Should Buick build a new under 20K vehicle?

harrycheztharrychezt Member Posts: 405
edited September 2014 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 Member Posts: 53,916
    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 Member Posts: 24,633
    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, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    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 Member 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, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    ;) good view !!!!!!

    Rocky
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    Under $20K is Chevrolet's domain.
  • navigator89navigator89 Member 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, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    Heard That !!!!! Chevy is the plain jane brand of GM and it shouldn't spread to Buick or Cadillac ;)

    Rocky
  • harrycheztharrychezt Member Posts: 405
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 4,600
    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, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    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 Member 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 Member 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, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    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 Member Posts: 53,916
    Sounds like Lutz's ego catching up with him again.

    I'll have to see these cars to believe it.
  • sls002sls002 Member 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 Member Posts: 24,633
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 19,788
    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, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    That makes sense. ;)

    Rocky
  • ghuletghulet Member 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 Member Posts: 19,788
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 19,788
    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 Member Posts: 53,916
    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 Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    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!
  • sls002sls002 Member Posts: 2,788
    Possibly. In the sixties the compact car did not improve the Buick lineup in any meaningful way. However, the same can be said for the entire GM lineup, except Cadillac. Looking back from 50 years later, it is easy to say that what GM should have done is made Chevy the small car brand, with Pontiac perhaps a midsize, leaving the full size brands as Oldsmobile (low priced), Buick (mid priced) and Cadillac.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    Do you think we will see another Riveria from Buick ? I just hope Buick doesn't convert to the Alpha Soup thing. :sick:

    Rocky
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Member Posts: 654
    I couldn't have said any better myself! My thoughts exactally!
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Member Posts: 654
    It doesn't matter really. IMO Buick will not be around much longer......so SAD.
  • celica8celica8 Member Posts: 42
    I don't think Buick should have a cheap car, although it would be good for attracting younger buyers. Buick's turnaround is pretty amazing. The Lucerne is selling like crazy, and the Enclave is freaking amazing. Also, Buick is raking in the quality awards beating out Honda, Toyota, Acura, Infiniti, and a whole bunch more in long term reliability. Buick needs to come out with a full sized convertible.
  • robertsteinrobertstein Member Posts: 1
    No. Buick doesn't need to seem cheap. It needs to seem chick, with a little exclusivity. 2012 is coming up! That's the 50th anniversary of the Buick Wildcat. That's the image Buick needs to infuse. It would be easy to do with a little borrowing of suspension from Caddy and motor from Corvette. Make sure it's posh and has the three portholes on the fenders, and I'll bet it will sell to more than just the "my other vehicle is a coffin " class.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    We couldn't agree more pal. :D

    BUICK VELITE ROADSTER

    The sexiest car ever built in my eyes. :shades:

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    well they tested a mid-level Lucerne against a Azera Limited. Is that not biased ? :surprise:

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    That would be stupid on GM's part. :mad:

    Rocky
  • buicklover1buicklover1 Member Posts: 5
    A cheap Buick may be interesting, just as long as its standards are not compromised at all.

    __________________
    Buick Engines - Original engine in Buick Performance Parts Catalog by TA Performance
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    Well you and I disagree but I respect your opinion. I think Buick, should be on the $30-50K range ;) It needs to be a brand like Lexus but have Lincoln prices. It doesn't need a self parking system but should have features like a Bose 5.1 surround sound, navigation with voice recognition, swivel headlamps, perhaps adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamps, magneride, ventilated seats, massaging seats w/ heat of course, high performance engines with premium V6's and V8's, ya know everyday usable "gadgets and technology" ;)

    Rocky
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Well, as Roger Smith would say, you can buy a $20K Buick. It's a '05 or '06. Kidding aside, I agree with you, rockylee, on Buick's positioning in the marketplace, although I'm not a fan of all the technology you mentioned. Lexus is a more logical competitor for Buick than BMW, for example. It seems to me that GM is pointing Buick towards Lexus (after Toyota/Lexus decided to focus on making a better Buick), while Cadillac goes after the German luxury brands. It seems like a sound strategy to me. The jury is still out on whether GM can execute on it.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    Why thank-you hpmctorque :)

    I named some of the technology's found on my buddy's Toyota Avalon ;) Buick needs to exceed Toyota, in gadgets for gosh sakes. I'm glad you agree with me on Buick's direction. The Lucerne will be RWD for model year 2011. I'd like for them to speed that up a bit and get it here by 2009. I suspect it will come out in January 2010 as a 2011 model. GM, lately like to release cars in the first quarter to get a extra long model year. I think it's smart business to do it this way. :) A $45-50K RWD Lucerne that feels like a Lexus LS 460 at Lincoln prices would be a "W" in the Buick Column. I have to decide if I want to risk buying a GMC Sierra Denali next month and find out in a year or so that my beloved Buick Velite will get made. If that happens to me I will be smoking mad :mad:

    Rocky
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Yeah, Chevy, Saturn, and Pontiac (G-5 and 4 cylinder G-6) have the <20K segment covered for GM, so it wouldn't make sense for Buick to crowd in there too.

