General Motors In Process Of Obtaining “Velite” Trademark42
General Motors is in the process of attaining trademark rights for the word “Velite”, GM Authority has exclusively learned. The automaker originally applied for the mark with the USPTO on June 4, 2011. The trademark is identified by Serial Number 85334700 and is filed under the motor land vehicles, namely automobiles subcategory of the Goods and Services bracket.
After being filed on June 4 of last year, the application was published for opposition by the trademark office on October 18, 2011 — allowing other entities the ability to object to GM’s application. On December 13, 2011, the trademark office granted GM a Notice of Allowance — the ability to use the mark in conjunction with a product or service given that GM files a Statement of Use (SOU) — a legal document that pledges that the applicant (GM) will use the mark in conjunction with an actual product or service. The applicant then has six months to file the SOU; alternatively, it can file for up to six extensions — each lasting up to six months. On May 15, 2012, GM filed for its first extension to provide the SOU — which was granted on the same day by the trademark office. As such, the application contains a Status 703 (First Extension – Granted) as of this writing.
“Vehicles Light” Pseudo Mark
In addition, the trademark application contains the Pseudo Mark “Vehicles Light” — which seems to be long-hand of the word “Velite”. A pseudo mark assists in describing the mark and is often seen as additional protection for the trademark applicant/owner.
Coincidentally, General Motors unveiled a concept car at the 2004 New York International Auto Show called the Buick Velite (pictured below). It was a four-seat roadster with Buick styling cues, including the heritage waterfall grille, triple fender portholes, smooth and flowing lines, and the rather intangible but ever-present luxurious sophistication of a Buick. The concept was built on GM’s rear-wheel drive Zeta vehicle architecture and used a non-production twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6 engine making 400 hp.
The GM Authority Take
Given that GM has filed for its first extension in providing the trademark office with the required Statement of Use, it would seem that the automaker is serious in buying time until it is actually ready to unveil a product (or concept) with the Velite name. As we like to say here at GMA, only time will tell what the Velite may, or may not, bring — but chances are the Velite name could be used on a Buick variant of the recently-teased Opel Cascada (read: Astra convertible)… or something else, entirely.
What would you like to see wearing the nameplate? Sound off in the comments!
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
needs more aggressive look
Well, we all know this would be a great car in Buick’s line up. Unfortunately, we all know that it will be watered down much like the Regal GS was. Even if this car was to make it to the market, GM would find a way to mess it up. They’re probably reading this now saying “Ahhhhhh, they want 400 HP!! Lets give them 250 instead. Oh, and tell the design team to ditch the RWD. We’re going FWD on them!!!!”
The twin turbo 3.6 used in the concept car is nearly identical to the engine used in the 2010 Jay Leno Camaro… and dare I say, it may be a common engine for GM as they are beginning to down size their engines. V8 power with V6 Mileage
the next gen Camaro SS may have this very same engine tweaked of course…
I dream for a Buick roadster version of the ATS.
It’s interesting that Buick seems to be pushing The “Near” luxury envelope all the way up.
I say “near luxury” because Cadillac has been GM’s luxury division, and Cadillac’s recent product portfolio Has begun their assault on the established European Luxury marks.
The CTS was the first salvo now the ATS is a full broadside.
But Buick is also pushing the luxury and introducing new models with excellent features and much better value than the European or Japanese counterparts. Buick needs to have their own HALO car to bring even more customers and showrooms.
I don’t think a four-door convertible is it. Buick has a very rich history I would like to see a very nicely redesigned Riviera, It could be built alongside the CTS Coupe.
I know they tried with the Reatta in the late 80s early 90’s and failed. I think the time is right for something like this again the demographics of an average Buick owner of the 90’s have moved on As I’m sad to say the elderly pass on. So I would think the timing is right. Come on Buick bring back the Riviera!!!!!!!
@Tim Rosser that’s because Buick has no business doing performance vehicles anymore. It needs to stick to Lexus like luxury and leave the sporty stuff to Caddy. The drive wheels, power numbers and all the other stuff that gear heads care about is not in the DNA of the New Buick. I thought we’d already covered it.
Hard to think of any near future Buicks that are not designed with the Chinese market as the primary audience? I don’t think this means all will be bad vehicles, but likely a bit “underwhelming” or a bit confusing to the NA market. Questions like: I wonder why it’s packaged/optioned that way? The Regal,Verano and now Encore all fall somewhere in there if you ask me?
I just drove a Regal Turbo about 400 miles over the last weekend and I was really impressed. I happy to see them using the 2.0T in more vehicles. Looks like it would be a great match for something like this. Twin Turbo 3.6L is obviously overkill for something of this size.
