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ehaase

Buick Sales Epitomize GM's Woes

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ehaase    18

The company ignored warnings 20 years ago that changes were needed. Is it too late?

By John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer

April 2, 2006

Buick was the seed from which General Motors Corp. sprouted. And for generations, the luxury car line was one of GM's most bountiful divisions.

The Buick brand filled a crucial niche for the auto giant, attracting well-heeled consumers who wanted more than an Oldsmobile but weren't comfortable with the flash of a Cadillac.

Now as GM faces the threat of bankruptcy, Buick has emerged as an emblem of the auto giant's broader woes. GM sold nearly a million Buicks in the U.S. in 1984. By last year, sales had sputtered to 282,288, a 70% decline over two decades, the biggest of any major auto brand.

Buick has broken down in U.S. showrooms for the same reasons that Americans deserted GM brands such as Chevrolet, Pontiac and Olds in favor of Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Buick offered bland designs and ignored consumer demand for pickups, minivans and SUVs. Buyers' shift toward snappier styling, snazzier features and — most of all — higher-quality cars left Buick vulnerable in the late 1980s when Lexus, Infiniti and other foreign luxury models invaded its home turf. Even using golf superstar Tiger Woods as pitchman hasn't helped Buick.

Warnings that GM's luxury car stronghold was about to collapse went unheeded as the automaker clung to the conviction that Americans really would rather have a Buick.

"I remember being told by a GM executive … that they'd never worried about Buick because as people got older and richer, their asses would get fatter and they would always buy Buicks to sit 'em in," said Dan Gorrell, vice president of San Diego market research firm Strategic Vision, which has done consumer studies for GM.

In the mid-1980s, a Burbank market research firm hired by the automaker warned that European and Japanese rivals were revving up to leave GM in the slow lane.

"The sounds of heavy armor can be heard in the suburbs, in what may be the final assault on General Motors' long-time stronghold, the luxury car market," the report from Vista Group said. If GM didn't satisfy car buyers' tastes for smoother handling, sleeker designs and fewer but more luxurious options, Buick would start losing customers to the new competitors. The Vista report proved prescient.

The failure of Buick and its sister brands has thrown GM into a tailspin.

After losing $10.6 billion last year and with its U.S. market share at an 80-year-low, GM's chief executive, Rick Wagoner, recently offered buyouts to 125,000 hourly workers.

Many Wall Street analysts are increasingly concerned about GM's finances. Some believe the world's largest automaker might file for bankruptcy protection, a move that — because of GM's size — could convulse the entire U.S. economy.

In the end, analysts say, GM's corporate hubris led to Buick's descent.

"They had this arrogant belief that when baby boomers turn 50, 'they belong to us,' and that just didn't happen," Gorrell said.

GM executives insist that Buick is still a "relevant" brand.

"I'm convinced Buick's turnaround has already begun," said Bob Lutz, GM's 74-year-old vice chairman for product development. "We are now focusing on its original role as an affordable near-luxury car that isn't just a Chevy or a Pontiac with a different name badge."

To succeed, GM would have to win over consumers like Myron Wozniak. That could prove difficult.

Wozniak, 46, a Northrop Grumman engineer in El Segundo, has owned three Buicks and an Oldsmobile. "I was raised in a 'buy American' family," he said.

But Wozniak and his wife harbor unpleasant memories of replacing the alternator in their Buick Skylark; the alternator, several electronic ignition controllers and the air conditioning compressor and anti-lock brake system controller in their LeSabre; and the entire automatic transmission in their Oldsmobile Intrigue.

That was enough to drive the Wozniaks into the foreign camp. Their last three purchases have been a Honda Accord, a Toyota pickup and a Lexus sport coupe.

"All we've had to do with them is change oil," he said. "My next new car sure won't be an American car, I don't care what kind of incentives they offer."

Last year, Lexus — the luxury division of Toyota Motor Corp. — gave Buick the final push off its perch, outselling it for the first time.

Buick was founded in 1903 by a marketing genius named William Durant, who gobbled up the competition. Five years later, he formed GM. His successor, Alfred P. Sloan, crafted the strategy of offering a car brand "for every purse and purpose."

"Buick was known for decades as 'the doctor car,' " said Jeff Taylor, curator of the Alfred P. Sloan Museum in Flint, Mich. "It was for professionals who just weren't comfortable with the flashiness of a Cadillac."

