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Buick Lucerne

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Comments

  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    What's a "bonnie boo hoo?"
  • chris65amgchris65amg Posts: 372
    Pontiac Bonneville. Never heard that nickname, though.
  • charko2charko2 Posts: 12
    Right my bonnie is the bonneville. and boo hoo means I'm crying over its death.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I will try o explain this as simply as possible. Any car that sells for a substantial discount obviously needs that discount to maintain volume. Toyota and Honda generally do not like to have large national rebate programs for PR reasons. There are other ways to provide the customers with incentives like offering the dealers cash for every sale which allows the dealers to sell cars for $3K off MSRP. You are saying that the lack of large rebates on Accords and Camrys proves that they are more desirable cars. The bottom line is that the dealers for these cars are advertising (more Altima and Camry than Accord) huge discounts and that gets customers in the door. The source of those discounts really is irrelevant. The whole point of these incentives is that the customer is paying far less than MSRP. Do you really think Toyota and Nissan sales wouldnt drop if they stuck to their pathetic $750 rebates and nothing more? Unless you are selling highly desirable luxury cars these days people want a deal. I dont see where negotiation skills are required when ads in the paper clearly tell you a camry is available for $3000 off sticker, it seems pretty plain to me. Just as plain as walking into a GM dealer and getting a car for the emplyee discount price.

    The lacrosse has an uphill battle because it's not a recognized name brand and the price was too high. Whatever rebates were offered on the lacrosse were just price corrections that brought the car to a more realistic price point. When a Lacrosse CXS costs $29K I have a hard time believing GM was hurting when they offered $1000 cash back.

    If GM is learning anything, and it appears they are, the Lucerne will be launched with a competitive price and minimal rebates.

    BTW, when I said the Camry was behind I wasnt just talking about in relation to the Lacrosse. Clearly the Lacrosse doesnt offer many things not found on the camry. However when you consider other cars in this price range offer AWD, 240-300hp, HIDs, 18" wheels, fold flat front seats, standard ABS/stability control, 6 speed autos, etc. you begin to see my point. The Camry is the class leader in any category that I can think off so as far as I know it is no longer the benchmark in this class.

    BAsically you are saying the Lucerne will flop because it has the 3800 as the base engine. That may be true but beyond that your other criticisms of the Lacrosse dont seem to apply to the Lucerne. It's not lacking in safety features, technology (engine excluded) or interior quality. You say its competing against better cars but I dont know which cars in this class are clearly better. The Avalon? It has the engine, but the styling is definitely not for everyone. The 300? The styling isn't for everyone, the interior is hardly class leading and the Lucerne offers quite a few features no found on the 300. I think I've been over the 500 already.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You over simplify way too much.

    "The source of those discounts really is irrelevant."

    Actually, its very relevant in terms of resale values.

    "I dont see where negotiation skills are required when ads in the paper clearly tell you a camry is available for $3000 off sticker, it seems pretty plain to me. Just as plain as walking into a GM dealer and getting a car for the emplyee discount price."

    Um, theres a big difference, because not EVERY Camry will sell for $3000 less than sticker, whereas EVERY LaCrosse will sell at the substantial employee discount price under that program. Vehicles advertised in papers are often AS YOU SAID, to get people in the showroom, and dont apply to the entire inventory.


    "BTW, when I said the Camry was behind I wasnt just talking about in relation to the Lacrosse." Well, thanks for clarifying that, because thats exactly what your post implied. Also, I'd like to point out that simply because the LaCrosse or Camry dont have 18 inch wheels doesnt really put them "behind"- its how those wheels adhere to the road that makes a component of handling ability. However, standard safety features are a much bigger issue, IMO. I agree- the Camry isnt the class leader it once was. But then, this model has about 8 months left on its cycle, and the LaCrosse... has about 42 (at least).

    "BAsically you are saying the Lucerne will flop because it has the 3800 as the base engine."

    Please find where I said that. I said that I think the Lucerne will have a tough time because most of its volume will be powered by the antique 3800. I didnt say it would flop. Also, please stop referring to styling an objective aspect of a vehicle. It's not. The Avalon is the class leader in overall execution, and the 300 ASIDE FROM STYLING offers excellent road manners and has the Hemi hype behind it, in addition to available AWD. (What are the quite a few features not on the 300 that the Lucerne has?). IFinally, the Hyundai Azera will threaten the Lucerne as it is capacious, luxurious, has an appropriate engine, as well as likely attractive pricing, Hyundai's very strong warranty program, and continually improving image and auto press esteem.

