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Buick Breaks Streak, Takes Third on Consumer Reports’ Most Reliable List

Brand's small line-up helps push rankings.

by on Oct.24, 2016

The Buick Encore's strong finish was matched by the rest of the brand's line-up, giving it a third-place result in this year's Consumer Reports survey.

Consumer Reports regularly puts all of the automakers through their paces trying to determine which brands should be deemed most reliable.

And reliably, Asian brands tend to dominate the top 10 list – except this year.

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Buick hatched a surprise and finished third in this year’s listing of the Most Reliable Brands behind Lexus and Toyota. The result marked the first time in three decades that a Detroit-based brand make the top 10 list. (more…)

Buick on Target for New Sales Record with 2 Months to Go

Global sales up 23% for the year.

by on Oct.18, 2016

The Buick Envision is the first Chinese-made vehicles sold by a major automaker in the U.S.

For a brand that came close to being shut down six years ago, Buick is showing solid signs of good health, the maker today reporting it has topped the 1 million sales mark in record time with more than two months of the year left to continue burnishing the total.

Worldwide, Buick sales are up 23% so far this year – but the numbers can be a misleading. While there is no question Buick is on a record pace, the maker still lags behind prior peaks in the U.S. What’s driving the Buick build-up is the brand’s continuing momentum in China, now its largest single market.

Brand News!

In fact, General Motors officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com that the only reason Buick was not cast aside – along with Saab, Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac – when the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2010 was because of the damage that would have caused in China.

(more…)

Buick Launching All-New Avenir Sub-Brand

Patterned on company’s “Denali” label, it arrives in 2018.

by on Sep.30, 2016

Coming in 2018, Buick hopes Avenir will bring the same returns that Denali does for GMC.

Buick, an automaker long associated with smooth, “boulevard” driving is about to launch a new sub-brand dubbed “Avenir.”

The name means “future,” in French, and is meant to cover the most exclusive of Buick’s future models. Avenir first appeared on a wildly popular Buick concept vehicle that made its debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Branding News!

“Through the first half of 2016, Buick has been the industry’s fastest-growing major international brand, and Avenir is key to future growth and delivering on the high expectations of new customers coming to our showrooms,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global Buick sales, service and marketing. “Avenir will be Buick’s signature.” (more…)

Buick Confirms TDB Report: Will Halt Verano Production

Brand shifting focus to SUVs.

by on May.27, 2016

Heading off into the sunset, the Buick Verano.

General Motors  will end U.S. production and sales of the compact Buick sedan, confirming a report first posted by TheDetroitBureau.com this spring.

The move reflects the broad market shift from conventional passenger cars to sport- and crossover-utility vehicles. Buick utility-vehicle line-up is expected to account for as much as 70% of its sales over the next several years, according to senior brand planners.

Product News!

Sales of the Verano were down nearly 12% for the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2015. And last year’s total sales of 31,886 of the sedans was a 27% drop from 2014.

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Buick Reportedly Planning to Kill Off Verano

Move would mark another shift from cars to SUVs.

by on May.10, 2016

Buick will be dropping the Verano as it shifts from passenger cars to light trucks.

Just days after Fiat Chrysler outlined plans to phase out several of its passenger car models and shift production to its SUVs and pickups, reports have surfaced indicating General Motors’ Buick will drop the small Verano sedan model as the brand shifts its own focus to a growing line-up of sport-utility vehicles.

The move would not surprise industry observers who have been observing more and more American motorists walk away from traditional passenger cars in favor of utility vehicles, pickups and other light truck models that, in recent months, have accounted for as much as 60% of new vehicle sales in the U.S.

Tracking Trends!

The shift has forced manufacturers to rethink both manufacturing and product development strategies. And, in some cases, it has led them to cut back or even idle production at some of the plants producing slow-selling sedan and coupe models, such as Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and the Orion Assembly Plant that produces the Verano.

