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Buick Among Brands Setting New Sales Records

New Envision could put it on another record pace in 2016.

by on Dec.21, 2015

The Buick Envision has been a hit in China and could deliver similar results in the U.S.

With U.S. auto sales all but certain to end the year with an all-time record, and global auto sales running at an equally torrid pace, more than a few individual brands are set to celebrate a solid year. A number of marques, including Subaru, Audi and Porsche, already set all-time U.S. or global sales records by the end of November.

And quite a few others are expected to put 2015 into the record books when the year’s numbers are tallied in less than two weeks. That includes Buick. Yes, Buick, a brand General Motors came close to abandoning when it emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009.

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“Buick’s momentum is undeniable as new customers worldwide discover Buick’s lineup of beautiful, approachable premium vehicles,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick.


Buick Hopes to Encore with New Compact CUV

GM entry-lux brand needs a boost.

by on Jan.22, 2013

The Buick Encore finally reaches U.S. showrooms.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Buick’s new Encore compact crossover-utility vehicle.

Buick, which many didn’t expect to survive parent General Motors’ 2009 bankruptcy, has been struggling to redefine itself in a market where it had, for the past several decades, become increasingly irrelevant.  But there have been signs of revival and along with several other recent additions to the line-up, the maker will use the new Buick Encore to target young buyers who until now might not have even considered the brand.

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“We’re going to see new folks…coming into the showroom,” promises Encore marketing manager Lloyd Biermann, adding that, “They’re going to be younger, as well.”

Or so the maker hopes — and counts on — as it struggles to keep pace with the rest of the rebounding U.S. auto industry.


First Look: 2013 Buick Enclave

Leading the Buick renaissance, part II.

by on Apr.03, 2012

Buick makes major design changes, inside and out,with the 2013 Enclave.

There aren’t many cars that can take credit for saving an entire brand.  But the Enclave crossover-utility vehicle is arguably one of the main reasons why there’s still a Buick.

“It was essential” when originally introduced five years ago, suggests marketing chief Tony DiSalle. “The Enclave led the renaissance of Buick.”

And a significantly updated version of the now aging Buick Enclave will be rolling into the New York Auto Show this week as the General Motors “mid-luxury” division continues rebuilding the brand.

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When Enclave debuted in 2007 it was yet another crossover designed to look more like a conventional sport-utility vehicle, recalls Dave Lyon, Buick’s design chief.  “Everybody was trying make crossovers look as truck-like as possible.”  But this time, he says, “We’ve gone the other direction.”

The basic powertrain carries over for 2013.

While the 2013 model still delivers the same three-row layout – and seating for either seven or eight – Lyon’s design team has opted for a more sports sedan-like design.  It looked better planted, without the traditional high-off-the-ground stance of an SUV.  The updated Buick grille is timely and elegant, with offset chrome and satin splines.  The headlamps feature LED brows that are echoed in the taillamps.

“We wanted a design that is more assertive and aggressive,” said Lyon, noting the 20-inch relatively low-profile tires.

The 2013 Buick Enclave’s interior has also been upgraded, reflecting the general trend upmarket by the brand’s more recent entries, such as LaCrosse, Regal and Verano. There’s a soft blue ambient light that sweeps from the doors through the center of the instrument panel.  A heavily grained leather panel rides atop the IP, framing the all-new center console and contrasting the softer leather used throughout the rest of the big crossover.

The 2013 Buick Enclave's redesigned interior.

The center stack is anchored by an updated LED screen that features Buick’s all-new touch and voice-controlled infotainment system – which can remotely operate a number of smartphone apps, including Pandora and Stitcher.

One of the three top-sellers in the big crossover segments, the Enclave has shown surprising pulling power.  When it was first introduced, Buick was an also-ran that, after years of steady decline seemed destined for the automotive scrap heap.  The brand was unexpectedly retained following GM’s 2009 bankruptcy – even while the maker abandoned Saab, Hummer, Saturn and Pontiac.  The strength of the Buick brand in China was one reason but, DiSalle says, Enclave was another plus.

Particular surprising, despite a steady onslaught of competitive models, Enclave sales actually rose last year, even as Buick prepared for the newly revealed remake.

The revised grille of the '13 Enclave.

The new model retains its underlying platform – as well as a direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 paired with a revised 6-speed automatic.  The 2013 Buick Enclave will continue to be offered in both front and all-wheel-drive configurations, with the FWD model delivering an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway.

DiSalle is betting that this number should appeal to those who still want the roominess of a three-row ute but want good mileage.

Another pitch to family buyers is the world’s first front-center airbag system, which will be shared with several other GM crossovers, including the big Chevrolet Traverse.  The technology is designed to minimize injuries in the event of a size-impact collision when passengers might otherwise bang into one another.


Buick Back for an Encore

Maker targets emerging compact luxury crossover market.

by on Jan.11, 2012

The Buick Encore making its debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show this week.

It wasn’t all that long ago that most analysts were ready to write off the Buick brand, many being shocked by General Motors’ decision not to abandon the long-struggling nameplate – as it did Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Hummer – when it emerged from bankruptcy.

Senior officials said that was something they were loath to do considering Buick’s strong success in China, where it has been greatly out-selling the U.S.  But sales in both market are on the rise and a wave of new products, such as the Regal and recently added Verano can explain.

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But now Buick is hoping to be out in front, rather than lagging behind rivals as it continues its push to develop a niche it has been describing as “affordable luxury.” And the latest model to target that self-defined segment is the Buick Encore which is getting its world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.


Buick Delivers an Encore – With New Small SUV

Maker to again expand line-up with Detroit reveal.

by on Dec.15, 2011

Buick offers a close-up tease of the new Encore CUV.

The once nearly forgotten Buick brand is on a roll and will add yet another new model to its line-up with the introduction of a small crossover-utility vehicle during next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

It’s believed to be sized to go up against more mainstream models, such as the newly redesigned Honda CR-V, though the Buick Encore will be targeted at a more luxurious segment of the market, just beneath General Motors’ highline Cadillac brand.

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It’s believed Buick will use an all-new platform for Encore, though the maker is holding back on all other details until its news conference at the annual Detroit gathering.

The unveiling of the Encore will bring the fifth new model – and third new crossover/SUV – to the Buick line-up in just five years.  That’s a significant turnaround for the long-failing brand, which until the latter part of the last decade had steadily lost most of its products due to lagging sales.


Buick Revealing New CUV at Detroit Auto Show

2013 model expected to carry Encore nameplate.

by on Dec.07, 2011

Buick will add a new small crossover to its rapidly expanding line-up.

What can Buick do for an Encore?

The once-terminal General Motors brand has been given a new lease on life with products like the Enclave, LaCrosse and, most recently, the Verano.  But in today’s crowded market you’re only as good as your latest product.

Which means Buick will be coming to the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, next month with what company officials acknowledge will be a new small crossover vehicle.  While details are scarce, expect it to be dubbed the Buick Encore and go on sale in the 2013 model-year.

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The new CUV will be one of a number of new General Motors products scheduled to make their debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.  As TheDetroitBureau.com reported Monday, that will include the new Cadillac ATS, a compact sedan taking aim at the fastest-growing niche in the luxury car market.  The maker also plans to show the production version of the sporty Chevrolet Sonic RS and two Chevy concept vehicles.