    ~alpha
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Alpha01, you state that another poster oversimplifies "way too much." (which begs the question of how much oversimplification is just enough! :P )

    Then, you go on to state that the 300 has excellent road manners as though THAT were an objective aspect of a vehicle. Different drivers seek totally different things in road manners (or handling, as I would put it), things that vary greatly. There are those who find the newer Crown Vics/Grand Marquis to have way too stiff a suspension. I, for one, would find even the more recent sport packages on those vehicles to be way too marshmallowey.

    LaCrosse is aimed at a target market. If that market buys it and is big enough to constitute a 'success' in GM's book, it will be a success--at least to its maker. If it doesn't, it won't.

    As for me? I drove a 300. For a week. And hated it. Supposed road manners and all. And the word excellent is not one I would have thought of in 10,000 years to apply to road manners as an adjective in relation to that car.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,705
    >The lacrosse has an uphill battle because it's not a recognized name brand

    Uhhhhh, "Buick" is not a recognized name? LaCrosse is not similar to LeSabre?
    I have seen a lot of late 20s & 30s people driving LaCrosses; and I've seen some LeSabre types.

    >The 300?

    Understatement of the year. Haven't driven one; won't be trying one. I recall all the "styling" leadership shown by Chrysler through the years, that flopped. Start with tailfins 1955-1957, I believe. Check out the 1958 Chrysler and Desoto... Later styling with Italian swoops failed to succeed. I compare the 300 to the Seville restyle. It may sell buyers for a couple of years and then they better have something better as did Cadillac.

    I'm going to read the 300 forum here to see how the mechical successes are going on the 300. I know what the Pacifica has in its record...

    > The Avalon? ...the styling is definitely not for everyone.

    Another understatement. It looks bloated to make it look bigger than it's Camry underpinnings deserve. So did the earlier Avalon, although a cowork of my wife had one (along with a Mini). This one shows the continuity of the Toyota line up through the Lexus models.

    This message has been approved.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    By excellent road manners, I meant handling capabilities that I've observed which are backed by good slalom numbers (objectively derived) in the magazines I've read. The car has good transient response for being so large a vehicle, with little body roll compared to many of its peers. Thats not subjective. Styling, however, is.

    Otherwise, I am not a fan of the vehicle, but I did feel it easy to pilot.

    ~alpha
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "The Avalon is the class leader in overall execution, and the 300 ASIDE FROM STYLING offers excellent road manners and has the Hemi hype behind it, in addition to available AWD. (What are the quite a few features not on the 300 that the Lucerne has?). IFinally, the Hyundai Azera will threaten the Lucerne as it is capacious, luxurious, has an appropriate engine, as well as likely attractive pricing, Hyundai's very strong warranty program, and continually improving image and auto press esteem. "

    Can you please clarify how the Avalon is the leader in overall execution? The Avalon has the best standard engine in this class, that is a fact. Everything else is purely subjective. I dont find the car's interior or exterior styling to be well executed. The Avalon is yet another dull, reliable car from Toyota, it's just that it has a powerful motor. I am no 300 fan, but I would get a 300 before an Avalon any day. The Avalon looks like a bigger camry or possible a dulled down GS sedan. The interior is far to space age for me.

    I would also like you to explain how the Azera spells trouble for the Lucerne, but not the 500, Avalon or 300? As with most GM critics, you fail to recognize that a strong new entry poses a threat to all existing cars in that segment. Sure the Azera will be cheap and offer 265hp which shames the 3800, but at least the Lucerne offers a more powerful engine. What about the 500? It doesnt even offer an optional engine and when the 3.5L engine debuts in the future there is a good chance it wont outpower the Azera. The Avalon will outpower the Azera but the Azera is likely to cost $5000 less than a comparably equipped avalon and it's styling is no more dull than the Avalon. That's not a threat to the Avalon?

    about the Camry and it's lifecycle, you contend that the LAcrosse is barely competitive with a 4 year old camry, but you neglect to mention (no surprise here) that the camry has been steadily upgraded over its lifespan. The Lacrosse is far better than a 2002 Camry, but it's merely competitive with a 2005 camry. The camry has received, wheel/tire upgradesm NAV, stability, more power,The SE model line, adjustable pedals, 5 speed auto and other things. I don't follow the car too well, but I'm sure more features have been added. Unless GM is completely inept, I would expect the Lacrosse to see power upgrades, a 6 speed auto, 18" wheels and possibly navigation added within two years or so. A new camry may be on the way, but with a few simple changes the Lacrosse could be competitive with the upcoming camry. In fact, considering how Camry's and Accords are upgraded with new models I wouldnt expect radical changes with the new camry. More power, a hybrid model and a better interior would be top features in my estimation. I'm not sure what you are expecting, but I wouldnt expect it to leapfrog the competition when there is so many competent cars in this segment.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    That's all nice and all, but the usual GM practice is to DEcontent models after introduction, not to add more features. Witness the Impala from 2000-2005, for example.