    On your Denali/Velite quandary, they're totally different vehicles. The RWD Lucerne would come closer to Denali, functionally, than the Velite, which, as a convertible, isn't all that spacious. Besides, as you probably know, Lutz supposedly nixed the Velite.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 13,994
    Yeah he did nixed the Velite but like 62vettefp, reported that Lutz, has strong feelings for the Velite, and originally planned on bringing it to market with the Enclave but money was tight and it got axed. Lutz, still has a pic of the Velite on his office wall so I'm optomistic enough to think I still could get my dream car yet. :)

    Rocky
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    ...in China. I think it's called the Spark (?).
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,633
    Looking back from 50 years later, it is easy to say that what GM should have done is made Chevy the small car brand, with Pontiac perhaps a midsize, leaving the full size brands as Oldsmobile (low priced), Buick (mid priced) and Cadillac.

    Sorry I'm way late in responding to this, but I haven't checked in on this thread in awhile. I've actually heard theories about what would've happened if GM had stuck to the old Alfred Sloane hierarchy. The problem though, is that GM just got too big in the 50's and 60's for that to work. They came up with all those various models and overlap because there was a perceived need for them. People were a lot more brand-loyal back then, so if Buick had never built the '61 Special, it's not a guarantee that all those buyers would have bought F-85's or Tempests. And if there was no Pontiac Catalina, it's not a given that all the Catalina buyers would have just gone and bought Impalas, LeSabres, or Deltas.

    IMO, GM knew exactly what they were doing in the 50's and 60's. However, in the 70's, the overlap started to get out of hand. For example, Pontiac overstepped their bounds with the 1971 Grand Ville, pushing into Electra/98 territory. And cars like the Nova-based Omega and Apollo, and especially the Monza-based Starfire and Skyhawk, probably could have been done without. And especially, once downsizing became all the rage, and increased focus on aerodnymics and badge-engineering and cost-cutting made the differences in the cars much more superficial, then at that point, it may have benefitted GM to go back to a more Sloane-like hierarchy.

    But if they tried it back in the 60's, then people would be whining because they couldn't get a big Chevy like the Impala or Caprice, or a luxurious Pontiac like the Bonneville Brougham, or a smaller Olds like the Cutlass, or a cheaper big Buick like the LeSabre.
  • harrycheztharrychezt Member Posts: 405
    http://www.autoblog.com/2006/07/08/2007-buick-excelle-would-you-drive-this-baby-- - buick/

    Some like it, some don't. I like it.
    Some people are too good to drive certain makes,lol.
    Oh well. That's their loss, lol.

    Like if you say Hyundai, and mention Azera, they laughed. But Edmunds ain't laughin'. It's one of their Editors Picks for 07, beating Avalon, and maybe some Buicks, etc?

    Same for Sonata. When the new one came out in 06,some people laughed, but.... MotorWeek picked the 06 as their midsized sedan of 06, over All of them.
    Hmmmm.
    You can take a "mere" car, fix it up, tune it right, add some insulation, tweak the engine, and actually have a better, more upscale car, without the upscale pricing!

    I know young people who have said they WOULD consider This Excelle(if done well enough), but not "an old man's Buick".
    Can sell an old man a young person's car, but not a young kid and old person's (type of) car!"
    How true!

    The avg. age for Buick buyers is what, 62?
    Olds tried to "youth-ify" itself with the Alero, and it looked decent enough, and was selling, but Olds is now gone.
    (PS: sorry if I posted this rant before here, or soemthing akin 2 it...in a hurry, no time to look back).
    Take Care/Not Offense.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    If timing is indeed everything, maybe, with gasoline at around $4/gallon, the time is right to introduce a 4-cylinder compact Buick. However, as a premium brand, it should be a well appointed, luxurious model, with good performance, and with prices starting in the mid-$20,000s.
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