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Should Buick build a new under 20K vehicle?

harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
edited September 30 in Buick
http://www.gm.com/company/corp_info/global_operations/asia_pacific/chin.html

Like the Chinese Buicks(one is the Sail... saw a picture of it in AutoWeek a few years back, and it looked decent, and was 14-16K?).

Even if they modified them for USA, due to crash tests, EPA regs, etc, ya could probably still get to under 20K.
The Equinox has a Chinese engine: no problems yet?

The Skylark was a decent car. Even cartalk.com has a 1997 Skylark review up. They liked everything but the 18K msrp(for the 6 cylinder) and the looks.
Still see some Skylarks still around. They were out in 1979, when my mom got a Buick Regal.

I'd like to see a decent "compact" Regal,maybe a large 4(like the 172HP Cobalt engine), or a small V6, even?

What do you think?
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Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,950
    You can gett a bigger Buick for under 20K when it's a mere model year old...no point in building a smaller car in an already VERY competitive segment that wouldn't take the Buick name very seriously, I fear.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    or is that Chinese version of the Buick Terraza better looking than the US version?! Some of those Chinese Buicks do look interesting, but with the exception of that Royaum, the rest aren't what a Buick should be, IMO. The smaller ones would be cool if they badged them as Saturns, Opels, Chevies, or something else.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Buick should be as good as Lexus, Acura, Lincoln, Volvo, Volkswagon, but not as good as Cadillac. I would prefer if Buick would scrap the base models. Chevy, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, should be the only brands with base model trims. Cadillac, Buick, Saab, GMC, should only offer top trim models. This way GM can further distiguish the brands. I also think in the long run it would make the brands more efficient to make. I guess Loren I have a little "old school" in me too. ;) w/ "You can have it any color, as long as it's black" :P That's what I want GM to be. :D

    Rocky
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Well, Buick can build a $20,000 car, but think about it:

    GM wants Buick to be the "American Lexus" as witnessed with the LaCrosse and Lucerne, with QuietTuning and a suspension tuned for comfort rather than performance.

    If they were to build a $20,000 car, it would have to be a Premium Compact Car, much like the Buick Excelle GM Shanghai builds for China.

    It would have to be a car worthy of the Buick brand name, and no base models should be offered. (Just the CXL and CXS models please- we can skip the rental fleet CX models)

    Saturn I think shouldn't be going upmarket. They started out as an "economy car import fighting company" and now they're transforming into the new Oldsmobile. Their models should be cars that offer the basics- reliable, efficient transportation (with those dent resisitant doors to go along with the quirkiness) GM could remarket Saturn as a youth brand- targeting Scion buyers with a new, exciting lineup of small cars. Over on The Future of Saab board I mentioned that Saab and Saturn could be cross-promoted, with Saturn catering to the next generation of current Saab owners.

    Chevrolet should lose the ultra high end models- they should be focusing on mainsream automobiles. But so far, they seem to be fine.

    Pontiac has to dump the minivan. It's supposed to be the performance division- and not many people associate performance with a minivan. They should go RWD- sorta like the poor man's BMW.

    Cadillac is doing well as an import fighter- the important part now is keeping up the pace. Models like the CTS need to be redesigned eventually.

    Hummer, I think, should be a niche brand. It has the image of a tough, go anywhere vehicle, and they can use that image to sell SUVs. Only real Body on Frame SUVs with real off road capability.

    Every GM brand can have a distinct image, share parts, and not encroach on one another (except for maybe GMC) they just need to be reworked a little.
    :)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    ;) good view !!!!!!

    Rocky
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    Under $20K is Chevrolet's domain.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    jchan, you make good sense.

    Buick building a $20K car? NO! That would only cheapen its name further. Leave Chevrolet to handle the bottom of the market. Remember disasters like the Cadillac Cimarron?

    IMO GM should either stretch the Kappan platform, or spawn a new platform, Zeta or whatever it's called and give birth to a Camaro, GTO and some large RWD luxury coupe for Buick (maybe restore the Riviera name, or the GNX). Put a V8 engine in it and Buick will actually have an exciting product. Lacrosse and Lucerne are nice but rather dull and dont stimulate much interest in the brand. Hopefully the Enclave crossover will help, but it has too much competition already, the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Heard That !!!!! Chevy is the plain jane brand of GM and it shouldn't spread to Buick or Cadillac ;)

    Rocky
  • offers little under 20K, unless there's an "everybody gets our prices-red tag special).