@ Silent Electrician: If Buick is to be an entry level luxury vehicle provider, then why can’t they have a sport vehicle. You say they should concentrate on beating Lexus. How can they do this without a GS fighter? That’s right, a Regal GS is the only sport tuned car in Buick’s lineup that can even try to compete with Lexus’ RWD sport tuned cars. A Regal GS with Trifecta’s tune is a beast. Pumping boost up from 20 psi to 22 psi gets rid of the lag and makes this car the way it should have been from the factory. With its aggressive front end, to the flat bottomed steering wheel, manual transmission, and Brembo brakes, the GS should be proof that Buick is ready for a much needed sport sedan.
Tim, I can’t speak for Silent Electrician, but here are my thoughts on the matter:
I, too, am a fan of the idea of Buick beating Lexus at Lexus’ own game. However, when I say that, I don’t mean compete with Lexus model-for-model.
You see, Lexus came to prominence thanks to three primary models: the ES, RX, and LS. None (or very few) of the buyers who purchased these cars were looking for sporty performance of any kind. They appreciated the silent, disconnected nature of these vehicles — as well as their luxury accommodations in the cabin. Few, if any, of those buyers even knew what RWD (or FWD) was (unless they were concerned with snow/winter performance).
Ultimately, I would recommend Buick have a vehicle in the compact, midsize, and full-size segments (cars and crossovers) that focus on what made the ES, RX, and LS great: silence, softness, and luxury. Not performance. Leave that to Cadillac.
And while they’re at it, Buick should cease being a “near luxury” entry, as well. Sure, the Verano or Encore could be the near-luxury players due to their price. But Buick should strive to be a full luxury brand, with full luxury prices, while focusing on the three aforementioned qualities, not performance.
That’s the strategy I’d lay out for the brand. There is a sizable market of luxury buyers who buy BMW, MBZ, or Audi just because they don’t know any better. Meanwhile, Lexus is slowly moving itself into the performance luxury world. Buick can move in to scoop up the folks who don’t care about the sporty stuff; and as far as I know, that describes the majority of car buyers in general.
Alex: I understand everything you said. Here’s where it gets complicated, and you must forgive me because I over evaluate things too much. Wouldn’t GM having two full Luxury companies be redundant and put GM right back on course to the trouble they were in? I figure having too many car companies was one of the contributing factors to the mess GM was in. So now, GM has but a few manufacturers to work with. Out of the 4, Buick seems like the oddball. Not to mention, their small lineup definitely makes people ponder over why they are still around. The Regal, for example, blatantly seemed like a “band aid fix.” It seems like they brought this car over just to add a car to the lineup, because after all, we all know GM wasn’t going to “badge engineer” anymore. The Regal has been getting flack as of lately, yet Car & Driver give it a 4 1/2 star rating out of 5, and other reviewers still say its the best FWD cars on the American market. I agree, it might be gone in the next 3 years. Rumors say in 2014 it’ll have AWD and a bump in HP. We all know when GM finally gets something right, they take it off the market. So, finally getting to the point, I can see where Buick can step in and steal Lexus buyers who don’t care about performance. It would be a smart move for Buick to take this route. I can, however; still wish for a high HP, RWD car by Buick.
I don’t think it would be redundant, since the two luxury brands will serve entirely different customers.
Let’s take BMW, for instance. BMW does not appeal to those who are looking for a soft, quiet, and “disconnected” driving experience. As such, BMW needs to compromise to make its cars less “hard core” for the traditional BMW (enthusiast) customer, resulting in decreased satisfaction for that customer, while not optimally appealing to the customer looking for the soft experience.
That’s BMW’s, Audi’s, and MBZ’s limitation. It will also soon become a limitation of Lexus, which is — with every subsequent vehicle generation — becoming more sports-oriented.
As such, two brands — that provide ENTIRELY DIFFERENT driving experiences are needed. Cadillac will be the performance-focused luxury brand with sharp handling characteristics, throaty exhaust notes, and a connected driving experience. Buick will be the opposite. This allows GM the opportunity to dominate the entire luxury segment — while offering a no-compromises luxury experience to all luxury car buyers.
In addition, while Cadillacs will have to be RWD-based by default, Buicks can be be FWD-based, thereby sharing Chevy architectures — but with different top hats/styling, interiors, materials, and — most importantly — ride and NVH configurations (soft, cushy, quiet). As such, Buicks can be very, very profitable in their own right — just as Lexus’ ES and RX are extremely profitable thanks to sharing the overall Camry architectures.
