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Drew Dowdell

Buick News: Buick Cascada Dead After 2019

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Buick's compact convertible, the Buick Cascada, won't be returning for 2020.  Buick has informed dealers that final orders for the car need to be in by the end of the month as production of the car is scheduled to end in the summer. The Cascada is produced by GM's former Opel division, now owned by PSA, in Poland.

The Cascada was Buick's first convertible since the the Buick Reatta.  Approximately 17,000 have been sold since the car went on sale in 2016.

The discontinuation of the Cascada, along with the pending departure of the LaCrosse, mark Buick's slow creep towards being an all-crossover brand.


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As excited as I was when this car came out, I was totally disappointed in it when I saw it at the Seattle Auto show and just not myself but average size people had a hard time fitting in it and the amount of questions all focused on why just a black interior and why just all hard plastic, why does it feel and look so cheap was pretty much a doom from the beginning.

This was a great idea, but poorly executed car that will always fail to live up to what was expected.

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I sort of like this little rig.  May be a nice used car find in a couple years, if you have spare dough and want a 3rd vehicle for top down summer cruising.  

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I can see Buick as an all crossover brand (at least in the US) come 2021 model year.  Without Opel to source cars why bother selling a fancy Malibu when sedans aren’t big sellers anyway.

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37 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

I can see Buick as an all crossover brand (at least in the US) come 2021 model year.  Without Opel to source cars why bother selling a fancy Malibu when sedans aren’t big sellers anyway.

Without cars, Buick would  be completely redundant w/ GMC and pointless...

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27 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Without cars, Buick would  be completely redundant w/ GMC and pointless...

Envision and Terrain are the same size but Encore is smaller than both and Acadia is smaller than Enclave and Yukon is biggest.  So they have enough size spacing.  Cadillac is about to overlap all those vehicles too, I am sure dealers want an XT3.  I don’t hink GM cares, SUVs equal profit.  Chevy and GMC overlapped for decades and they don’t care.

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1 hour ago, Robert Hall said:

Without cars, Buick would  be completely redundant w/ GMC and pointless...

Makes me wonder if GM would not take the smart Business sense of killing off Buick in the US. Leave it GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac which would make more sense to me than wasting dollars on Buick name plate.

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I thought Buick was unto something just before the bankruptcy with the Buick Enclave and then right after the bankruptcy when Buick had a great car in the new Lacrosse and then the little Verano and Encore. I thought Buick was gonna push through and BE something.

But I forgot to acknowledge that Buick, really had no brand identity to make me believe that they would succeed.

What is Buick's brand identity?

What has Buick's brand identity been since the 1980s?  They produced the Grand National and the GNX which were awesome cool rides. but why did they even do that?  Those GNs did not fit with anything they had.  It did put them on the map, I guess, but Buick never followed through with anything remotely close to being sporty after that. They had the Reatta, which was cool, but it took another 25 years to get another convertible in their stable. And both convertibles lasted 3 years each...

What were they producing in the 1990s that gave them a brand identity?

NOTHING!

When Oldsmobile died, Saturn kinda took they place, but not really.  Saturn's initial brand identity was scrapped in favour of imitating Oldsmobile's new found resurgence in being a foreign brand fighter, which was technically Saturn's thing too, but Oldsmobile was the one that had any real steam going forward and GM just killed them.

Screwing up Saturn in the process too.

But Buick? What WAS Buick's brand identity.

Oldsmobile and Saturn went away and it seems like GM tried to get Buick to start where Oldsmobile left off.

But with NO clear direction...

Saturn got Opel's in the end, so Buick peddled Opels unto Buick when Saturn went away...

OK...but Buick NEVER had a CLEAR AND CONCISE direction to follow. 

So I ask again. What is Buick's raison d'etre in North America?

Why should I buy a Buick anything over its competition? And THAT competition INCLUDES Chevrolet and Cadillac and GMC... 

 

PS:  If Buick goes away in North America, and it just might as Buick is not distinguished enough to stand out as a brand that someone might be proud of owning...what a sad state of affairs for the conglomerate that is called "General" Motors.

