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Should Buick build a new under 20K vehicle?



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    I agree with what you said, except that the Acura that developed the cult following you referred to was the Integra. The RSX was really nice too, in my opinion, but, like the Civic on which it was based, it was criticized by Honda/Acura aficionados because it no longer featured a double wishbone suspension.

    Sorry, but I don't recall where I read about the Focus based Lincoln, but it was in the last two weeks. It may have been in Automotive News or Motor Trend. I'm sure it'll appear again soon if there's something to it.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I really think the main reason these auto brands lose focus, is because the brand is not successful and the market may change due to external forces (like government rules), and the brands sales decline. The people with an interest in the brand doing well, then constantly petition the parent corporation to allow it to make a desperate non-traditional, brand move. They want to get a product that can add some volume and sales activity, even if in the long-run the brand-identity is damaged, and the parent spent more $ getting them new product than it was worth.

    I see a lot of value in brand identity. Every brand should stand for something. You know what a Ferrari stands for. You know what a Fiat or Toyota stands for. You know what the name Rolex stands for; you don't want to see Rolex want increased sales and therefore sell a $200 model in Sears! I think it's desperation and counter-productive (most times) when brands try to change who they are.

    If Buick sees large, luxury cars fading away, the answer for Gm would be to shutdown Buick, and start with a fresh sheet of paper, to create a new division.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    " Every brand should stand for something."

    I agree. By the way, what does Fiat stand for, as contrasted with, say, Volkswagen, it's main competitor?

    "If Buick sees large, luxury cars fading away, the answer for Gm would be to shutdown Buick, and start with a fresh sheet of paper, to create a new division."

    Whoa! Buick is probably not your cup of tea, nor mine (I've never owned one), but as one of the oldest brands in the auto business the name still has a lot of brand equity. Do you just throw that away and start over? I think it's easier to turn a brand around, as Buick has been doing, than to start with a clean slate. What about the dealers, and the costs associated with discontinuing a brand? Also, let's remember the Saturn example. Okay, okay, GM made some bad mistakes with Saturn, including not putting those resources into Chevy, but still...
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    By the way, what does Fiat stand for, as contrasted with, say, Volkswagen, it's main competitor?

    I don't know a ton about Fiat, both brands understand they have a middle-class market. They mainly put out affordable vehicles. They don't try to be everything to everyone. When VW has wandered from their brand image they have failed - can you say Phaeton. I believe that when VW wanted to do luxury vehicles properly they bought a luxury brand (forget whether they own Bentley or Rolls).

    If Buick has been near-luxury, large smooth vehicles that is what they should make and please that segment of the market. They don't need an upscale SUV, that should be GMC's market, and they don't need a Chevy Cruze. And Chevy does not need near-luxury cars that might infringe on Buick.

    GM's resources would be best spent not making so many models that steal sales from one another; competing with each other at price and size points.

    but as one of the oldest brands in the auto business the name still has a lot of brand equity.

    You think so? I think Buick has a negative brand-value to GM. It makes me think of the old GM, the many bad Buicks of the 80's and 90's, and of 60 and 70 year old, badly dressed guys on their way to the track to put $2 on each pony. Sorry Lemko, that's the way I see it. Buick also reeks of the Tiger Woods issue, and the whole golf-club stodginess. The only Buick I've ever really liked is the Riviera from the mid-60's.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited November 2010
    I agree with you in principal regarding your second paragraph, but Buick is proving us wrong, by selling a lot of Enclaves. As SUVs go, the Enclave is nice looking, and it has been generally praised by the automotive press. It appeals to a different customer than the GMC

    "I think Buick has a negative brand-value to GM."

    I think Buick sales and status in China is proving you wrong on this. In the U.S., Buick's brand equity suffered a long, extensive decline, beginning around the mid-'70s, and lasting until recently. Things are finally turning around, as evidenced by the LaCrosse, Enclave and Regal.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I agree with you on Buick in China. But that is exactly what I said about brand-image. Buick has a bad brand image here, but of course the Chinese don't know that. So ok - keep the Buick name in China. "Buick" is nothing but a name or badge stuck on a vehicle.

