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VenSeattle

Speculation: Buick as a core brand...

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With Congress still yet to decide the fate of GM's return to profitability plan, Buick's role has potentially transformed from a 'niche' brand in the USA back into a core brand… a core brand that could potentially offer a full line of cars with the possibility of a crossover or two when all is said and done.

So, what should Buick's line-up look like when all the pieces fall into place? Several suggestions have been tossed around in other related topics, but let's try to consolidate our future visions of Buick's line-up here. A wishlist line-up if you will... I'll start:

(Yes, I'm borrowing from some suggestions already given because I agree with them :) )

CUVs

  • Opel Antara becomes Buick Rendezvous
  • Buick Enclave remains

Cars

  • NG Opel Astra or NG SAAB 9-3 (both Delta products) becomes a Buick Skylark or Skyhawk line-up of compact vehicles (sedan, coupe, & wagon.) (offer hybrid version) --- This is, of course, if GM decides to scrap the Delta II-based Buick already in development for China.
  • Opel Insignia become Buick Regal (SWB Epsilon II) (offer hybrid version)
  • Buick LaCrosse (LWB Epsilon II) remains. Could be renamed to Invicta. (offer hybrid version)
  • If G8 imports cease, instead import Buick Zeta-based Park Avenue to replace Lucerne. (perhaps share the assembly line with Camaro in Oshawa) Either that or give Buick a Sigma-based sedan to replace Lucerne and built at LGR. The Sigma Buick could be built in China as well.

Specialty/Niche Vehicles

  • Volt-based hybrid called Electra
  • Alpha-based coupe/convertible called Riviera (offer hybrid version)
  • Camaro-based coupe - Buick Grand National (gotta help prop-up Zeta production at Oshawa somehow.)
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Too broad. Buick needs to be tightly focused on mid-lux...unless all those small cars are going to be incredibly luxurious inside. Which GM is too dumb to do...

I like the Electra idea, though. GNX and Riviera? Combine them on the Zeta and call it Riviera.

Edited by Croc
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I like the Electra idea, though.

+1

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GNX and Riviera? Combine them on the Zeta and call it Riviera.

And perhaps make the performance trim GNX to boot?

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Buick should stay out of performance - forever.

Electra is a no-brainer. Needs to happen.

No Zetas, unless it is a production version of Velite with a DI V6.

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Buick should stay out of performance - forever.

Electra is a no-brainer. Needs to happen.

No Zetas, unless it is a production version of Velite with a DI V6.

Buick has a justified performance heritage just like all other traditional GM brands. There's no reason why the GNX, Grand National, or T-Type trim couldn't be reborn.

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Too broad. Buick needs to be tightly focused on mid-lux...unless all those small cars are going to be incredibly luxurious inside. Which GM is too dumb to do...

Buick will probably start near-luxury and top out at mid-luxury. A compact Delta II-based sedan similar to the 1st gen TSX (with Sedan/coupe/wagon versions) would be a perfectly fine entry level family of cars for Buick. That's what I'm suggesting the Delta II cars to be.

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You have at least one too many cars stuffed into one area. Either a Delta II based sedan on or a SWB EPII, but not both; Chevy doesn't even have that many cars stuffed between two sizes. I'd be in favor of giving Buick SWB and LWB EPII sedans.

I think Pontiac should be getting the niche vehicles you listed. If Buick has an Alpha, how are they going to differentiate it enough vs. the Cadillac Alpha without making it cheap? The Electra is an interesting idea, but if Cadillac is getting a Volt also, then again, Buick doesn't need one as well.

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You have at least one too many cars stuffed into one area. Either a Delta II based sedan on or a SWB EPII, but not both; Chevy doesn't even have that many cars stuffed between two sizes. I'd be in favor of giving Buick SWB and LWB EPII sedans.

That's fine, but GM is already developing Delta II vehicles for Opel, SAAB, & Buick... I figure at least one of the non-Chevrolet Delta IIs will have to make their way to the US considering at least two of them were scheduled to do so up until last week (under Saturn and SAAB)...

And remember, Buick's NA line-up is consolidating with China's. China will have Delta II, SWB Epsilon II & LWB Epsilon II... on top of Zeta.

I think Pontiac should be getting the niche vehicles you listed. If Buick has an Alpha, how are they going to differentiate it enough vs. the Cadillac Alpha without making it cheap? The Electra is an interesting idea, but if Cadillac is getting a Volt also, then again, Buick doesn't need one as well.

Well, my train of thought was based on that PCS already stated Buick will be getting Alpha. Take that for what you will...

Anyway. Differentiate? Do you believe a luxury Riviera Coupe is a carbon copy of a compact Cadillac 3-series fighter? I personally don't think it would be difficult to differentiate the two.

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Buick has a justified performance heritage just like all other traditional GM brands. There's no reason why the GNX, Grand National, or T-Type trim couldn't be reborn.

Yes there is.

That's Pontiac's job (in the same showroom).

That sort of duplication just can't take place any longer. It would unfocus both brands.

Not knocking the performance Buicks of the past, but it simply cannot be part of Buick's mission now.