General Motors used to mean something. 

It meant Chevrolet.  (visions of Bel Airs, Impalas and Corvettes) 

It meant Pontiac. (visions of Bonnevilles and Grand Prixs and GTOs and Trans Ams)

It meant Oldsmobile (visions of the Rocket 88 and Cutlass) 

it meant Buick ( Doctor's cars. THE Roadmaster. The Rat Pack Riviera)

it meant Cadillac (THE STANDARD OF THE WORLD)

We are now gonna be reduced to Chevy and Cadillac...

Nah, I dont include GMC in this as I get visions of Chevrolet rebranded trucks. In other words, I think of Chevrolet when I think of GMC...

ITS PITIFUL!!!

Edited by oldshurst442
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5 minutes ago, balthazar said:

^ The irony is, during those years of your visions, there was just as much 'redundancy' as in recent times. More actually.

Yeah! No kidding! 

But it somehow worked. But Buick had mojo.  The engineers built Buick motors that were beasts. The stylists gave Buick some pizzazz.  Ditto for Pontiac.   

What happened? Why did it go all to hell? 

HOW did they let it all go to hell? 

WHY did they let it all go to hell? 

Edited by oldshurst442
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The problem started back in the late 70s / early 80s when every single division decided they had to be a full line auto retailer and that meant that (at GM anyway) they needed every vehicle from a J-Body up to a full B-Body plus a few extras in between.  Ford did the same thing... Mercury got a cohort to every Ford car except Festiva (Tracer/Lynx, Topaz, Sable, Marquis, Zephyr, Grand Marquis, Cougar, Capri (Fox body)).  Chrysler just made everything a K-Car or M-Body for all their brands.

And it's all being repeated today with crossovers. 

Aside: I went to the Pittsburgh Auto Show today with friends.  As much as I don't really care for the interior of the Regal Tour X, the exterior of that car is very striking in todays world. It looks very European.  It'll be a sad day when that one goes too. 

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The only things that keep Buick from becoming a China-only brand are the Enclave and the Encore (maybe the Envision).  The Lacrosse is dying, and so is the Cascada.  I would not be surprised if the Regal and Verano disappear within the next two years while we are at it.

Sadly, GM in the last 40 years has found ways to destroy brand equity by making virtually all cars the same with few real differences.  "Make it cheaper; make it common" killed Oldsmobile and Saturn and Pontiac.  Only China keeps Buick afloat.  For every Buick sold here, Buick sells four vehicles in China.

Solve those issues and Buick might be salvageable here in the land where it was born and raised.

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2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The problem started back in the late 70s / early 80s when ever single division decided they had to be a full line auto retailer and that meant that (at GM anyway) they needed every vehicle from a J-Body up to a full B-Body plus a few extras in between.  Ford did the same thing... Mercury got a cohort to every Ford car except Festiva (Tracer/Lynx, Topaz, Sable, Marquis, Zephyr, Grand Marquis, Cougar, Capri (Fox body)).  Chrysler just made everything a K-Car or M-Body for all their brands.

And it's all being repeated today with crossovers. 

And this mindset is still going on with many critics. 'When is Cadillac going to build a 1-Series comeptitor?' It's unsustainable and it's NOT for every brand. I'm sure most brands out there have money-losing lines; nearly everyone is overextended. The idea that one needs a sedan/crossover for every half foot of overall length is ludicrous.

"Make it cheaper; make it common" killed Oldsmobile and Saturn and Pontiac. 

Only China keeps Buick afloat.  For every Buick sold here, Buick sells four vehicles in China.


That's not what did it- it was eroding marketshare. At GM's size then, a long decline in volume would not be sustainable with the then-current footprint. But I disagree on China- there's no reason I've ever seen clearly stated that says Buick could not be a China-only brand. NOT THAT I WANT THAT, I'm just saying. Just like 'full-line brands', not all brands need or can be global.
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4 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

Without cars, Buick would  be completely redundant w/ GMC and pointless...

Buick does make more sense as a ‘trim package’ for a brand, at least much more so than having Cadillac be a trim package. 