    The Cobalt, with sunroof= No Headroom=No Purchase.
    The HHR: same Ordeal. What gets me is it looks like the new 07 Aveo will have more headroom than these 2 vehicles, and cost less.

    I dunno.

    Skylark, to me, represented a Better Chevy, or a "best small Chevy"(even had a V6)...for 18K, in 97.

    It is akin, in my way of thinking about this, to Toyota having Scion tC(as good, or better, than a Corolla, and thisclose in price) but they use it to get "first time/conquest" sales, and hope they eventually move into more upscale(pricier, more profitable) Camry's, or Solara's, for examples.
    Skylark was Buicks Scion, to us.
    Built a hair better than any Chevy, but maybe not Regal-like, either, but enough to get people to shell out the extra 2-3K difference between say a Cavalier for Skylark, yet it felt and rode closer to a Buick than a Cavalier, and people liked it.
    Had sold the thing for 20 years, or so(maybe more?).

    Someone bought 'em.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    If you think about it, over at Chevrolet $20,000 doesn't buy much either. A Cobalt LTZ. A base Malibu. Any Aveo.

    So I personally think that a sub-compact, $19,995 priced Buick Excelle type car could actually sell, to people who want a small, luxurious vehicle. Plus, the premium compact segment is growing quite fast.

    Then again, GM already has a contender in this "premium compact" category, but it'll pretty much go away in a few years. (9-2X)

    Or maybe this compact Buick model should list for $20,995...

    Either way, I think it would be a good idea, depending on how GM puts it together. I don't want a rebadged Cobalt, or the Excelle from GM Shanghai. (The Excelle is basically a tarted up Forenza)
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I think Buick could squeak in a smaller car at under $20k, considering a base LaCrosse is $22500 and probably goes under $20k with incentives. That said, they sure don't seem to be selling, based on what I've seen on the streets, half as well as the Lucerne. Of course, most agree the Lucerne is way better looking (the LaCrosse would have looked fresh in about 1995, IMO). That said, if their cheapest car isn't selling, why bother making one for under $20k? That is, if the less wealthy Buick loyal aren't buying LaCrosses based on price, why would they buy something cheaper? And let's not fool ourselves into thinking we're going to get 'the kids' into a Buick just because it's under $20k at this point.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,227
    I doubt whether a solid business case could be made for a small Buick at this time, but if Buick were to offer a smaller car in the future, it should be a well equipped premium compact, with trend setting styling, ala previous generation VW Jetta. I would envision such a car selling for something over $20,000, and appealing to buyers who assign more value to great styling, beautiful interiors, and features than to size-for-the-money. Those who want more car for the money can choose the LaCrosse or the Lucerne.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I actually like the Lacrosse. Perfect Buick would be Lacrosse Exterior, with Lucerne Interior ;) I'd probably buy one. ;) Especially with RWD :D

    Rocky
  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    You can ALREADY buy a NEW v-6 Buick Lacrosse for the SAME
    price as a 4 cyl. camry! Both under $20k.........
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The Lexus brand competes with Mercedes, so is Buick supposed to become GM's Mercedes brand? So, where does that leave Cadillac? Is Cadillac supposed to become a mid-priced brand?

    I think the Buick-Lexus nonsense was about Buick becoming a decent mid-priced line that could compete with the low-end Lexus ES (an upgraded Camry).
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    The Lexus brand competes with Mercedes, so is Buick supposed to become GM's Mercedes brand? So, where does that leave Cadillac? Is Cadillac supposed to become a mid-priced brand?

    I think the Buick-Lexus nonsense was about Buick becoming a decent mid-priced line that could compete with the low-end Lexus ES (an upgraded Camry).


    Buick over the next few years Buick will be a true Lexus fighter because of RWD. Cadillac will be a Mercedes, BMW, Audi, fighter ;)

    Rocky
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,950
    Sounds like Lutz's ego catching up with him again.

    I'll have to see these cars to believe it.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    But!!!!! Lexus is competing directly with Mercedes, BMW and Audi. So, are you saying that Buick is going to compete directly with Cadillac?

