GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/business/buick-sales-china.html

Buick Name Is Erased From Buicks as Sales Slip for Century-Old Marque

DETROIT — Buick, the rock upon which General Motors was built more than a century ago, appears to be fading in the company’s rearview mirror.

As of the 2019 model year, the Buick name is no longer stamped across the back of its North American models. In China, where Buick claims most of its sales these days, the “Buick” nameplate disappeared years ago. The brand’s logo is all that’s left, and soon, the company might be gone from the car business altogether — making only S.U.V.s and crossovers.

It seems that, after 115 years, the name’s image has become too outdated for a company that wants to be thought of as a thoroughly modern “attainable luxury” vehicle in a class with Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln and Lexus, a notch below high-end offerings like Cadillac.

The company has gone so far as to produce advertisements that explicitly distance the brand from its reputation. “That’s not a Buick” spots were placed in high-profile slots, like the Super Bowl, to drive home the point.

Today’s Buicks are arguably not quite Buicks anyway — not in any sense that the founder, the all-but-forgotten David Dunbar Buick, would recognize.

Buick, the company, effectively ceased to be an automobile manufacturer after 2010, when General Motors shut down its vast “Buick City” manufacturing complex in Flint, Mich. Buick City, once the largest auto factory in the world, had for more than a century produced purebred Buick vehicles, parts and powertrains.

----------

Today’s Buick-less Buicks still carry a stylized version of the brand’s “tri-shield” logo, which was introduced to highlight its stylish but poor-selling 1959 Electra, Invicta and LeSabre models. The absence of Buick lettering leaves room for the new Avenir badge, which Buick introduced as a “sub-brand” suggesting a higher level of luxury. Some auto analysts expect that Buick will eventually make a full transition to the Avenir name.

----------

Interestingly, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn were canceled while selling at North American volumes far higher than Buick is now. Olds, in particular, was posting comparatively robust sales near a quarter-million a year when it was handed its surprise death notice in late 2000. Saturn and Pontiac had dipped below 200,000 in yearly sales and did not survive G.M.’s bankruptcy in 2009.

If not for the Buick name’s esteem in China — Communist Party leaders once favored lavishly appointed Buick land yachts — it is possible the brand would have been abandoned when Buick City was.

----------

In China, sales have been dropping ominously. In 2016 and 2017, Buick and its partner SAIC Motor of Shanghai sold about 1.23 million vehicles. Last year, sales fell to 1.06 million, and they are expected to finish under 900,000 this year. China’s auto market is rapidly slowing from recession to near-depression, analysts say.

----------

Another problem for Buick is that it is running out of cars. It is winding down its flagship LaCrosse sedan and Cascada convertible — models no longer available from their source, Opel of Europe, since G.M. sold the division two years ago. Its last car, the Regal sedan (now also offered in hatchback and wagon variants), is dated and in need of a costly redesign. Fewer than 6,000 Regals are likely to be sold in 2019 — an unsustainable volume.

If an affordable Regal replacement can’t be found, Ms. Malcho conceded, Buick will probably cancel it, too, thus exiting the “car” side of the business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,004 Posts
I suspect GM will die before I die.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
GM isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it just makes sense to reduce the number of brands.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,024 Posts
MasterCard dropped it's name as well. The cards now simply show the two intersecting circles logo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
972 Posts
Interesting news about the Buick brand in China.

GM uses a common set of parts across their products as much as they can.
This helps keep costs down.
One manufacturing line can produce a Buick and a Chevy, or a Cadillac and a Chevy, and so on at the same time.
Sometimes products are exactly the same, but with a different name tacked on.
Brands inside of an automotive company just don't mean what they used to mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
MasterCard dropped it's name as well. The cards now simply show the two intersecting circles logo.
No kidding? I never noticed. But I'm old enough to remember when they were called MasterCharge and Visa was BankAmeriCard!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top