Buick prospered by building big cars with powerful engines and often stunning styling. They scored hits with the sporty 1953 Skylark convertible and the knife-edged 1963 Riviera.

But Buick seemed to have lost its way during the 1970s gas crunch and the demands in the '80s to meet new safety standards.

"Designers at GM were used to wider, lower and longer," said Charles "Chuck" Jordan, vice president of GM Design from 1986 to 1992. "It took us awhile to learn how to hide safety bumpers" that looked like steel I-beams.

In the 1980s, Roger Smith, then GM's chief executive, bought Hughes Aircraft Corp. and Electronic Data Systems Corp. Cash that could have gone into the design and marketing of new cars was used to finance these acquisitions. GM produced look-alike cars because it no longer could afford to do different designs for each brand, Jordan said.

"I remember when you could look at a Buick Park Avenue, an Olds 88 and a Caddy El Dorado and not be able to tell much difference," said Brad Willingham, part-owner of the Boulevard Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership in Signal Hill. "It's tough to sell someone a car like that."

Young, wealthier customers who wanted better cars and more luxury went to the Japanese, "while Buick just kept on being Buick," said auto historian Ken Gross, former director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

As with other GM divisions, Buick suffered from corporate shortsightedness.

In the mid-1990s, for example, Buick sought a new V-8 engine to recapture its reputation for powerful cars. After internal wrangling, GM bosses granted the engine to the Oldsmobile division because it was ailing even more and needed an image boost.

Olds is the only other GM division that has performed worse than Buick. GM killed it in 2003.

As they struggled to make quality vehicles, GM executives had a more difficult time marketing them.

In the early 1990s, then-GM Chairman John Smale brought some of the practices he learned as president of Procter & Gamble Co. One idea was to put different labels on essentially identical cars — the "sporty" Pontiac Grand Prix and the "luxurious" Buick Regal — then market them to different audiences. It didn't work.

"Some of those ideas, from people who thought car marketing was the same as toothpaste marketing, didn't help," said former Buick General Manager Ed Mertz, an engineer who joined GM in 1960 and ran Buick from 1986 until his retirement in 1994.

Since 1999, Buick has used Tiger Woods, whose name and face are known globally. But the golf tournaments that carry Woods' endorsements don't reach out to young buyers because they are largely watched by older men, some of whom might already gravitate to Buicks.

"While you can sell a hot car designed for younger buyers to an old guy, you can't sell a stodgy old car to a young guy," said Bill Porter, Buick's design chief from 1980 until 1996.

"The average Buick buyer is 69, the oldest demographic in the industry, and there aren't many new buyers coming in to replace them," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific market research in Tustin.

GM scored a small public relations coup in 1991 when the LeSabre won top domestic car honors in the widely watched J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. Buick has received a number of quality awards since, but has been unable to turn them into an effective marketing tool.

Last year, Buick introduced its first minivan, the Terraza, 21 years after Chrysler's Dodge minivan hit the market. It wasn't worth the wait. Car & Driver said the Honda Odyssey minivan offered more power, a newer transmission and better fuel economy at the same price. Consumer Reports gave the Terraza a poor reliability rating, writing off the vehicle as "outdated."

There are some signs that there still might be life at Buick.

A pair of new sedans, the LaCrosse launched in late 2004 and the full-size Lucerne introduced in December, though not runaway hits are selling well and receiving positive reviews. Critics also praise the sleek look of the Buick Enclave, a sport utility due later this year. When that happens, Buick dealers will have only three models to sell.

Lutz, GM's vice chairman, says that's part of GM's new strategy to eliminate competition among brands. By offering only a few upscale models and combining Buick dealerships with Pontiac and GMC truck franchises, the Buick brand can have a long life, he said.

GM's goal for Buick shows how far the once mighty has fallen: Company officials say they're now aiming to become the American Lexus.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-buic...dlines-business

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Cananopie    1

Good call BuickEight

Though this article hits on a few key points it seems to be missing the point...

This tailspin didn't necessarily come from the lack of styling and quality within Buick or other GM brands (considering the quality of Buick is higher than the quality of Toyota, totally see my signature for that one). It simply came when the gas shortage hit and GM and the other domestic brands were not prepared for that to happen...

this gave the edge to the foreign gas-sipping brands while these unwieldy American behemoths tried their damndest to create the same thing. But it took time for them to do it and hence they started eating up more of the market. So having a handful of brands became harder to sell because the freedom wasn't there anymore.

