It’s no secret that for the last few years, the average age of a Buick buyer has been 70 years old. Compare that to 52 – the median age of a new car buyer in the U.S. – and the problem Buick is facing becomes crystal clear (no offense to any seventy year-olds out there).
But all is not lost, as Buick has been making great strides in bringing in younger buyers. For example, the average age of a 2010 Buick LaCrosse buyer is 55. Even though a full three years above the median age of a new car buyer, it’s important to note that the LaCrosse may be purchased as a replacement vehicle for previous owners of Buick’s Lucerne boat barge sedan.
Brian Sweeney, the 42 year-old head of Buick-GMC, who took over from the famous 9-day exec Michael Richards – is looking to further decrease the average age of Buick buyers. Simply put, the plan involves the Buick Regal – the brand’s newest sedan that’s due to go on sale in the first quarter of 2011. The European-derived sedan will take advantage “experimental marketing” when pitched to the car buyer at large.
While we’re not sure what that will exactly entail, the folks at Buick feel that the drop in the median age of new LaCrosse customers was helped by making appearances at “coffee shops, art fairs, and wine festivals.” So perhaps you’ll see the upcoming Regal at gyms, hair salons, and downhill ski resorts, or maybe it will just follow the LaCrosse – its bigger brother – all over town. Whatever it may be, I feel it’s well worth it!
And even though GM is still hard at work designing all-new vehicles for Buick, the current line-up is at least on par with competing brands. In other words, Buick has the product to compete; what it needs now is to change market perception – something that can’t be accomplished with a set of commercials. As common sense would dictate, this will take time and grandiose effort on the part of Buick and GM, but – in the long run – I think it’s well worth it.
Most recently, the all-new LaCrosse has been nominated for the North American Car of The Year Award. It has also seen an increase in demand, prompting GM to run the Kansas City manufacturing facility (the birth place of the LaCrosse) 24/7.
Check out our high-res gallery of the all-new Buick Regal after the break.