Buick Sees Little Need For Alphanumeric Nameplates14
There was once a time when the idea of alphanumerics was merely reserved for trims and identifiers. Flash forward to present day and a majority of every brand’s lineup has ditched nameplates entirely for a hierarchy of alphanumerics. Step one, dip spoon into bowl. Step two, reveal model name.
We understand the simplifications that come with alphanumeric names in a global economy, but we do miss the creativity and emotional attachments to certain nameplates from the past.
In a world full of alphanumerics, especially for premium and luxury brands, why has Buick stuck with actual model names? We thought it was a curious case, and went in search of an answer. With Buick’s stature in China, it certainly seems like the perfect brand for an alphanumeric structure to simplify things in major global markets.
“We’ve never really considered a switch to alphanumerics and don’t see the need,” Buick spokesperson, Stuart Fowle, stated.
“In China, we’ve had a strong presence there longer than most others so we’re not building the brand, we’re protecting it. The Excelle is the best-selling small car so there’s no need to confuse people with a name change for no reason.”
Buick’s long heritage has given it a sort of home ground advantage in the Chinese market, much like a few of Chevrolet’s longtime nameplates in the United States.
As for the U.S., “we’ve built good equity in relatively short time with the Enclave, LaCrosse and others.”
Alphanumerics be damned. Good on you, Buick.
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Good for Buick. At the office this morning we spent 10 minutes trying to remember which Lincoln was which.
I still don’t have them straight. MKC, MKZ, those are the first two that come to my mind. And I know there is more! Just like Infiniti’s Q line up. Very confusing.
It’s difficult to remember because there is no emotional and mental association with an aphanumeric number sequence.
Full words work better in the human brain.
There is a compromise position. Creating alphanumerics to name the specific model and trim while also having a model name. Examples —
Encore — ENC1, ENC2, ENC3
Regal — REG1, REG2, REG3
The name of the car could be put on the door where the designation of car and trim could be put on the rear.
I’m not saying I prefer this over the name. Just sayin…
Every badge that they make for 10 cents equates to 10 bucks in manufacturer’s cost by the time the new owner slips behind the wheel at the dealer. It is unlikely they would go for multiple badges. Besides, on my truck “Silverado” appears only on the tailgate.
Buick has a long heritage of names, why it wold change to alphanumeric???
I agree but then so did Cadillac and now look what they’ve done. Go back to Elderado, Coupe deVille, Fleetwood, Calais and Seville.
That is not the Euro way, and heaven knows that it really cannot be any good if it at least does not sound like a Euro can.
Before Cadillac had names, they had Series. It’s not a Euro thing, it’s what Cadillac has historically always had. It’s the names that are the odd ones that have no place at Cadillac.
Actually, Cadillac didn’t have ‘names’ before they had names. They were Series followed by a number. If anything, it’s normal for Cadillac to NOT have names.
Thank goodness ! The article is right in pointing out that the Numeric Names don’t show any creativity . It shows the difference between Cadillac and Buick’s management style . I have never been a fan of the XT’s and CT’s .
Seems like BMW did it rather well, so let it alone. Pontiac was doing the “G” thing and how’d that turn out? Guess it’s easier than coming up with a good name?
BMW does well with alphanumerics because they’ve been doing it almost since their inception. That said, most people still don’t really get which is which, hence three series, five series, and etc. About the only cars that have instant universal recognition for BMW are their M cars, Especially the M3.
Around the non car types though, I can say he has a “M6” and they still have no idea what I’m talking about.
The way Buick is going I would not change a thing in naming. I bought my first Buick last year (Lacrosse) and it’s a great car & value.