2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The problem started back in the late 70s / early 80s when ever single division decided they had to be a full line auto retailer and that meant that (at GM anyway) they needed every vehicle from a J-Body up to a full B-Body plus a few extras in between.  Ford did the same thing... Mercury got a cohort to every Ford car except Festiva (Tracer/Lynx, Topaz, Sable, Marquis, Zephyr, Grand Marquis, Cougar, Capri (Fox body)).  Chrysler just made everything a K-Car or M-Body for all their brands.

And it's all being repeated today with crossovers. 

Aside: I went to the Pittsburgh Auto Show today with friends.  As much as I don't really care for the interior of the Regal Tour X, the exterior of that car is very striking in todays world. It looks very European.  It'll be a sad day when that one goes too. 

I am looking towards the tourx as my next ride. I agree, interior could be nicer, but I think when it goes away as a choice, if I don’t have one (I especially want the big moonroof) I’ll have missed an opportunity. 

Edited by regfootball
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12 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

The only things that keep Buick from becoming a China-only brand are the Enclave and the Encore (maybe the Envision).  The Lacrosse is dying, and so is the Cascada.  I would not be surprised if the Regal and Verano disappear within the next two years while we are at it.

Sadly, GM in the last 40 years has found ways to destroy brand equity by making virtually all cars the same with few real differences.  "Make it cheaper; make it common" killed Oldsmobile and Saturn and Pontiac.  Only China keeps Buick afloat.  For every Buick sold here, Buick sells four vehicles in China.

Solve those issues and Buick might be salvageable here in the land where it was born and raised.

Verano is gone already.

I can totally see Buick becoming a China only brand. GMC can pick up the Encore sales with an equivalent Granite. Slap an Envoy badge on the back of an Enclave and that is solved too.  Envision just goes away. 

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What would the 'cost' be to keep all 3 Buick CUVs as Buicks in the US, with no cars? Buick is unilaterally paired with GMC as it is.

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Just now, balthazar said:

What would the 'cost' be to keep all 3 Buick CUVs as Buicks in the US, with no cars? Buick is unilaterally paired with GMC as it is.

All of the costs associated with advertising and maintaining a brand. Separate badging, different designs.  Doing what I propose gets cheaper when they don't have to paint the airwaves with "That's not a Buick!" commercials just to convince people that Buicks aren't for old people. 

GMC doesn't have that kind of baggage.  I would be shocked if Barra isn't considering closing Buick already. 

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Have yet to see one of these in person, never sold up here.

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Demographic changes will make the point moot. Other than the rough adventure types... Or posh sentimentals no in my circles care about domestic brands, especially the non-main line ones.

I would consider Cadillac here main-line because it has more pedigree. Buick does not get lumped into that. Chevy is seen as all manners of bad acronyms associated with 'GM'. 

GMC and Denali seem immune. No one can kill that one. Professional grade. Thought every time I see a Terrain, its in SLT trim. I have yet to see anything Denali that isn't a pickup truck or Yukon 

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53 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

All of the costs associated with advertising and maintaining a brand. Separate badging, different designs.  Doing what I propose gets cheaper when they don't have to paint the airwaves with "That's not a Buick!" commercials just to convince people that Buicks aren't for old people. 

GMC doesn't have that kind of baggage.  I would be shocked if Barra isn't considering closing Buick already. 

RE : advertising- it costs exactly the same to market a 'GMC Enclave' as it would a 'Buick Enclave' (broadcast & print). Hardly any print brochures anymore. Same with badges. Same with stamping a 'Buick' nose as stamping a 'GMC' nose. I'm not seeing a cost savings moving the Buivk CUVs over to GMC unless it meant eliminating the same platform CUV. Off hand, not sure which of those currently out are on the same platform- GMC doesn't have a same platform Enclave or Encore, correct? What is the current overlap?