GM could never had forseen them to lose so much market in about 50 years time and those who are collecting retirement off of GM's most prosperous years are sucking GM dry... despite their product.

It's not necessarily any brand, person, or departments fault. Surely it could have been handled better but hindsight is always 20/20.

And I'm willing to call bull$h! on Buick STILL having the oldest brand out there. The average buyer being 69 has to be almost 5 years old now because the average age can't be stagnant year after year, it's got to either go up or down and in 2000 I can see the average Buick buyer being old considering they only sold 4 4-door sedans.

The Rendezvous has probably crushed the average age down at LEAST a decade and the fact that this article doesn't even mention the extremely successful SUV is obnoxious. It's like this article should've been written about 4 or 5 years ago when Buick really didn't have any serious changes or positive aspects in mind.

Also I enjoy how the article says Buick isn't relevant without actually coming out and saying it by quoting a GM official saying Buick is still "relevant" in quotes as that was necessary.

If they want to pick on a brand that isn't relevant anymore they might want to go looking in Mercury's direction. Mercury is a luxury package option of Ford vehicles.

It is arguable that Buick has far more relevance within GM than Pontiac seeing that Saturn is in encroaching on its territory.

This article seems to put a lot of GM's problems on the shoulders of Buick. It's fairly obvious that the person who wrote this article didn't really research Buick too in depth. It failed to mention the Rendezvous or the Rainier while mentioning the Terraza like it was even Buick's decision to pick up the cookie-cutter minivan dished out by GM.

However it did touch on the fact that Buick needs to make more exciting product so people will look at the brand again and i can't disagree with that. Hopefully this is starting out with the LaCrosse Super and hopefully there will be a Lucerne Super and REALLY hopefully there will be a flagship that conveys luxury, sport, and elegant design without 4 doors for once.

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thegriffon    5

Buick died because it tried to be another Chevrolet, offering affordable cars to average buyers, instead of sticking to premium vehicles for people with more income. Naturally as they start to get back to that sales are going to fall off, but they'll be more profitable.

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buickguy    0

This article is missing so much. The Lucerne is a hit, what is this jokester talking about? Also, Buick has far fewer models than 10 years ago..even five years ago. That's one reason why they are selling fewer cars.

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wildcat    0

ehaase: Thank you for posting this.

As I've said before, Buick isn't the cause of GM's problems. But GM is d*** sure the cause of Buick's problems. GM is the entity which "damaged" Buick (and Pontiac). They're lucky sales didn't fall of 75% when all that they were offering was, essentially, two cars (the Century + Regal, the LeSabre + Park Avenue), then they delay the replacement for the Century and Regal, then they end LeSabre production but didn't start up Lucerne production right away, then they get a lot of positive reaction to Enclave but schedule it third in order of release for the Lambdas.

Cananopie: You're right. The Rendezvous' average buyer age was 58. When Buick has had any sort of decent product, it has sold (that leaves out the Terraza rebadge and pedestrian LaCrosse). All GM has done in the last 15 years with Buick is take, take, take.

the griffon: Buick didn't die. As Jerry Flint said, if they can't save Buick, they can't save anything.

What does GM do? Kill recognizable nameplates (LeSabre, Century) and pick goofy new ones (Lucerne, Statesman). Buick's got a great, American heritage and they need to be allowed to use it.

Instead, GM only knows to harvest all the profits it can; corporate shortsightedness is right.

I do agree with the article that Buick hasn't been able to capitalize on its quality awards, though lately when you go to their website or see ads, I think they're trying.

I don't see any benefit in having Tiger Woods.

GM royally screwed up Oldsmobile (wasn't it the oldest American brand?), and has nearly killed Buick and Pontiac. Nice job, ***holes!

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Cananopie    1

I don't see any benefit in having Tiger Woods.

Yea, no kidding.

I'm not trying to sound too cocky here but they pay that guy millions (right?) to stand by this car and carry a Buick bag and once and a while drive a car... and really I personally could make Buick a lot more noticeable and looked at with that money.

