The new Buick confirmed that it will be releasing a new compact sedan and small crossover as follow-ups to its mid-size Regal (pictured above in GS concept form). Well, at least now it's official.
The three new vehicles are expected to help it move into 47% of the market, which will help Buick in achieving its goal of doubling sales "in the next few years".
The brand will also cease using trim-level designations, continuing to shake things up. Why? "Trim levels imply there is a hierarchy of the premium vehicle," says Craig Bierley, director of Buick-GMC advertising/sales promotion director.
Now everyone's going to be the same on the outside, which is smart. Other than engine displacement designations (which can be deleted on most cars), autoofcars2011.blogspot of the luxury automakers do it.
In addition, Bierley said that Buick is changing its marketing strategy. "In the past, Buick stood for one thing, we stood for quiet," he said. "At the time (before filing for bankruptcy), we had most of our budget slashed, so we kept the program that was successful," Bierley added. "So if you played golf or watched golf, you knew about Buick."
Now, Buick has "almost entirely dropped out of golf," he said adding that the focus now will be on more " grass-roots campaigns and search for customers who shop at Whole Foods and Ikea and drink coffee at Starbucks." In other words, buyers who want luxury without paying that much.
As a sign that things are looking up (i.e. working), Autodata Corp. says Buick's sales are up 36% for April, and 50% improved for the year so far.
Evidence comes in the form of a 214% increase in LaCrosse sales (now selling for "$8,000 to $9,000 more" that its predecessor); even Enclave buyers went up by 30%.
What's really impressive is Buick's bold claim that the upcoming Regal will be the oldest model in its lineup by 2013. That's what we call thinking ahead, or having a plan. Not something the old GM was too concerned with, but reassuring...most reassuring...to see under the new GM.
By Phil Alex
Buick's Current Range