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2 minutes ago, balthazar said:

RE : advertising- it costs exactly the same to market a 'GMC Enclave' as it would a 'Buick Enclave' (broadcast & print). Hardly any print brochures anymore. Same with badges. Same with stamping a 'Buick' nose as stamping a 'GMC' nose. I'm not seeing a cost savings moving the Buivk CUVs over to GMC unless it meant eliminating the same platform CUV. Off hand, not sure which of those currently out are on the same platform- GMC doesn't have a same platform Enclave or Encore, correct? What is the current overlap?

All things being equal, you are correct... but things aren't equal.  Like it or not, Buick has baggage with the general population that takes a lot of "We're not just for old people" type advertising to overcome.  GMC doesn't have any of that... it's a lot easier to convince someone to buy a Denali than it is to convince someone to buy a Buick.  Rappers rap about Denali.

There is supposed to be a GMC version of the Encore coming next time the platform gets redesign (soon).  The Enclave is on the same platform, though different wheelbase, as the Acadia.  Envision is on the same platform as the Terrain.   

Simply put, without the cars, there isn't much reason for Buick to continue to exist. 

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4 hours ago, oldshurst442 said:

Yeah! No kidding! 

But it somehow worked. But Buick had mojo.  The engineers built Buick motors that were beasts. The stylists gave Buick some pizzazz.  Ditto for Pontiac.   

What happened? Why did it go all to hell? 

HOW did they let it all go to hell? 

WHY did they let it all go to hell? 

It worked in the 50s and 60s because the Germans and Japanese cars weren’t here.  When competition arrived GM crapped the bed.  How?  Bad management and laziness and arrogance. 

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Of course they were. Mercedes were sold out of Studebaker dealers since the early 50s, and toyota came here in '57.
But the bulk of 'when it worked' was the 1960s and 1970s, when multiple germans & japanese makes were sold here nation-wide.
 

MB Stude dealer.png

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The imports didn’t really hit the market big until the 70s, mainly due to gas crisis.  Cadillac sold 350,000 cars in 1978 and 150,000 last year.  

Mad far as the brands go, GMC has the most consistent and focused marketing and brand image, they have been constant with it for a long time.  GMC is their best managed brand, Cadillac is probably their most mismanaged but Buick has a lot of baggage and a small line that was mostly made up of stuff from other brands.  I would say Buick is the weakest brand so if they had to kill one that would be it.  I don’t think GM will kill Buick in the USA though.

