When it launched the Experience Buick leasing program — a two-year lease that combines entertainment (SiriusXM), safety (OnStar Directions & Connections), and maintenance (oil changes & tire rotations) elements into a single monthly payment — launched in the middle of March 2012, we would have never guessed that it would become as successful as it is now. How successful, exactly? Well, the approach has led Buick to double its leasing business as a share of total sales over the last 12 months — that’s how.
According to customer data collected late last year, 55 percent of customers opting for the Experience Buick program are new to the brand. That number rises to 63 percent for the Regal, and 66 percent for the Verano. And when leases and financing (sales) are combined, a higher percentage of customers in 2012 were new to Buick — at 43 percent — than any other year on Buick’s record.
Here’s some more encouraging data:
- Roughly 74 percent of customers polled said Experience Buick played a major role in their decision, and that each element – maintenance, two-year term, satellite radio and OnStar – were all among their top 10 decision factors.
- Two-thirds of the customers indicated they would definitely consider another Buick for their next vehicle.
Perhaps even more important is the fact that leasing as a share of sales in trend-setting markets is growing It was:
- Up 23 percent in Los Angeles
- Up 19 percent in San Francisco
- Up 15 percent in Miami
- Up 11 percent in Atlanta
And according to data collected by Buick, customers will be returning to the brand when their leases are up: “… with everything that’s included in these leases, the experience they’re getting, we’ve gotten feedback that they’ll stay with us”, said general manager of Williamson Buick in Miami Mark Naszaradi.
The GM Authority Take
It’s clear that Buick is well on its way to becoming a raging success, if not already one. And that trend should continue well into the future, so long as the Tri Shield brand keeps delivering quality luxury vehicles that are desirable.
Having seen the 2014 LaCrosse and 2014 Regal, we don’t see that being much of a hypothetical; rather, it’s more of a reality. So as Buick continues to gain steam, the brand’s haters will likely learn to be quiet… especially the ones who (incorrectly) believe that Buick survived at the expense of Pontiac.