Last weekend my daughter and I attended the Sacramento Auto Show at Cal Expo and I wanted to see Buick’s latest offerings, the all new LaCrosse, the Chinese Built Envision SUV and the new Cascada Convertible.
The LaCrosse is a beauty.
Inside I was underwhelmed, the fit and finish was very good but it didn’t seem to represent Buick, it was nothing special.
The same was true of the Cascada and old design from GM’s Opel division.
Grandpa has been kicked to the Curb
Despite my criticisms Buick is selling well it is not the Buick of old. The Buick Encore is the second best selling Subcompact SUV in the country. Beginning next spring the Cascada will fill the rental lots of Arizona and Florida. The Cascada is the only other convertible sold in American under $30,ooo . Forget the Buick float and bench seat. Buick 2.0 is going after the Millennials. Buick currently outsells Lincoln, Cadillac and Audi.
Buick, a subsidiary of General Motors, has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to earn one of the highest rating for reliability from Consumer Reports. Results from the Consumers Reports Annual Brand Reliability Survey were released in Detroit Monday.
Lexus, owned by Toyota, was the top brand. Toyota itself came in second, followed by Buick. The company ranks cars and car brands based on its survey of more than a half-million car owners.
“Yes, really, Buick,” says Jake Fisher, who runs Consumer Report‘s auto testing lab in Connecticut. Fisher tells NPR that Buick has been making reliable cars for quite a while, and he says the brand continues to improve. According to Fisher, what sets Buick apart from the other GM brands is that it has a small number of models and doesn’t make large trucks or SUVs, which have been a problem for GM.
This year Buick sold more than 1 million vehicles through September, according to GM. Buick is a near-luxury brand and skews older in the U.S . but the company’s sales are overwhelmingly dominated by China, which is the largest market for Buick. China accounted for nearly 40 percent of GM’s global sales.
Consumer Reports has been criticized in Detroit for being too enamored of Japanese carmakers. The Japanese brands all finished in the top 15 of 29 brands surveyed. “Anyone who’s not doing well with our ratings thinks that the system might be rigged against them,” says Fisher. “This is data. These are real situations. This is cars breaking down. This is not opinion. This is not what people think about their cars. It doesn’t matter if you’re from an automaker called Honda or Buick. Each car needs to be reliable.”