Buick had quite a monumental year in 2016. It became the first American auto brand to crack into the top three reliability ratings and was named number one in sales satisfaction, both not easily awarded accolades.
And with a revamped lineup of vehicles, and more coming, Buick and GMC dealers alike are feeling pretty good about the prospects of 2017. Automotive News spoke with Robert Morris III, chairman of the Buick-GMC National Dealer Council, to grab additional insight as to how dealers are feeling.
And, other than a semi-flat market, the challenges weren’t too daunting. Morris stated hurdles like the 2016 Buick Envision and its Chinese country of origin has not bothered consumers in the slightest. In fact, awards and marketing programs have increased dealership traffic and piqued interest in both brands. Specifically, with GMC, Morris called it a “crown jewel.”
“GMC is almost the crown jewel, so to speak, of General Motors. It certainly has one of the highest brand values within General Motors. The brand equity in GMC just dominates the segment,” he said regarding a hot crossover and SUV market. He also stated the re-sized, 2017 GMC Acadia has exceeded expectations for dealers.
“It’s done great. Acadia Denali, in particular, has blown away all the initial forecasts. People love the new size and the way it drives, the fuel efficiency of the available four-cylinder, the look and trim of the Denali. It just has that wide range and wide appeal because it comes in so many different configurations.”
Looking forward, the brand still sees challenges specifically in GM’s Standards for Excellence and Essential Brand Elements programs, but the outlook is sunny and positive, especially with a 2018 Buick Enclave and the launch of the Avenir sub-brand on the horizon.