    I sincerely doubt you will see features ADDED to the Lucerne during each of its design's lives prior to any refreshening. You are more likely to see content removed...or standard items made optional at additional cost.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Hmmn, lots to address-

    Re: the Avalon
    "I dont find the car's interior or exterior styling to be well executed." CAN WE PLEASE MOVE PAST STYLING as a function of a car's merit? It has nothing to do with how the vehicle performs! The Avalon, at this point in time is the leader in the class because it combines in one package more of the better attributes of its competitors. It is roomy, fast, fuel efficient, rides and handles well, offers good ergonomics, a variety of high tech features, and Toyota reliability at a reasonable price.

    Re: the Azera
    Its a threat to the segment, most definitely. Given its pricing, however, I feel it will be more of a threat to the segment laggards (Five Hundred, base Lucerne, etc) than the leaders (Avalon, 300C).

    Re: the Camry
    "about the Camry and it's lifecycle, you contend that the LAcrosse is barely competitive with a 4 year old camry, but you neglect to mention (no surprise here) that the camry has been steadily upgraded over its lifespan. The Lacrosse is far better than a 2002 Camry, but it's merely competitive with a 2005 camry."

    That makes no sense. What are you talking about? I'm comparing a 2005 LaCrosse to a 2005 Camry, which debuted 4 model years ago. Just because GM goes eons without upgrades doesnt mean that its a good business practice in this industry. Do you really think GM should be lauded for playing catch-up? Toyota uses its upgrades to keep its vehicles selling well, first and foremost.... and the upgrades are a result of competitve threats/pressures.

    (FWIW, the only Camry with a wheel/tire upgrade this iteration is the SE V6 in 2005, which accounts for the lowest % of Camry sales. Also, NAV was available in 2002, as was stability control on all V6 models as of 2002, and the SE trim line was added for the 2002 MY, not anytime midcycle).

    You really think the LaCrosse is going to get all those upgrades? I dont doubt some of them.... but how many upgrades did the Regal/Century receive?

    Seriously, Im not saying either the LaCrosse or the Lucerne are poor vehicles. I think the LaCrosse is one of GMs better efforts in the segment to date. However it/they arent/wont be class leaders. Re: the LaCrosse- dont take my word for it, just read.... ANY REVIEW EVER on the car. Depending on where a consumers preferences lie, it may be a great car for that individual. But as an overall package, its not at the top.

    ~alpha
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Yes it is a bit subjective since it is hard to quantify those handling characteristics unless you own a very expensive piece of equipment to measure them (hint: race car drivers "rent" time from the OEM's on these machines).

    But your point is taken, however, not everyone cares about the fastest slalom times. In fact I think most drivers care more about how the ride is. Impacts, tire harshness, floatiness. You give away these features as you minimize body roll and decrease slalom times. Sure handling has to be decent but ride whens out for most folks.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "You give away these features as you minimize body roll and decrease slalom times. Sure handling has to be decent but ride whens out for most folks."

    I totally agree- there is a compromise that is inherent. My point regarding the Avalon is that it seems for many to be the least compromising- Fast but efficient, smooth riding but a capable if not sporty (in non-Touring trim) handler, roomy but not excessively huge, luxurious but elegant....

    ~alpha
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I have not driven the new Avalon but can probably assume it is similar to the Camry and ES330. Both these cars do exhibit what I call correct "real world driving" needs. They handle very acceptably for most any driving condition in the US unless you happen to get find yourself on a race track. Ride is very acceptable for harshness and impacts. To keep to topic here I think you will find that Buick has emulated these R&H characteristics.

    At one time the american public wanted rolly, plush rides but most have tired of the awful handling and have compromised toward the better handling and given up some ride characteristics. Go drive a 30 year old Buick and you will not believe what the public desired at one time. Now all they have to do is convince the buyers to test drive them.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Even my parent's LeSabre is quite floaty and the rental Century I drove a few years ago was real bad. I know what you mean though, smooth was in and maybe it wasn't all bad, when you are cruising down the highway it feels great.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,705
    >Even my parent's LeSabre

    What year LeSabre? How many miles on the struts? Which tires and size does it have? I have an 03 and it's not floaty. I have a 1998 which was soft but had lateral control; new struts at 40K from Monroe fixed a lot of the softness and made it fun to drive even on wavy roads.

    This message has been approved.