It's like advertising is such a game that they don't think what makes most sense. Yea- the Buick Open is a good idea... but if you need younger buyers you need your commercials on football games and hockey games too because that is where the younger viewers are. You don't need a celebrity for a spokesperson, it is perfectable able to have people like your product without someone famous standing around or using your product.

It's opening up to all different audiences. It's finding the newest and most innovative ways to advertise that get people engaged and interested. Simple things like on the website even having actual pictures of cars with all available colors... with millions of dollars you could make this possible very easily with all the perfect lighting and everything. Or even a picture of it at night and at noon and at dusk or dawn. And they'd be one of the first (maybe only) companies to do that. Everybody hates seeing the fake color on the standardize car. All of the lighting, stances, and photographs could be taken from the exact same as the previous car so that each car would be as real as possible.

What would be even better is if they had real pictures of each color in all those stances with each of the different sets of rims offered that year. Sure- it'd be a pretty big undertaking but it shouldn't take more than a week and a few grand. You only need the cars for some photographs then they can be sold.

This turned in to something way longer than I thought it would and it's pretty off-topic but I just don't understand how they can justify spending the money they do on Tiger. He's a good guy and all but... come on... that money could be spent so much better.

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VenSeattle    8

Any article discussing Buick's woes without mentioning its recent China success is a very shortsighted article.

However, any article that reminds the market that Buick hasn't always been an "old person's" car is beneficial. So it didn't irk me as much as I thought it would (including the inaccuracies.)

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trinacriabob    21

The comment that Buick aspires to be the "American Lexus" is so "also-ran."

Unfortunately, the success of Lexus and Toyota, and the shift in buyer behavior which hat has brought about, has prompted this defensive response.

It would be much nicer to unashamedly and "offensively" espouse the credo of "Premium American Motorcars."

I still think that the problem lies in the perceptions of those who were "screwed" 5 to 20 years ago by domestic (including GM) products. Despite recent advances in quality and longevity, these advancements are falling on deaf ears. As the old adage says, "Once bitten, twice shy."

Sorry, but GM was not "holistically" visionary several decades ago - quality, product overlaps, customer loyalty, lean and mean, and on and on (Thank you, Roger Smith). I hope they can turn the ship around. I plan to stay on for the ride, never having driven anything but a GM vehicle.

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buickguy    0

THE PART OF THE ARTICLE THE LA TIMES DID NOT PRINT:

But there are signs of a turnaround at Buick. The venerable brand still outsold many automakers in 2005, including Acura, Infiniti, Audi, and even Cadillac and Saturn. In fact, Buick sold more LaCrosses than the entire Saab lineup.

Quality is also on the rise at Buick. Buick finished near the top of the JD Power quality studies, above Toyota, Honda, Nissan and 2 dozen other automakers.

And young people are returning to Buick. The average age of the Rendezvous is now 48, and the Lucerne is attracting younger, import drivers. A simple google search of Lucerne user reviews proves that.

Not to mention, China, the world's fastest growing economy. Owning a Buick is a status symbol.

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FUTURE_OF_GM    26

LET US LOOK CLOSER AT THIS ARTICLE TO SEE THE RE-OCCURING THEME AND IT'S REAL GOAL.

Buick has broken down in U.S. showrooms for the same reasons that Americans deserted GM brands such as Chevrolet, Pontiac and Olds in favor of Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Very intentionally put there to undermine both Buick's and GM's quality.

Warnings that GM's luxury car stronghold was about to collapse went unheeded as the automaker clung to the conviction that Americans really would rather have a Buick.

Yep... It's collapsing alright... Buick is UP for the quarter, Cadillac has been on fire for 7 years now and Saab is finally showing signs of life. This, of course, is excluding the 187% increase in Hummer sales.... OH, WOE IS ME!!!!!!!!!

"I remember being told by a GM executive … that they'd never worried about Buick because as people got older and richer, their asses would get fatter and they would always buy Buicks to sit 'em in," said Dan Gorrell, vice president of San Diego market research firm Strategic Vision, which has done consumer studies for GM.

Plays GM out to be the 'big, bad, corporation'

Many Wall Street analysts are increasingly concerned about GM's finances. Some believe the world's largest automaker might file for bankruptcy protection, a move that — because of GM's size — could convulse the entire U.S. economy.

Gotta work bankruptcy in there somewhere!

"They had this arrogant belief that when baby boomers turn 50, 'they belong to us,' and that just didn't happen," Gorrell said.

