Buick came ever so close to joining Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer to a trip to the automotive graveyard in 2009. However, its mad success in China spared its life in North America. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say, because Buick has been America’s comeback kid for the past couple of years.
The Detroit News spoke with Molly Peck, Buick Marketing and Advertising Director, who has been an integral part in the brand’s reboot. There are a lot of elements that combine for success, but ultimately, Peck credits Buick’s crossovers with carrying the marque.
“We have a full SUV lineup. It started with Enclave in 2008,” she said. “It really wowed people. It filled the need for a beautiful vehicle that also had cargo capability — so it was a good alternative to the big SUVs on the road. Second, we introduced Encore, and got a lot of people to consider Buick. Now we love what the Envision brings to the brand.”
“We got it right.”
She also credits timing and Buick’s forward-thinking for its recent success. Buick grew 2.9 percent in the U.S. last year, certainly thanks to its three CUV portfolio.
“We needed a home run. We didn’t think of ourselves as a car-only brand. We recognized the market is changing and evolving.”
Coupled with a desire to build dependable, reliable vehicles, Buick has found itself rubbing elbows with Lexus and even Porsche in dependability and top brand studies. The brand was also the first American brand to place in the top three reliability ratings since data collection began decades ago.
As for its sedans, Peck is patient, noting luxury sedans still hold 20 percent of the market even with a shift to utility vehicles. She says we will continue to see elements from the Avenir and Avista concept cars trickle down to production models, too, with more to come.
“Avista has been a phenomenal success, the year before was Avenir. Elements of the vehicles do translate — the Avenir showed our new grille and tricolor badge. So there are elements that foreshadow things to come.”