Does that make sense, or alleviate your concerns? 🙂
Well, that does make sense now. If GM goes this route, then they can compete with Lexus and pick up all the old Lexus lovers who jumped ship withbtheir current trend pfeaning more to the “sport” side of things. The problem I foresee is if GM doesn’t let the public know their intentions. They might need to spice up Buick’s slogan as something on the lines of “For a quiet a ride with sophistication.” while
Caddy’s should be “Luxurious….with a wild side!” Now, those suck, but you get the idea. As long as the public KNOWS that Buick is intended for people who want luxury without all the aggressive sportiness and Caddy is intended for people who want luxury with sport performance, then I think it could work successfully. If not, then it’s going to be as confusing as it is now. With Buick serving the Enclave, LaCrosse, Verano as near luxury vehicles, then all of a sudden we have a Regal GS with an aggressive front bumper, 295 lb. ft. of twist, Brembo brakes thrown into the mix, it really says “Hey, I’m Buick and in have an identity crisis.” Whatever they decide, they to hurry up so I know whether to move on. I honestly jumped on the Buick bandwagon because of their GS.
Yupp, identity crisis is exactly what’s happening with them right now. That’s why I wasn’t a fan of the GS to begin with… and why I was an even lesser fan of a GS with AWD and the 2.8 turbo — which would have made the GS much more “raw” and unrefined.
That said, the communication aspect you’re referring to can be rectified easily with consistent branding and marketing as well as a consistent lineup. Then, everything will fall into place.
Tim, it seems both Buick and Cadillac ahve had some very good ads…bith TV and print. Buick uses celebrities which is very good. Cadillac tends to stress the power and sportiness…..they are on their way, I’d say.
@ Jeremy K: If you liked the Turbo Regal, try and get your hands on a GS. A wonderful car to drive.
Do any of you remember the Cadillac XLR? Maybe Buick may reskin the C7 Corvette to compete with higher end cars, like the Acura NSX? Just a thought.
A more. Current take on the prior elite would,d be cool for Buick as long as they give it styling to appeal to younger people, not just empty nesters. They cannot forget that their main focus has to be on lowering their age demographic.
Buick’s main focus should be serving a certain subset (or subsets) of the luxury automotive market with excellence and profitability. Lowering age demographic isn’t necessarily a good thing…
I disagree, the population that grew up with the land yacht’s of the past are a dwindling population group, as evident that Buick no longer has a Full size car the largest is the Midsize LaCrosse Buick’s Flagship sedan. who’s competition is the Lexus ES 350, Acura TL, and Infiniti G37 sedans. those are cars that are being bought by people from 25-55 the younger ones mostly college graduates who may be also looking at something German. These are the people who grew up with smaller cars when they were able to buy their first cars. If Buick is to survive and prosper in these current economic times they need to market to younger buyers, people who would go to a different showroom.
I am in my early 30’s and up to a year ago I would never of considered a Buick.
I drive a 2012 Camaro, but today I would be happy to see a Verano Turbo on my driveway.
Can we at least agree on the statement that Buick should focus on a particular subset of the luxury market, and serve it effectively — better than anyone else?
Separately, the notion that Buick (or any brand/product, for that matter) will die because its customer base will “die off” (not your quote) doesn’t hold much water. Here’s an example: for every 80 year-old person who faces death, a 60 year-old person comes into the market looking for the same/similar values in a vehicle as the 80 year-old. As such, the potential market is replaced/replenished.
Buick will be fine pursuing a market similar to that of Lexus’ luxury (non-performance) line, including the ES, LS, RX. It can then expand on the pure luxury offerings with Verano and additional crossover offerings — so long as the pure luxury (non performance) message and value stays crystal clear to the target market.
In addition, let’s remember that Buick’s current portfolio isn’t a result of careful planning and strategizing; instead, it’s a result of having to quickly fill the product line in order to keep sales somewhat afloat while the actual/true-to-Buick product line is developed (Regal). As such, what we see right now, including the lack of a true flagship/full-size sedan above the LaCrosse, is a stepping stone… a stop-gap lineup if you will.
Another aspect to consider is Buick’s lack of in-built brand value, which limits how much Buick can charge for its luxury cars. It’s safe to assume that once its brand/image improve to a certain extent, that Buick will 1) fill out its product portfolio more fully and 2) increase prices so as to reflect the improved brand-based image. And at that point, a Lexus LS competitor (price-wise) would be well within realm of possibility.
