The Buick Thread: Your Enclave for all things Buick

  • Thread starter YSSMAN
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That Enclave looks pretty anonymous. I haven't been following Buick, but their new look seems to have lost a bit of identity.
That's exactly what happened. Beginning about 15 years ago, GM pushed really hard to give Buick what seemed like a semi-upscale (Acura, Infiniti) image. The concept cars were fantastic:

It started back in 2008 with the Riviera Concept. A sleek and sporty shooting brake? Yes please!

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It never happened. In 2013 they reinvented it...

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And that never happened either. So we move onto 2015 and the stunning full-size luxury Avenir.

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Grand size, beautiful curves, retro graphics, boattail rear end. Buick's future is about to be glorious! Except it never happened. Well, the car didn't, but they did steal that name and create a "platinum" trim level out of it five years later. Anyways, onto 2016 and the glorious Avista concept. Wow!

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Buick is really on the up-and-up, this is impressive. A luxury sports coupe based on the excellent Camaro chassis, but gussied up and quieted down, something to compete against the Infiniti G37 and Lexus RC? Sign me up honestly. Except this never happened either.

But why not try again?! Back in 2022 Buick unveiled the Wildcat concept, another instance of bringing back a storied nameplate and slapping it on a kind of rad looking concept. Sporting intentions? EV technology? GM was going crazy for an all-EV lineup at this point so it makes sense.

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Take a guess what happened to that.

So GM managed to drum up a lot of attention toward Buick, bringing back storied nameplates and showing off some excellent designs, but I have no idea why they did this. Purely marketing? The Avenir and Avista would've been relatively inexpensive to produce, being based on the Cadillac CT6 and Chevy Camaro platforms, but they never happened because they likely would've cannibalized Cadillac's sales. The CT6 did reasonably well as far as I'm aware but it's doubtful there was room for a Buick that was actually prettier. And the Avista was a pretty and practical example of something GM had already refused to do at least twice (2011 Ciel and 2013 Elmiraj) which was provide Cadillac with a truly compelling and competitive sports coupe that could take the German battleships head-on. Instead we got the ATS which was incredibly lame and slotted between the 3-series and 5-series without competing effectively against either of them. The V was fine but wasn't remotely premium. The Elmiraj could've catapulted Cadillac upmarket but obviously GM wasn't even willing to put that much effort into its real premium brand, much less a quasi-premium brand that would simply cannibalize sales.

Bottom line is that killing Pontiac but keeping Buick was a decision that plagued GM for over a decade. They've spent all these years trying to conjure an identity for Buick but have completely failed, instead allowing the market to dictate Buick's identity. And that identity is one of being affordable. Not affordable luxury, oh no, just the regular kind of affordable. They're actually selling for less than Chevy's comparable offerings, because like I posted earlier, while Chevy buyers are taking a cheap car and adding options, Buick buyers are simply taking the base-model straight off the lot. The industry invented package schemes specifically to drive up sale margins but that method is backfiring at Buick, completely undermining any premium-ish-ness that Buick had left.

Not that I care because apparently they're selling like hotcakes in China but the brand is probably going to die in the near future. It didn't make any sense to keep it back then and it doesn't make much sense to keep it right now.
 
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Layered dropping lights are best done by Maserati with their 2020 facelift Quattroporte. Only Maserati (and Fiat Tipo) do them well and effective AFAIK.

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image is from wheelsage
 
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