    What makes sense to me is that Buick should compete with the high-end of Toyota and the low-end of Lexus; that is the Avalon and the Lexus ESxxx models (xxx is only a reference to the engine size and not really a model name).
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    go a bit more premium. If it were up to me, the LaCrosse would dump the 3.8 and go with the 3.6 all the way. And if possible, the top edition would offer the Northstar (it might be too big to fit under the hood though, as the DOHC design is bulkier than the pushrod Chevy engine that goes in Impalas and Grand Prixes. And then with the LaCrosse, I'd go either all V-8, just with a de-tuned base engine, or replace the 3.8 with the 3.6 DOHC from the LaCrosse.

    If Buick came out with a small car, I think it should still be an upscale one, and luxurious enough that it would still start out at over $20K.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think that the current LaCrosse and Lucerne models are interim. They will be replaced with different platforms by 2010 or so. By then GM may be in chapter 7 :sick:

    However, lets assume that GM manages to limp through: I think that Buick should put their cars on a RWD platform that is more refined (lower NVH) than the RWD platform that may be used at Chevy for the new Camaro and Impala. However, this RWD platform for Buick should not be as costly to build as the sigma platform is for Cadillac.

    As for engines: A small block V8 could be developed (say an 80 mm bore and stroke) that is about 3+ liters in size. A couple of sizes could be built. More to the point, a 4.5 to 5 liter V12 could be built using the same cylinder size; and a 6 liter V16 would also be possible. But with the current lineup of engines probably 3.6 DOHC V6 and some northstar V8 are possible choices, or maybe pushrod V8's.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I don't think there's enough room between RWD Chevy, RWD Pontiac, and RWD Cadillac for any RWD Buicks. Keep Buick FWD and give them better platforms and direct-injection motors.

    A small block V8 could be developed (say an 80 mm bore and stroke) that is about 3+ liters in size.

    The old Buick 215 was 89x71mm (3.533L). A new version of that could be fun, but wholly unnecessary with the 3.6L V6 around.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    My thinking is that a small V8 is easier to balance than a V6. GM has always tried to do a minimum of counter balancing its engines. I don't know what GM's plans are for future platforms. If they decide to bring back the Camaro, then a RWD midsize platform (110 inch wheelbase) is likely. I think GM is headed for chapter 7 :sick:
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,691
    No.

    It doesn't fit the image of a premium brand, which is what Buick should be. Leave the sub-$20K vehicles to Pontiac, which are sold in the same showroom as Buicks.

    In fact I'll go even further:

    I think all Buicks should have V8 engines and they all should have portholes. Give the LaCrosse and the base-level Lucerne the 4.0 Northstar from the defunct Olds Aurora (and 3 portholes), and keep the top-line Lucerne with the 4.6 Northstar (and 4 portholes).

    I'd also like to see all Buicks have a very subtle curved sweapspear body crease in their profile so as to echo Buicks from the mid 1950s. Buicks need to "look like Buicks" from the side as well as from the front. Now they look like Camrys from the side.

    Bob
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    That makes sense. ;)

    Rocky
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...looks like Camrys are selling a bit better than Buicks. With the exception of some older folks and possibly Lemko ;) , I don't think most people want cars that look like '60s Buicks.

    Then again, I think the '07 Camry is butt-ugly, so perhaps time will tell.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,691
    I don't think most people want cars that look like '60s Buicks.

    You're right about that. I want them to look like '50s Buicks.

    60's Buicks started Buick on its downward spiral. The best looking Buick ever made was the 1954 model. If they could capture the spirit of that model, it would be great.

    Bob
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Actually, Buick production in the mid-fifties was quite high with over 700,000 in 1955. However, Buick's capacity to build quality vehicles was not that high, so quality slipped. Sales and production in the last part of the fifties slipped to under 300,000. By the mid-sixties, Buick quality was recognized as good again and production was up over 500,000. In the 70's production was over 600,000 in the better years with 1973 hitting 800,000+. The oil crisis did not help after that point.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,691
    I was referring to their styling, and loss of brand identity. IMO, this all started for Buick in the '60s. The mid-50s' were the last of Buick's "glory" years.

    Bob
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,950
    One can get a nice under-20K Buick right now...you should be able to get a pretty much fully loaded last year's Lacrosse for that kind of dough. Or a really nice 54-57 model...
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    The 1963-65 Rivieras and to a lesser extent the 1966-67 Rivieras were some of the most beautiful cars ever built - products of the late great Bill Mitchell!
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