Good thing that sort of arrogance now lies at places like Toyota.

GM executives insist that Buick is still a "relevant" brand.

The tone of this statement is to make GM out to look like it's in denial.

Wozniak, 46, a Northrop Grumman engineer in El Segundo, has owned three Buicks and an Oldsmobile. "I was raised in a 'buy American' family," he said.

But Wozniak and his wife harbor unpleasant memories of replacing the alternator in their Buick Skylark; the alternator, several electronic ignition controllers and the air conditioning compressor and anti-lock brake system controller in their LeSabre; and the entire automatic transmission in their Oldsmobile Intrigue.

More TRASH talk to undermine GM's reliability.

That was enough to drive the Wozniaks into the foreign camp. Their last three purchases have been a Honda Accord, a Toyota pickup and a Lexus sport coupe.

"All we've had to do with them is change oil," he said. "My next new car sure won't be an American car, I don't care what kind of incentives they offer."

Reinforces the "Don't be lead into feeling sorry for them, even if they do offer cash." mindset... Almost like a pep talk to a kid.

Last year, Lexus — the luxury division of Toyota Motor Corp. — gave Buick the final push off its perch, outselling it for the first time.

Implying that Buick is dead... And you can smell the arrogance in this statement

(No mention of Buick whipping Lexus ass in the J.D. Power ratings though...hmmm. Guess that "ledge" is around back. OH WAIT, we justify THAT with 'save our ass' statements like "Lexus buyers are more picky" RIGHT?) Then again, that would UNDERMINE the WHOLE POINT of the article, right?

Buick was founded in 1903 by a marketing genius named William Durant, who gobbled up the competition. Five years later, he formed GM. His successor, Alfred P. Sloan, crafted the strategy of offering a car brand "for every purse and purpose."

You know, a GOOD smear campaign usually AT LEAST has correct facts.

Olds is the only other GM division that has performed worse than Buick. GM killed it in 2003.

Sweet victory for you media guys right???? Not only do you insult Buick, but you also step on the grave of Oldsmobile?

As they struggled to make quality vehicles, GM executives had a more difficult time marketing them.

AGAIN with the quality bull$h!. OH, AND IT RECEIVED THE HIGHEST "DOMESTIC" REWARD IN J.D.POWERS.... Because we all know that import elite are far and above domestic buyers... Carve out a chunk of the market for Japan Inc. and then fence it off... THAT'S the medias motto!

"The average Buick buyer is 69, the oldest demographic in the industry, and there aren't many new buyers coming in to replace them," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific market research in Tustin.

Lucerne seems to be doing well.

A pair of new sedans, the LaCrosse launched in late 2004 and the full-size Lucerne introduced in December, though not runaway hits

I beg your f*ckin' pardon?!?!?! The Lucerne is a HUGE hit IMO!

GM's goal for Buick shows how far the once mighty has fallen: Company officials say they're now aiming to become the American Lexus.

Buick's new goal to only sell a few models fits into the SLOAN model perfectly! GM divisions NEVER were full line manufacturers until the late 60's and 70's. Their goal to become the american lexus is more of a PR ploy than anything substantial since 'head in the sand' idiots like you have told the masses LIES that make them perceive Lexus as better than Buick now.

*****ANOTHER SMEAR ARTICLE AGAINST BUICK! AND FROM CALIFORNIA NO LESS... MAYBE THAT LUCERNE IS DOING WELL IN CALI THEN, BECAUSE, HONESTLY, WHY ELSE WOULD ANYONE DO A RANDOM ARTICLE SUCH AS THIS??? OTHER THAN TO SMEAR BUICK'S NAME. NOTICE HOW THE ARTICLE REPEATEDLY FOCUSED ON BAD QUALITY, WHICH IS, I THINK, TO COMBAT BUICKS RECENT HIGH QUALITY RATINGS AND THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO NOTICE. ALMOST A "REINFORCEMENT" ISSUE TO MAKE THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE MAYBE BEGINNING TO LOOK SNAP OUT OF IT AND PASS BUICK BY. OR MAYBE THIS IS PRINTED TO TRY AND CAST DOUBT BEFORE THE ENCLAVE DEBUT. OR, HELL, MAYBE SINCE PONTIAC IS ON THE SKIDS NOW, THE MEDIA IS FOCUSING ON BUICK AND TRYING TO GET A 2 FOR 1 PHASE OUT (WHICH WOULD BE A HUGE VICTORY!)