    As far as the LaCrosse, Enclave and Regal go, you're probably missing the point that those vehicles could be selling better if they didn't have a Buick logo stuck on the car. There are many people who won't go to a Buick dealership even if they clone a Jaguar XJ and sell it for $40K. Those vehicles might be selling okay despite the Buick logo.
  • I wouldn't be too misled buy the success of Buick in China...China still has a large population who have a grudge against Japan for some sort of history the two have together that I don't really have any in-depth knowledge about. Also, Chinas car boom is in its infancy and if you look at the home grown Chinese offerings, they make Grampas Buick look like a Rolls Royce. The atrocious crash test ratings of the home grown offerings make a bicycle look safer.

    link title

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,173
    edited November 2010
    When your sales tank as bad as Buicks have over the years, then the increases aren't as impressive...


    Nowhere to go but up... China saved Buick from oblivion.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    From the early pictures and the description, the Verano looks very promising.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Yes, it does.

    When they first said they were going to do this I was dead set against the idea but it looks like they did their homework.

    The pictures I have seen make it instantly recognizable as a Buick and much less so as a car off the Cruze platform.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    edited January 2011
    But it's not exactly under $20K. The base before any options is listed here at Edmunds at $23K.
    While everyone will say the Verano is so nice ... there are other new cars in this size category that will be thousands less. Give me a new Elantra or Civic; they'd meet my needs fine, and I take the thousands saved and take a vacation to Hawaii the next few years.

    I went and sat in a Cruze, a few weeks ago, and while it is nice, the couple models they had on the lot were also over $20K. No go, at those prices. I can get a nice AWD Subaru Legacy for $22K.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Forget under $20K, since that figure just isn't realsistic for any car in this category. We don't yet know enough about the Verano to evaluate it, but we know that it's not intended to compete against the Civic and Elantra, but, rather, something more upscale. I suggest we judge it when we know more about it, and after it's been tested against upscale compacts, such as, say, the Audi A3.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Saw the '12 Buick Verano at the DC Auto show. Very nice!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited May 2011
    Rick Kranz, Automotive News, May 18, 2011

    "Buick will get rebadged, redesigned Astra, report says The Opel Astra GTC concept was first shown at the Paris auto show in October 2010.

    While the engine choices have not been locked in place, the car is expected to target young buyers who want a sporty car that handles well and has plenty of power, according to A source familiar with General Motors' plans for Buick confirmed the report for Automotive News.

    Buick is in the process of rebuilding the brand with products such as the LaCrosse, Regal and the 2012 Verano, which goes on sale this fall.

    Last year, Buick's U.S. sales totaled 155,389 vehicles, a 52 percent increase from the previous year. Sales through April this year totaled 63,152, up 43 percent from the same period last year.

    The new Astra is wider and sleeker than the previous model. That car was sold by Saturn for about a year and also was called Astra.

    The redesigned three-door Astra originally was planned for the now-defunct Saturn brand, according to the source familiar with the project. With a few exceptions, Saturn essentially sold rebadged Opel vehicles. For example, the Saturn Aura sedan was a previous-generation Opel Insignia with minor cosmetic changes.

    With Saturn's demise, Buick was selected to market a few rebadged Opel cars. For example, the current Insignia is marketed here as the Buick Regal, a key vehicle in the brand's turnaround.

    The timing for the new car's introduction has not been determined. Also uncertain is the assembly site, either in Germany or the United States. It's not known if the car will keep the Astra name.

    The three-door Buick will share GM's compact front-drive platform with the Chevrolet Cruze and Buick's upcoming Verano sedan. Verano sales begin this fall,

    The Verano will be equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing an estimated 177 hp and 170 pounds feet of torque. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will be offered at a later date.

    The Astra GTC will be offered in Europe with a range of engines, including an engine producing as estimated 300 horsepower.

    A Buick spokesman said the brand would not talk about future vehicle plans."

    This reminds me of the old Buick tag line, "Wouldn't you really rather own a Buick?" I don't know about this Astra, but Buicks are getting more appealing.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    Straightline has a pic:


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