Elegance in an affordable package has to be what Buick is all about. Classy but attainable, with bulletproof reliability and excellent resale. Luxury that makes sense in every metric.

That's not to say that they can be under-powered, or lacking in handling prowess, just that performance is not the main focus for the brand.

And absolutely not for the marketing, so no GNs or T-types.

And, a tight focus on Park Avenue and Riviera caliber style.

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Yes there is.

That's Pontiac's job (in the same showroom).

That sort of duplication just can't take place any longer. It would unfocus both brands.

Not knocking the performance Buicks of the past, but it simply cannot be part of Buick's mission now.

Elegance in an affordable package has to be what Buick is all about. Classy but attainable, with bulletproof reliability and excellent resale. Luxury that makes sense in every metric.

That's not to say that they can be under-powered, or lacking in handling prowess, just that performance is not the main focus for the brand.

And absolutely not for the marketing, so no GNs or T-types.

And, a tight focus on Park Avenue and Riviera caliber style.

How do we know that it's Pontiac's job or that it's duplication when we don't know which direction Pontiac will be taken? If Pontiac is to be limited to "niche" status don't expect performance Delta IIs, performance Epsilon IIs, performance Alphas, and performance Zetas... that's not a niche brand by any means but a full car line-up.

Even if Pontiac gets a couple of those, there will be room for a premium-priced performance vehicle for Buick...

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That's fine, but GM is already developing Delta II vehicles for Opel, SAAB, & Buick... I figure at least one of the non-Chevrolet Delta IIs will have to make their way to the US considering at least two of them were scheduled to do so up until last week (under Saturn and SAAB)...

And remember, Buick's NA line-up is consolidating with China's. China will have Delta II, SWB Epsilon II & LWB Epsilon II... on top of Zeta.

Well PCS has already stated Buick will be getting Alpha. Take that for what you will... Anyway. Differentiate? Seriously? You believe a luxury Riviera Coupe is a carbon copy of a compact Cadillac 3-series fighter? It wouldn't be difficult at all to differentiate the two.

If the Cadillac Alpha has a coupe, as it should to fight the 3-Series, then the two will be in a pretty similar price range in a market that isn't very big. Giving Pontiac something that's not premium and thus significantly cheaper will allow for a much bigger market to attract buyers from. You may be able to make them look different enough from each other to say they are "differentiated," but they're going to be competing for the same small customer base.

One of the most important and telling parts (to me at least), of GM's plan that it presented to Congress is that GM will consists of 40 models, 11 trucks/SUVs, and 29 crossovers/cars. I'm going to guess GMC gets one crossover which leaves 28 cars/crossovers between Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, and Pontiac. Your Buick model range consists of 9 models, which would mean Chevy, Cadillac, and Pontiac are left with 19 models. There is no way that is going to happen. I figure Pontiac gets 3 models, possibly 4; so figure Chevy+Cadillac get 16 models.

Chevy alone has: Corvette, Camaro, Aveo, Cobalt, Malibu, Impala, HHR, Traverse, Equinox, Gamma-based vehicle, Volt, and I would assume a crossover below the Equinox. That's 12 models, leaving Cadillac 4. No way Cadillac only gets 4 models outside of the Escalade.

A lineup of either SWB EPII or a DeltaII vehicle, LWB EPII, TE and Enclave, and perhaps one other car is what Buick should have (this matches the number of models Acura has); with Pontiac having 3 models, GMC one crossover, and Chevy 12 cars/crossovers, that leaves Cadillac 8 models, which may be one too many, I think 7 models is about right for Cadillac.

Basically my point is there's no way Buick gets 9 models, not if Chevy+Buick+Cadillac+Pontiac+GMC X-Over(s) accounts for 29 models.

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Contained within the same showroom, I would call it an error to market any Buick as a performance car while Pontiac lives.

I just think that is the reality of the the day.

Equally, a loaded Bonneville would be a taboo approach under this regime.

See what I mean?

The Buicks that have best represented the essence of the brand over the years, have had a timeless, elegant style. I see that as Buick's mission and as its strength. The Hot Rod Buicks of the past were more of a nod to serving a niche that has only made fleeting appearances on Buick's resume.

Focus is everything from now on for every brand.

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Buick has a justified performance heritage just like all other traditional GM brands. There's no reason why the GNX, Grand National, or T-Type trim couldn't be reborn.

:cheers:

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Sounds feasible, but a couple of things:

The CUV below Equinox will replace the HHR. HHR will not be remodeled IIRC.

What are the 7-8 models you intend for Cadillac?

If Pontiac is to become like Corvette is to Chevrolet, then Pontiac will not have 3-4 models. Buick can sell the volume compact cars. Pontiac will not be about Volume. In fact, for the sake of a halo vehicle for the BPG franchises, I'd prefer Pontiac to actually receive a platform-mate to the Corvette instead of becoming some type of Scion fighter.

Even Chevy is allowed to have a Camaro (Buick GNX?) along side the "Corvette" niche.

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Buick can have performance, but I feel it should be in the form of a sedan that's bigger than what Pontiac should offer; something on Zeta. Let Pontiac be small to small-midsize cars and Buick can be small-midsize (EPII or DeltaII) to large (LWB EPII, maybe Zeta... which would be performance-oriented).