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CARBIZ    1

Two points really hit home for me: the remark from a former GM owner who bitches about how bad his 1980s Skylark was. Very clever in not pointing out that the car was from a very long time ago. As has been pointed out here, this is the perception problem: of course a 1995 Accord was a better car than a 1980s Skylark. Each generation of either domestic or imported vehicles is naturally better than the one before it.

Secondly, it occured to me when the article quotes an (arrogant) GM executive talking about "fat assed" Americans that Toyota doesn't have this problem because, firstly, nobody here speaks Japanese and we wouldn't know what they said or thought about American consumers and, secondly, because Toyota's headquarters is in Japan where they don't have to put up with pesky American writers looking for exclusives and dirt. Surely this is an advantage for Japan Inc.

And what is wrong with old geezers anyway? I've sold two Impalas in the past month to 70+ year olds and let me tell you - they have the money and they know what they want. I'd rather sell them than a snotty, know-it-all 23 year old who thinks everything Japanese is supreme and is only looking at a Cobalt because his dad is co-signing and is making him look at the Cobalt!

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turbo200    6

can't read all your opinions yet, but

Tiger Woods does nothing for Buick. Another wasted effort by GM. The cars need to sell themselves, and as has been touched upon many times by many here, Buicks just don't do that at this time. Millions down the drain, he does nothing. Neither does marketing with the golf tournaments. The market for current Buicks is pretty much this:senior citizens [no offense guys]. Though nice cars, average Buicks are very conservative in appeal and often meet the needs of seniors very well [though they should be piloting small-ish Volvos, or just anything that tracks really really well imo]. They are not the car for the avid golfer. If I were GM, I would put all that advertising money into development, since Buicks really sell to thier own audience and don't need much advertising, and golf and Tiger Woods just aren't working. When the cars finally are ready, I would pour the money back into advertising. Buick is languishing, not because of Tiger, not because of PGA, not because of lack of advertising, but because of poor ass cars. Build a better Lexus with the detailing of a Lexus and not REAL exterior presence, and then you'll have a hit. Underprice it, and it will sell.

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VenSeattle    8

Sorry Turbo, but I completely disagree with you about Buick & Golf. Buick has roughly 50 years history with the PGA. There's a lot of money wrapped up in Golf and ANY LUXURY BRAND would die to have Buick's advertising position in the sport. Golf fans and players are young & old alike. Golf isn't dying. It has millions of fans nationally and globally. Buick would be insane to dump all of its heritage and endorsements for Golf during its turnaround.

Can you provide any proof that Golf advertising does nothing for Buick?

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Northstar    11

I agree golf is definetly good for Buick, but I also think that Buick could get a better representative than Tiger. Tiger has too many other things to do since he's the most famous golfer and whatnot, but someone who would have more time to help promote the Buick brand would probably be better. I can't think of any big name golfers that would be better, but there's got to be a different golfer who could endorse Buick more successfully than Tiger has.

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turbo200    6

sorry, i must have emphasized the wrong things. i don't feel golf is dying, nor do i feel it isn't lucrative advertising. it's not a good target for buick in my estimation because the products just aren't there yet. when the products get to be velite levels of execution and design [enclave and the future]; then they will really be taking advantage of the money that they are pouring into the marketing. i don't believe it's a waste to be advertising with the PGA right now, but spending millions on Tiger at this point is imbecilic.

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Chicagoland    2

"The 70+ year olds will not be back to buy another car. The 23-year old will."

The 23 y/o most likley gets a 5+ year old used car, or has parents buy it. It's the "old" 40=60 y/olds who really buy brand new cars.

Also, Buick bashing is so cliche', so 1999. Wake up, those X car Skylarks are over a quarter centruy ago. They forget all the long running reliable cars.

OTOH the 'goofy named' new cars are outselling the 'memorable' names 2 to 1. Buick has renamed cars before many times, get over it. Times change. The 'classic' 1959's were all new names then.

Edited by Chicagoland

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Cananopie    1

sorry, i must have emphasized the wrong things. i don't feel golf is dying, nor do i feel it isn't lucrative advertising. it's not a good target for buick in my estimation because the products just aren't there yet. when the products get to be velite levels of execution and design [enclave and the future]; then they will really be taking advantage of the money that they are pouring into the marketing. i don't believe it's a waste to be advertising with the PGA right now, but spending millions on Tiger at this point is imbecilic.

