For the last decade or so, Buick has relied on imported designs and vehicles to fill out its product portfolio. Largely that came in the form of designs by GM's European subsidiary, Opel. The Buick Verano, Regal, Encore, and Cascada all started life as Opel products subsequently modified for North American tastes and branding. Now with the Opel sold to PSA, Buick's product focus is going to turn towards Chinese tastes.
With the pending end of production for the Buick Lacrosse and the cancellation of the Buick Cascada, it leaves Buick with a light product porfolio of just one 4-door hatch, one wagon, and 3 crossovers. According to a report by Automotive News, Buick is looking to draw on Chinese models, but not necessarily import them like Buick does with the Buick Envision.
China is Buick's, and GM's, largest market.
One area that Buick can draw on is in the electric vehicle segment. While it would be difficult to justify the cost of an EV for Buick just for the North American market, it is absolutely essential that Buick sell EVs in China in order to meet local regulations. Such a vehicle built for China could be shared with the U.S.
Buick executives are unconcerned with Buick's shrinking car lineup. The spread has shifted from 33% SUVs in 2011 to 84% in 2018.
So what happens if Buick becomes an all SUV brand? Does that step on the toes of GMC where Buick shares showroom space? Buick executives are not concerned. They insist that GMC has a more rugged and "crafted" look while Buick is more elegant and "quiet luxury".
What do you think of Buick's shift from European sourced designs to Chinese ones? Sound off below.
*2018 Buick Enspire EV SUV concept shown above