Buick has been something of an unsung hero as of late. Despite a number of recalls at General Motors, Buick sales in the United States have jumped 18 percent in June 2014 from one year ago, and is also attracting much younger customers these days.
“Our younger buyers don’t seem overly concerned [about the recalls],” general manager of Liberty Buick in Peoria, Ariz. Autumn Henderson told The New York Times.. “They seem to be more forgiving or maybe just more realistic. It’s our older customers who have been calling in. They’re concerned, and they want an explanation.”
Even J. P. Morgan automotive analyst Ryan Brinkman agrees that the recalls should be of little worry to new car buyers interested in General Motors’ vehicles: “Even [GM’s] harshest critics don’t allege they’ve built any of these vehicles since 2007. So do you not buy a 2014 Chevrolet because there was a problem with a 2006 Chevy Cobalt?”
The Trishield’s sudden ability to attract younger buyers stems from its decision to shift its focus to premium small cars. “Americans have stopped equating small with cheap…That plays very well for Buick. The market has evolved to allow Buick to sell into higher volume categories with a premium price,” Brinkman told the New York Times.
“We invested heavily in Buick, and it’s starting to pay off,” General Motors’ head of global product development Mark Reuss added. According to the Times, Buick is on track to better last year’s annual sales of 205,500, a number that towers over the 102,000 car’s the brand sold in 2009. The Encore compact crossover has been a particularly bright spot for the brand, with U.S. sales jumping 82 percent in June.
Yet, in order to build on Buick’s success, General Motors will need to continue to invest in the brand. “We’ve got some surprises coming up.” Reuss told the Times, refusing to comment on if a new Buick Riviera was one of the brand’s future surprises.