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    '03 was much less floaty than both the pre 2000 LeSabre and the '97 designed -2004 Century. Floatiness is directly related to the dampening of the struts and I am sure the Monroes would have been much more damped than the OEM struts.

    Lucerne will be much more tied down than any of the above.
  • bigunit67bigunit67 Posts: 62
    Some of the guys are arguing about the Lucerne facing an uphill battle cause it's an unknown brand, then the retort is "Buick is an unknown brand?".

    Both of you, as I see it, have a point. Not everyone pays attention, but in Business Week, USA Today, Smart Money, etc., you can read articles this year about all of GM's problems and how this or that person thinks they should do this or that to fix them. ONE of the things many so-called experts recommend is gutting one or more divisions of GM, with Buick at the top of these lists.

    People who are not car nuts like many of us may not actively seek this info out, but it subtly hurts the brand because they absorb this information and it comes into play when they see or hear about new products from Buick. The best way to counter that image, to me, is by really showing the public something. While the LaCrosse is a decent car, above ave even, it's basically a next-gen Regal and the Lucerne looks like the love-child of a caddy and a park avenue.

    It's like whenyou tick your boss off at work. To get back in his/her good graces, you really have to put some effort out. I just hope Buick gets that message. They can "exist" while putting out good cars, but they won't steal anyone's market share till they put out GREAT cars again. Where is the 21st century version of the Buick Regal Grand Nat'l?????

    My 98 Regal has 123,xxx miles on it...hoping I will want to look at a Buick when I'm ready to let her go to the big car heaven in the sky.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    GM didnt do much with the last generation Buicks but they have been updating models more often of late. I wasnt suggesting that it's good practice to not upgrade products. But you were suggesting that the current camry has been around for four years and I was pointing out that the 2005 camry has been updated to be more competitive. I didnt know the camry had stability and SE model when it debuted. That is the first I'm hearing of that but you would know. If you want to predict the future of the lacrosse based on cars like the regal that is fine but I would look at GM's more recent vehicles like the G6, Malibu, Grand prix, CTS or even the midsize SUVs. All have received updated in terms of features and/or models since they debuted. Since we already know GM will have a FWD 6 speed auto in production next year I would think the Lacrosse/Lucerne are major candidates to receive this tranny. When you consider that the GP and Impala are available with 18" wheels it seems likely that the Lacrosse would offer them as well. Navigation is a different story but the GP has offered it since last year so it would be logical for the Lacrosse to receive this feature. I doubt it will ever get HIDs since Gm is adverse to putting them in any non-Caddies.

    "the LaCrosse- dont take my word for it, just read.... ANY REVIEW EVER on the car."

    Sorry but I dont look to enthusiast magazines to praise any Buick. Those same magazines will criticize a camry for being dull and unsporty but then excuse the car because it's a high quality Toyota. When they review a lacrosse it's a different story and the car is called boring, dull, lame, conservative and worse. There is nothing exceptional about the camry but it is virtually immune to criticism due to the fact that it's a Toyota and it's "bulletproof". When it comes to reviewing Toyotas that's all that really matters. Just for the record, all of the auto mags/internet reviewers praised the Ridgeline as the greatest thing since sliced bread and yet sales have been less than stellar. You cant always take the word of reviews as gospel. With the exception of the 300C, F150 or Mustand I cant think of one domestic product that has gotten universal good reviews from the press and yet many domestic models are popular sellers. If people made purchases based on reviews than the Europeans and Japanes would have about 80% share instead of 35%.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    None of the comments I made about the LaCrosse's reviews in magazines were made in conjunction with predictions of sales. Yes, I agree- the Ridgeline has received tremendous praise but is selling at a tepid pace. I never said that critical acclaim means success in the marketplace, though from an advertising/marketing standpoint, I would definitely think its easier to achieve.

    There are plenty of domestic vehicles that get strong reviews from the experts, ones you didnt name. They're just usually not GMs, though some are- the CTS, Corvette, and Cobalt come to mind, actually.

    Toyota is hardly immune from criticism- read edmunds.com thorough comparison of the Camry vs. Accord and Sonata. (The Camry does have a few competitive advantages still.. efficiency, ride/refinement....).

    "If people made purchases based on reviews than the Europeans and Japanese would have about 80% share instead of 35%." Again, I never said purchases are made based on reviews. I used the reviews of the LaCrosse to point to its overall execution in terms of its competitors... it simply lags (and is overpriced at MSRP, a fate I hope doesnt befall the Lucerne)

    Competitors... the yardstick against which the Lucerne will be measured.... and thats where the vehicle's UPHILL battle ensues.

    Not gospel, my opinion, but I think its well backed by reasonability.

    ~alpha
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