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Buick Verano Aims to Expand Brand’s Reach

Third new Buick sedan in three year.

by on Jan.12, 2011

The 2012 Buick Verano rolls onto the stage during its Detroit Auto Show unveiling.

It’s a Cruze, it’s a Regal….no, it’s the Verano.

The 2012 Buick Verano shares its platform with the Chevrolet Cruze and its engines with the larger Buick Regal, but despite those facts, Buick folks are quick to point out that the Verano isn’t just an exercise in badge engineering, a la the old GM.

They’ll tell you that the Verano offers more amenities than the Cruze, along with a quieter cabin and more luxurious ride. And while we haven’t driven it yet — meaning we can’t verify the latter two claims — we have to admit that the proffered amenities list is deeper than that of the Cruze.

That doesn’t mean customers won’t need convincing. It’s true that Lexus ES 350 customers, for example, often know that they’re buying a more-opulent Camry, but they don’t seem to care.

With GM, it’s a different story. The “old GM” often took heat for having too many badge-engineered vehicles – for the uninitiated, products that are virtually identical but for the nameplates bolted to their trunks. To that end, the company has worked hard to differentiate vehicles that share platforms, and the Verano represents the latest effort.


American Buyers Increasingly Positive About Detroit Makers

Toyota slips in wake of safety scandal.

by on May.14, 2010

Ford owners are more loyal than Toyota's - some of the good news for Detroit in recent polls.

Whether it’s Washington or the economy, polls show Americans don’t feel very positive about the nation’s big institutions, lately.  But Detroit’s two largest automakers are an exception, according to a number of recent polls.

General Motors and Ford continue to gain ground on a variety of fronts, including owner loyalty.  In fact, Ford has now pushed past the long-time leader when it comes to keeping current buyers in the fold, according to the influential Consumer Reports magazine.

In all, CR found that 61% of Ford owners would buy another car, truck or crossover from the maker, an increase of 10% since the magazine’s last survey, in February.  By comparison, long-time leader Toyota’s loyalty rate has slipped a full 13 points since December, just before the maker announced the first of seven recalls so far this year.

The Inside Story!

Ford, however, is still second in the loyalty category, just behind Honda, at 68%.

In the wake of last year’s bankruptcy, General Motors’ image took a sharp hit.  The maker has slipped a bit in the CR loyalty poll, from 57% to 49%, between December 2009 and April 2010.  But another new study suggests that public perception of the troubled GM is beginning to improve.