Buick is still riding high and executives believe the brand is in a comfortable state as new initiatives continue rebranding work.
The Detroit News reported on Thursday that Buick brass is happy with the current volume and its fresh vehicle portfolio heavy on crossovers. Some of the risks involved with the brand’s products, like the Cascada convertible and sub-compact Encore, are due to Buick’s global footprint. The brand can afford to take risks on its “white space,” mostly thanks to China.
Buick sold around 1.18 million vehicles in China last year, compared to 219,000 vehicles in the United States.
“We don’t want to be a very small, or a very niche brand,” said Phil Brook, vice president of Buick marketing. “We like the volume, and on a global basis we have the Chinese market, where we’re No. 4 as a brand.”
Brook said Buick’s positioning is just small enough for it to react more quickly to the market. And the fact shows in the brand’s lineup. Buick sells a trio of crossovers to cover the main segments: Encore, Envision and Enclave. LaCrosse and the new 2018 Regal family all keep the showrooms stocked with fresh products.
The geriatric ward stigma is slowly eroding away, too. Buick buyers’ average age fell from 62 to 60-years-old as of September 2017. Buick expects that’s fallen further, but data is six months behind.
“We think our refreshed lineup will bring younger people in. There’s no doubt about that,” said Brook. “And we’re not just filling holes in the lineup. What we try to do is find things that other people aren’t doing and the market.”