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      Let’s talk about the front seats, The Regal GS comes fitted with racing-style front seat with aggressive side bolstering and faux holes towards the top where the belts for a harness would go into. This design seems more at home in a hardcore Corvette than a Buick. Before you start thinking that the seat design only allows a small group of people to fit, Buick has fitted adjustable bolstering to allow a wide set of body types to sit comfortably. With this and other power adjustments, I was able to find a position that suited me. Over a long drive, the seats were able to provide the right amount of support and comfort.
      The back seats don’t get the same “race car” treatment as the front, but they do offer ample head and legroom for most passengers. Cargo space is quite impressive with 31.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 60.7 when folded. The Kia Stinger I drove back in January pales in comparison with 23.3 and 40.9 cubic feet.
      The Regal GS features an eight-inch touchscreen with the new Buick Infotainment 3 system. As I mentioned in my Silverado/Sierra 1500 review, the new system is worlds better than Intellilink. The interface has been cleaned up with simpler graphics and fonts that are much easier to read. Also seeing noticeable improvements is the overall performance. The system is much faster when bringing up different functions or crunching a route on the optional navigation system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE round off the system. 
      With the effort Buick has put in, you might have the feeling that the Regal GS has something special under the hood. That isn’t the case. Under the hood of the GS is GM’s venerable 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet. While the V6 packs 40 more horsepower than the 2.0L turbo-four from the last-generation model, it is also down 13 pound-feet. This absence becomes apparent when you decide to sprint away from a stoplight or exiting a corner as you need to work the engine to get that rush of power. A numb throttle response doesn’t help. If you resist from attack mode, the V6 reveals a quiet and refined nature. But again, you will need to work the engine when merging or making a pass.
      Before someone shouts “put a turbo on it”, Buick cannot do that as there isn’t enough space in the engine bay due to the design of the platform. We’ve known about this issue since 2016 when Holden was gearing up to launch the Commodore - its version of the OpelVauxhall Insignia.
      The nine-speed automatic transmission goes about its business with unobtrusive shifts when going about your daily errands, but offers up snappy shifts when you decide to get aggressive. A glaring omission on this sports sedan is the lack of paddle shifters. 
      Fuel economy for the 2019 Regal GS is 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined. I saw an average of 20 during the week. This can likely to be attributed to the test vehicle having under 1,000 miles on the odometer. 
      On paper, the Regal GS’ handling credentials seem top-notch with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system and a GKN all-wheel drive system featuring a twin-clutch torque-vectoring rear differential. The latter allows a varying amount of power sent to each rear wheel to improve cornering. In the real world, the GS is more Grand Tourer than Gran Sport. While the sedan shows little body roll, its reflexes are slightly muted due to a nearly 3,800 pound curb weight. The steering provides a decent amount of weight when turning, but don’t expect a lot of road feel. What about that AWD system? For the most part, you really won’t notice working unless you decide to push the limits or practice your winter driving skills in a snowy and empty parking lot. 
      Thanks to the CDC system, the Regal GS’ ride is surprisingly smooth. With the vehicle in Tour, the suspension glides over bumps and imperfections. The ride begins to get choppy if you One area that I’m glad Buick is still focusing on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. 
      The 2019 Buick Regal GS is a case of expectations being put too high. Despite what the exterior and sports seats of the interior may hint at, this isn’t a sports sedan like a Kia Stinger GT or something from a German luxury brand. But my feelings began to change when I thought of the GS as being more of a grand tourer. It has the ingredients such as a refined powertrain, a suspension that can be altered to provide either a comfortable or sporty ride; and minimizing the amount of outside noise.
      There lies the overall problem with Regal GS as Buick doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sport sedan or a luxury sedan with grand tourer tendencies? This confusion will likely cause many people to look at something else which is a big shame.
      How I Would Configure a 2019 Buick Regal GS.
      My particular configuration would be similar to the vehicle tested here with the Driver Confidence Package #2, Sights and Sounds, and Appearance packages. The only change would be adding the White Frost Tricoat color, which adds an additional $1,095 to the price. All together, it comes out to $44,210.
      Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:
      Kia Stinger: The big elephant in the room when talking about the Regal GS. For a similar amount of cash, you can step into the base GT model with its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive setup (AWD adds $2,200). I came away very impressed with the styling, performance on tap from the V6, and handling prowess. Downsides include the interior design being a bit too minimalist and the ride being a bit rough. Volkswagen Arteon: The other dark horse to the Regal GS. There is no doubt that the Arteon is quite handsome with flowing lines and sleek fastback shape. Having sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I found it to be very roomy and upscale in terms of the interior materials. I hope to get some time behind the wheel in the near future to see how it measures up in handling. Disclaimer: Buick Provided the Regal GS, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Buick
      Model: Regal
      Trim: GS
      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
      Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
      Base Price: $39,070
      As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Confidence Package #2: $1,690.00
      Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
      Appearance Package: $485.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Buick is introducing a Sport Touring package for 2020.  The ST is available on the Enclave Essence trim and includes a unique grille with body color surround, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels. The ST remains powered by the same 3.6-liter V6 producing 310 HP and 266 lb-ft of torque, the same unit in all other Enclaves. 
      Other features added to the rest of the Enclave lineup include a new next-generation infotainment system with 8-inch diagonal screen. When equipped, the system supports SiriusXM with 360L which combines satellite and streaming to deliver more content. The setup requires a subscription to both SiriusXM All Access and GM Connected Vehicle services (on-board WiFi). 
      The rear vision camera has been upgraded to High-Def and a High-Def Surround vision system.  Standard on the Premium and Avenir, the driver and front passenger seat are upgraded with 4-way power lumbar and a massaging seat. 
      Three new colors are available: Champagne Gold Metallic, Dark Moon Blue Metallic, and an Avenir only Rich Garnet Metallic.
      The 2020 Buick Enclave goes on sale late summer with a starting price of $41,195 including destination charge.


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