I think in this case it is. Buick got to the point where they served only the geriatric subset, which is growing so that would seem okay. But, the problem is that those people have been leaving Buick in droves to Acura etc. And meanwhile Buick has done very little to draw new, younger replacement buyers who may buy more Buicks down the road if they can be enticed to buy the first one. And, after the great styling of the lacrosse, Buick styling has gotten progressively more bland with the regal, verano and now the encore. New exciting styling and a new, younger group of customers would bode well for the future.
It seems that I replied to Archangel prematurely 🙂
Younger customers are great — but let’s remember where the money is., especially in the luxury space. So while new customers absolutely help grow a brand/product line with subsequent/return purchases, the PRIMARY focus should be on defining core brand values and serving the markets that care about such values better than anyone else.
If the primary focus is only on attracting new customers and NOT on executing core brand values, then the brand will lose direction, lose its “traditional” customer, and possibly attract a new customer that is less profitable, which at the end of the day means a net loss.
Also, the “geriatric” statement isn’t entirely accurate. As far as I can remember, the highest average age of a Buick customer was 61… at some point in mid-2000s, Lexus was 60 — and they had/have no problem serving that segment profitably. Again, it’s about delivering a set of core values, not chasing younger buyers (who nowadays have less disposable income) with a head cut off. If both can be accomplished, then the better 🙂
The point that you are missing is that as anyone born from 1980 and on when they grow and mature their values are different than the baby boomers.
a person from 1980 or even 1970 was born with the knowledge that BMW Mercedes Lexus Infiniti Acura are prestigious brands. and that Their fathers and grandfathers drove Cadillac’s and Buick’s in the mid 2000’s you say the average age of a Lexus owner is 60 Because typically the owner of an LS400 has to be in that age bracket to afford such a vehicle. Lexus does offer different models such as the entry ES 350 or the IS series. that a “younger” 30-40 year old can afford.
As you grow older what kind of vehicle do you see yourself driving when you’re 40 50 or 60 years old? I know the kind of vehicles I would want to drive at those ages and they’re all European. Buick is not a “luxury brand” they are a Near luxury brand. If you want true luxury you buy Cadillac or something European or Japanese or even Korean Hyundai with their Genesis sedan and the Equis is making a very strong case for themselves. My point is if you’re going to compete with the near luxury sedans from Japan or Europe Buick will have to make a product that people are going to want to buy. I always hear people say I want a Lexus I want an Acura I want a Mercedes I want an infinity I have yet to hear anyone say in the age group 25-50 ( I work in the medical field and see a lot of people in various age groups) I want a Buick.
Except me. and when they hear that they laugh. but I don’t.
Yes, you tell the college buddies I might want to have a Buick, the reaction is hahaha, and when they realize your serious, its like oh yea Buicks are nice(not).
Buick needs to change this image, though more could always be done I think their on the right track, as a slight change in perception is already showing itself.
I would agree they are making some progress, but the brand still has a stale/dated vibe to it? The Buick website has a very old/dull feel to it?
The cars themselves are petty good, but the colors, the packaging, etc.. makes them seem way too much like LeSabres and Centurys of the recent past.
Go to the Opel Insignia website………wow, that looks great! Now go to the Buick Regal webpage, remember, essentially the same car…….meh? pretty boring, nothing to see.
I disagree. The image Buick needs to convey is that of (high) class and luxury. The website, its marketing materials, and the rest of the current brand image is communicating just that. It’s refined and classy.
Opel, on the other hand, is a performance-oriented mainstream brand. It isn’t trying to be luxurious… and it’s not, either. Opel’s sports-oriented image fits perfectly with where it is, but whether that’s sustainable in the long run is another question entirely.
In short, not everyone wants a performance-focused luxury car (BMW, Audi, and even today’s Lexus). There is a plentiful market for those looking for soft, non-sporty luxury car (think what Lexus was in the 90s and early 2000s) — and Buick is catering to this market perfectly, with the possible exception of the Regal, which no longer seems necessary due to the Verano… but that’s an entirely different topic.
Alex, I think the quality and luxe interiors in new Buicks are as nice as the Cadillacs I just looked at last week…maybe even nicer in some ways….I can see why they are selling well. I was very impressed and I am sure my next car will be one of these without doubt, so BMW and Lexus are basically off my list now
I understand your viewpoint and there is an audience that wants something a step above a Ford,Chevy, Toyota or Honda but a step below Mercedes,BMW, Lexus, Cadillac. How big a market is this in-between entry-luxury area? Acura is an example of this in-between and they are struggling big time. What are GM’s aspirations for Buick in NA? Is 15,000 sales per month enough? What is the goal? Is it only about China? I guess only time will tell.