A famous person standing by and occasionally driving your car does little to nothing for sales. I have yet to meet the person who says "I'm buy this car because ____ advertises for it" Everyone knows he gets paid ridiculous amounts of money for it. Let him stick to being Nike's sponser and put that advertisement money spent on Tiger in places where people actually care.

The Buick website could use a LOT of improvement. So could almost all car websites. As I said- a PICTURE of a car with each color you wouldn't expect to be a huge deal but I have yet to see them. All we see are those lame splash colors thrown on it like it gives an accurate presentation. Advertising on a more variety of stations would be better too.

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turbo200    6

A famous person standing by and occasionally driving your car does little to nothing for sales. I have yet to meet the person who says "I'm buy this car because ____ advertises for it" Everyone knows he gets paid ridiculous amounts of money for it. Let him stick to being Nike's sponser and put that advertisement money spent on Tiger in places where people actually care.

The Buick website could use a LOT of improvement. So could almost all car websites. As I said- a PICTURE of a car with each color you wouldn't expect to be a huge deal but I have yet to see them. All we see are those lame splash colors thrown on it like it gives an accurate presentation. Advertising on a more variety of stations would be better too.

yes and yes. and meaningful product development too. Lucerne could use standard 17s and optional 18s on all models. the base wheels do nothing for the design. GM, are you listening? Many modern luxury cars have switched to bigger wheels standard since aesthetically it's a good distinction from normal cars.

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VenSeattle    8

yes and yes. and meaningful product development too. Lucerne could use standard 17s and optional 18s on all models. the base wheels do nothing for the design. GM, are you listening? Many modern luxury cars have switched to bigger wheels standard since aesthetically it's a good distinction from normal cars.

Actually, very few base cars, luxury or not, come with standard wheels larger than 17". Even the Avalon's base wheels are 16":

Toyota Avalon = 16"

Lexus ES = 16"

Hyundai Azera = 16"

Mercedes E-Class = 17"

BMW 5-Series= 17"

Lexus GS= 17"

Acura RL= 17"

Lexus LS = 17"

Chrysler 300 = 17"

Honda Accord = 16"

Volvo S80 = 17"

Volvo S60 = 16"

etc... etc... So the Lucerne isn't out of character for the market... However 17" & 18" wheels seem to look better on it.

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Paolino    99

Actually, very few base cars, luxury or not, come with standard wheels larger than 17". Even the Avalon's base wheels are 16":

Toyota Avalon = 16"

Lexus ES = 16"

Hyundai Azera = 16"

Mercedes E-Class = 17"

BMW 5-Series= 17"

Lexus GS= 17"

Acura RL= 17"

Lexus LS = 17"

Chrysler 300 = 17"

Honda Accord = 16"

Volvo S80 = 17"

Volvo S60 = 16"

etc... etc... So the Lucerne isn't out of character for the market... However 17" & 18" wheels seem to look better on it.

I agree with you, but the Lucerne is a bit larger than those cars... and it could use the extra size. I'd like to see 17" standard on CX and CXL V6, 18" standard on CXL V8, and optional 20" on CXS (18" standard)

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Cananopie    1

Actually, very few base cars, luxury or not, come with standard wheels larger than 17". Even the Avalon's base wheels are 16":

Toyota Avalon = 16"

Lexus ES = 16"

Hyundai Azera = 16"

Mercedes E-Class = 17"

BMW 5-Series= 17"

Lexus GS= 17"

Acura RL= 17"

Lexus LS = 17"

Chrysler 300 = 17"

Honda Accord = 16"

Volvo S80 = 17"

Volvo S60 = 16"

etc... etc... So the Lucerne isn't out of character for the market... However 17" & 18" wheels seem to look better on it.

The thing is almost all of these companies don't have a slipping image with the public. They can get lazy and people will buy them anyway. 16 inch rims only hurt Buick's image now. Rim size alone have brought the look of Nissan current and new looking though they have a lot better design too.

Nobody ever wants 16 inch rims for their car so why offer them? They might be cheaper but people need to look twice at Buick again and larger rims ALWAYS get the younger crowds looking.

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