Invicta will play a similar role to the Velite and Y Job concepts of the past that yielded design inspirations for other models but never went into production. Even so, the past concepts did their job, he says.

Some, but not all, future Buicks will be the same in North America and China. There still will be some models sold exclusively in one region and not the other.

http://wardsauto.com/ar/welburn_buick_rebirth/
 

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Definitely looks promising. I love Buick concepts. Too bad we end up with the LaCrosse and Lucerne grabage. Hopefully they turn it around.
 

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When are they going to start play Buick in China and the U.S. as the same brand. Buick could be such a good brand but the line up is old except for the Enclave. I think that the cars should be at Acura level at least and they are far from.
 

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When are they going to start play Buick in China and the U.S. as the same brand. Buick could be such a good brand but the line up is old except for the Enclave. I think that the cars should be at Acura level at least and they are far from.
From a luxury stand-point, they'd better shoot higher than Acura. That would be like Chevy targeting Kia...
 

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Hopefully this new Invicta concept will be as dramatic as the original '59 Invicta was. I'd love to see a new Invicta in Buick showrooms, the name is wonderful and powerful.
 

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"Hopefully this new Invicta concept will be as dramatic as the original '59 Invicta was." - Dont hold your breath- they dont make 23 foot long coupes anymore(unfortunately for us all)
 

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Welburn's a friggen star!

Flair, grace and elegance mark the history of Buick design, says Edward Welburn, General Motors Corp.’s vice president of global design.

That’s why his youngest designers are eager to work on the brand. “They love designing Buicks,” he says.
I find this piece of information particularly confidence inspiring.

I think Buick, given a clear mission, has absolute relevance not only within GM's portfolio but in the market place in general. Just because GM mismanaged Buick (and its other divisions) for decades is not per se evidence that any division should be jettisoned. Nope, it simply means GM needs to try harder. Looks like Welburn et al. finally are willing to give the Division the college effort.
 

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The idea is to add length without adding weight to achieve a coefficient of drag in the 2.4-2.5 range. Designers also are attempting to achieve breakthroughs in managing air underneath vehicles.
Is this statement accurate? I thought the nearer-term goal for reasonably lower coefficients of drag for production vehicles would be in the 0.24-0.25 range, not an order of magnitude higher?

If they're referring to drag area, measured in meters-squared, even the H2-an automotive flat plate, if you will-achieves less than 2.5 meters-squared.

I am certainly not an engineer and probably not qualified even to ask the question, but something seems off about the statement.
 

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let's hope the design stays in NA and not China... the last thing we need is a Chinese designed GM that probably won't even be built in the states at this point.... ughh
 

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Is this statement accurate? I thought the nearer-term goal for reasonably lower coefficients of drag for production vehicles would be in the 0.24-0.25 range, not an order of magnitude higher?

If they're referring to drag area, measured in meters-squared, even the H2-an automotive flat plate, if you will-achieves less than 2.5 meters-squared.

I am certainly not an engineer and probably not qualified even to ask the question, but something seems off about the statement.

0.24 or 0.25 I think might be a better way of printing it. The Ford Probe V concept of the late 80's had an amazing cd of just 0.135 as I recall.
 
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Welburn's a friggen star!



I find this piece of information particularly confidence inspiring.

I think Buick, given a clear mission, has absolute relevance not only within GM's portfolio but in the market place in general. Just because GM mismanaged Buick (and its other divisions) for decades is not per se evidence that any division should be jettisoned. Nope, it simply means GM needs to try harder. Looks like Welburn et al. finally are willing to give the Division the college effort.
More than the "ole college try", here in style and design GM is succeeding. The have a strong game plan, run an uptempo offense, force the ball inside looking for cutters and get back on transition defense.

GM realizes quality is really a "wash" now. No manufacturer has a clear advantage from a quality standpoint. Sure old sterotypes still exist, and reputations have been won and lost. But the reality is GM is building quality today!

Style is the big opportunity for GM.


Definitely looks promising. I love Buick concepts. Too bad we end up with the LaCrosse and Lucerne grabage. Hopefully they turn it around.
Second. Buick would be farther along if the Buick Execs. didn't freak out with the LaCrosse concept. They figured the Buick consumer would not want something with such bold styling. Well guess what, that consumer is now driving a Maxima, Avalon or Camry.

I think, I hope GM has learned, that you need to build those "cool" products.

When are they going to start play Buick in China and the U.S. as the same brand. Buick could be such a good brand but the line up is old except for the Enclave. I think that the cars should be at Acura level at least and they are far from.
Acura??? Try Lexus!!! Seeing how Buick was tied with Lexus in the last JDP rankings. Buick has targeted Buick with competing with Lexus. The quality is there, now the style, ala the Envicta and Riv concepts need to make it to fruition.

It's just too bad the Velite did not accompany the Enclave on dealer lots last year. That was on opportunity lost. But like in the stock market, you can't look at the opportunity lost, you jsut need to look to the next opportunity.

The most refreshing thing for me is this onslaught of kick-ass product, product, product, product, product just continues ...

GM is doing it where it matters most, seductive design. Forget about cutting costs, or squeezing blood from a turnip that are the gains one sees from quality gains (which are really a wash now across manufaturers). GM is doing it with design. YESSSS!!!!!!!!
 

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Just get rid of the brand all together in North America already!!
 

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Is this statement accurate? I thought the nearer-term goal for reasonably lower coefficients of drag for production vehicles would be in the 0.24-0.25 range, not an order of magnitude higher?

If they're referring to drag area, measured in meters-squared, even the H2-an automotive flat plate, if you will-achieves less than 2.5 meters-squared.

I am certainly not an engineer and probably not qualified even to ask the question, but something seems off about the statement.
They got the decimals wrong.
 

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I suspect there is a boat-tail in Buicks future, a throwback to the Buick Reveria's of the late sixties and early seventies, the drawing certainly carries the lines.
 

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I find this piece of information particularly confidence inspiring.

I think Buick, given a clear mission, has absolute relevance not only within GM's portfolio but in the market place in general.
Yes. I find that very inspiring.
I also find that it supplants Cadillac's old mission from the 80's and 90's. And thats a very good thing. It clearly delineates Cadillac's mission and Buick's mission.
It also makes for a solid competitor against a reinvigorated Lincoln.

The problem is... can GM keep up that delineation?
Cars like DT7 may come dangerously close to the Buick/Cadillac line.

And which brand takes over the Executive Limos? Do both?

Still a lot of questions to be asked... and answered...
 

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i'm encouraged, and hopefully Buick TRULY does target the IS, ES, GS, and LS trim levels and do what Lexus did to Mercedes. Build a great that is objectively a great product, offer it a 'discounted' price next to said Luxury brand, and build your support base from there gradually gaining traction in the market, commanding a higher retail price (beyond inflation) with each new MCE/model and taking the brand gradually upmarket. Chinese Park Ave starting with V6 for 38-42k and offering a V8 at 48-55k and a 2mode hybrid a bit north of 55 (60?) while gradually increasing prices and whatnot while building brand equity is the way to do it.

CobaltSS
 

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I will be inspired and impressed once these lovely designs end up in show rooms....the VeLite and Riviera concepts won countless accolades...yet to date we have the lukewarm LaCrosse and Lucerne as evidence of Buick's "revival". Once stunning concepts translate to real Buicks that real people can buy, I will be convinced by Welburn's tenure.
 

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Buick is going to end up to be a lexus fighter.. with Caddilac taking on BMW and M-Benz!
 
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