I was thinking possibly Buick would evolve into something a bit different after the departure of Pontiac and Saturn? Something that had a little more excitement? The Regal GS is a fine effort, but it’s overpriced and I can’t think it will stay around many more years.
LFX…Buick is a lovely car line….check out the showroom….every time I go buy, I see 20s—40s looking around; saw a couple of bikers looking at Regal not long ago
But therein lies the problem. Buick SHOULD BE a full-luxury brand, not a near-luxury brand.
They can have an extremely-satisfied, loyal, and supportive customer base that prefers to have the soft-riding and soft-spoken Buick LaCrosse (for instance) in 3 sizes of cars and crossovers (compact, midsize, full-size). Charge no less than $30,000 for the least expensive model, provide more features/content for the increased price, and elevate the brand image over time. It’s not going to happen today or tomorrow, but the image issue is no issue at all if you let experts take care of business.
As for attaining new customers who are younger, I’m agreeing with you that they are necessary. But they shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all goal of the brand; instead, the brand should attract the younger customer by delivering a consistent set of desired values that define Buick as a whole.
Do that, and everything else will fall into place.
Did you see how well Verano has been selling all year? People love it 🙂
@LFX323HP I’m absolutely NOT recommending Buick to be “a step above Ford, Chevy, Toyota or Honda but a step below Mercedes,BMW, Lexus, Cadillac.” What I’m in favor of is a Buick that’s EQUAL to Cadillac, but offers an entirely different luxury experience that’s soft and reserved, rather than the sporty and adrenaline-filled one offered by Cadillac (BMW, Audi, MBZ). The Buick line I’m referring to should not have anything performance-oriented (Regal GS) in its lineup. Again, think Lexus of the 90s and early 2000s — without the IS or GS.
The market for these kinds of soft luxury vehicles is plentiful, as it is where Lexus built itself; meanwhile, the profit margin is obvious. As long as Buick can continue to elevate its brand identity, it will be able to raise prices from current levels and increase its profitability while serving a very loyal and discerning market that is NOT looking for a performance experience in their luxury cars.
That should be Buick’s future. And with this kind of strategy, GM can OWN the luxury space with Buick (on the soft lux side) and with Cadillac (on the sports lux side).
This strategy is capable of working worldwide, from the U.S. to China, and in between.
The Regal is the only vehicle in the Buick line today that doesn’t really fit any of the characteristics I described above… and it will likely go away at some point entirely.
You do make a good point Alex regarding not losing focus and the success of Lexus. I do realize that I should have specified that I mean youngER buyers, not young buyers. Many in their 40s can move up to the near luxury level, though not the luxury level. I believe that exciting but mature designs are what Buick needs. Mature, but not geriatric. And yes, I was being a bit too passionate there and was thus a bit inaccurate.
Ah, that makes more sense to me now. I’d classify the generation of Buicks before the 2nd-gen LaCrosse, including the last-gen LaCrosse, Regal, and Rendezvous, as geriatric 🙂
Bronc…I see lots of young people drive Verano all the time….it is sassy and elegant for the $$$$$..what difference idoesthe age of anyone buying a car?
The problem is GM doesn’t know what they want. Donyounwant to get younger buyers or have a classy, old fashioned feel? If they are going to put out a car like the Regal GS, why water it down? At this rate, they are saying they want younger buyers, but they just can’t seem to break away from the old man image.
Yeah, I get the same reaction as the others when I even mention Buick. People can’t believe I’d even think of Buick, and I’m over 40. They need more exciting product than the last couple have been. And really, that can appeal to a wide variety of ages. Product will drive change in perception.
People think its weird I drive a Buick. Not until they see it, do they realize what a nice car it is. Since people are saying the Regal is no longer needed because it’s against what Buick should be building, then leave it for the few people who want a “raw” Buick. When I first read that Buick was putting out a car with high torque, Brembo brakes, 3 driving modes, I was hooked. Why? Because it was different. Who would expect a “sleeper” from modern Buick? What they put out was not what people were expecting, BUT it was a decent attempt. I almost get the feeling that the GS was/is a marketing test. And I’m not sure what you all here at GM Authority have heard as far as rumors, but I’ve heard that AWD and a bump in HP could be in store for the GS in 2014.
I’d like to see the Velite Concept built but doubt that will ever happen.
Better yet a fastback coupe like the Pontiac Solstice Coupe. But by crazy chance they did. It would be my first Buick!
I say build a Bowtie version and call it a Monza.so I don’t feel like a Chevy traitor or a Old fart more than I am already!
YES. LS. Yes GS , Yes the ES. ,!!! So Were’s the HYBRID..!!!…