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Sounds feasible, but a couple of things:

The CUV below Equinox will replace the HHR. HHR will not be remodeled IIRC.

What are the 7-8 models you intend for Cadillac?

If Pontiac is to become like Corvette is to Chevrolet, then Pontiac will not have 3-4 models. Buick can sell the volume compact cars. Pontiac will not be about Volume. In fact, for the sake of a halo vehicle for the BPG franchises, I'd prefer Pontiac to actually receive a platform-mate to the Corvette instead of becoming some type of Scion fighter.

Even Chevy is allowed to have a Camaro (Buick GNX?) along side the "Corvette" niche.

I can't come up with a legitimate 8 models for Cadillac without resorting to something silly like the X6 or 1-Series, but sub-CTS, CTS, STS/DTS, XLR, 2 crossovers, and something like the Z4/SLK would be 7.

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If Zeta wasn't currently doomed, I would love to see a Buick version of the HSV Grange here and a limited production Velite. It would be fine if the Grange had a powerful turbo six, but the car(s) simply can't be marketed as performance cars.

The performance they have must be understated.

Whereas, with Pontiac, it must be overt.

No way, no how, will Pontiac get a Vette clone.

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What if Pontiac received a Corvette-based coupe and sedan? To counter the Porsche 911 & Panamera? or perhaps a performance sedan/coupe along the likes of the CLS?

you have to make sure Pontiac's niche doesn't overlap with Chevrolet either...

Here's what I'm saying... GM decided against transforming "Corvette" into a brand of 2-3 high performance vehicles. However, all may not be lost since the "performance brand" is up for rethinking. If GMC & Buick are to become Premium/near/mid-lux brands... Pontiac's high-perfomance brand could become what GM decided against for Corvette. It would be in good company as halo vehicles for GM's premium outlet.

Edited by VenSeattle
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Contained within the same showroom, I would call it an error to market any Buick as a performance car while Pontiac lives.

No one is saying the car has to be marketed as a "performance" car in the same vein as Pontiac.....

Buick used to mean "Premium, American Motorcars." I don't find anything "premium" about floaty suspensions, coarse V6 and underpowered engines, and cheap interior trimmings.

Modernizing Buick, similar in essence to what the T-Types attempted to do back in the 80's, would add some american flash, style, and performance while retaining Buick's supposed core attributes of comfort, amenities, and road presence.

In their day (when the 3.8L was respectable in performance and technology for it's time) the Buick T-Types were some of the best driving cars in the market.....even if their interiors weren't up to snuff, or if the Buick brand image wasn't as it was in the glory days.

Look at it like Mercedes-Benz in a sense. Mercedes-Benz isn't really considered a performance brand by any stretch of the imagination. At least not in the same vein as BMW (or even Audi.) HOWEVER, look at how extremely popular the AMG variants are....not only in the press, but by Mercedes' own consumers. It casts a nice halo over the rest of the normal, volume-driven range.

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What if Pontiac received a Corvette-based coupe and sedan? To counter the Porsche 911 & Panamera? or perhaps a performance sedan/coupe along the likes of the CLS?

you have to make sure Pontiac's niche doesn't overlap with Chevrolet either...

I'd rather see Buick get something like that. Pontiac can't sell something that expensive. A Zeta Buick "4 door coupe" like the CLS would be perfect, actually. Wouldn't compete with the CTS that way, which could potentially happen if it wasn't somewhat of a unique product niche.

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With Caddy occupying the luxury performance segment alone, Buick and Pontiac need to split that mission in half.

I think Buick could be far more elegant than Caddy, not more luxurious, there is a difference.

Caddy has to dance with BMW, Buick has the luck to not have to, giving Buick a freer hand to be beautiful and elegant without the need to be brash.

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No one is saying the car has to be marketed as a "performance" car in the same vein as Pontiac.....

Buick used to mean "Premium, American Motorcars." I don't find anything "premium" about floaty suspensions, coarse V6 and underpowered engines, and cheap interior trimmings.

Modernizing Buick, similar in essence to what the T-Types attempted to do back in the 80's, would add some american flash, style, and performance while retaining Buick's supposed core attributes of comfort, amenities, and road presence.

In their day (when the 3.8L was respectable in performance and technology for it's time) the Buick T-Types were some of the best driving cars in the market.....even if their interiors weren't up to snuff, or if the Buick brand image wasn't as it was in the glory days.

Look at it like Mercedes-Benz in a sense. Mercedes-Benz isn't really considered a performance brand by any stretch of the imagination. At least not in the same vein as BMW (or even Audi.) HOWEVER, look at how extremely popular the AMG variants are....not only in the press, but by Mercedes' own consumers. It casts a nice halo over the rest of the normal, volume-driven range.

If I had made my case clear enough, you would see that we agree.

Think of it this way:

Pontiac is to BMW as Buick is to Benz

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Think of how you might re-do a '71 Riviera for the present day.

That car had an unmistakable style of its own, and it was powerful. But it's power was understated and adult, subordinate to the style and class of the car.

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