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First Look: 2017 Buick Encore

Utes expected to make up ¾ of Buick sales.

by on Mar.22, 2016

The 2017 Buick Encore makes its NY debut.

Buick is set to give a new face and more to the best-selling model in it line-up. And if the 2017 Buick Encore only does as well as the current model, General Motors’ “premium” brand is betting that crossovers will soon account for as much as three-quarters of its U.S. sales.

First launched in 2013, the Encore is not only the number one model in the Buick line-up but the leader in its market segment, a key reason why the brand has so much riding on the debut of the 2017 update at the New York International Auto Show this week.

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“The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing.

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Reliability Woes Worsen, Warns New J.D. Power Study

Tech issues now make up 20% of reported problems.

by on Feb.24, 2016

Lexus topped the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, the 2013 GS also a segment winner.

Two things seem to be true about the newest cars coming to market these days: they’re likely to have lots more high-tech features than the vehicles they replace. But they’re also likely to have more reliability issues, largely as a result of problems with those new tech features, according to J.D. Power’s 2016 Vehicle Dependability Study.

The VDS queried owners of 2013 model-year vehicles and found that, on average, dependability dropped 3% year-over-year. It found that one in five of the problems owners reported involved audio, communication, entertainment and navigation technology. Collectively known by the acronym ACEN, these systems are, collectively, the single largest source of trouble owners reported.

Power Up!

“The increase in technology-related problems has two sources,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive research at J.D. Power. “Usability problems that customers reported during their first 90 days of ownership are still bothering them three years later in ever-higher numbers. At the same time, the penetration of these features has increased year over year.”

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Buick Avista Scores Big – But Unlikely to See Production

Coupes are losing ground as upscale buyers shift to SUVs and CUVs.

by on Jan.18, 2016

Even if Avista doesn't make it to production, it's likely to influence the brand's future designs. Avista photos by Len Katz.

Of the dozens of new cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles to make their debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show, perhaps none has generated as much buzz as the Buick Avista.

The striking 2+2 show car got a special preview the night before the auto show’s official media preview began and has continued to draw crowds since the 2016 NAIAS opened its doors to the public with a splashy black tie charity preview last Friday.

Your Insider!

To turn a popular movie cliché on its head, if they come, will GM build it? That was a question TheDetroitBureau.com has posed to a number of senior General Motors executives, including President Dan Ammann. But for those who might be ready to plunk down a deposit, the news isn’t good.

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Buick Reveals Elegant Avista Concept Coupe

Officials suggest design is "future" of Buick.

by on Jan.11, 2016

General Motors took the wraps off the Avista concept coupe that is the design future of Buick. Photo credit: Len Katz.

General Motors displayed a new 2 + 2 coupe dubbed the Buick Avista concept vehicle at a special preview on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that will set the course for future designs.

“The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “It is a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance.”

Global News!

Ed Welburn, GM’s chief designer, said the Avista builds on Buick’s long history of sleek, sculptural designs. “It’s a magnificent design. It represents the future of Buick,” he added. (more…)

Buick Envisions Huge Success in US with Chinese Crossover

GM brings first China-made vehicle to U.S. shores.

by on Jan.11, 2016

The new Buick Envision is coming to the U.S. after having explosive success in the Chinese market.

The Envision will fit neatly into the Buick line-up in the United States, General Motors executives said as they unveiled the first vehicle built by GM’s extensive operations in China for sale to American consumers during a sneak preview ahead of the official press days for the North American International Auto Show.

Duncan Aldred, Buick vice president, noted the Buick brand has set sales records in each of the last three years and the introduction of the Envision will help insure that the momentum continues in the coming months. Demand from dealers is already very strong, he said.

The Future is Now!

For one thing, the Envision is a truly international vehicle that GM expects to complement the Enclave and the Encore, the other two crossovers in the Buick portfolio that account for roughly 60% of the brand’s sales in the U.S. (more…)