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Buick Highlights Brand’s Modern Transformation

Source: GM Media
Date: May 10, 2010

DETROIT – Buick recently held in-depth sessions with GM employees and other partners who work on the brand – from design to engineering, marketing and advertising – to further explain what it means to be a Buick and how to contribute to the brand’s modern transformation.

Key areas that define the Buick brand character were highlighted, including sculpted designs, luxurious interiors, quality, premium technology and refined performance.

Brand Growth
Thanks to a growing modern portfolio of cars and crossovers that are appealing to new customers, Buick is now the fastest-growing major automotive brand in the U.S. At the current pace, Buick VP of Marketing John Schwegman expects annual sales volume for Buick could double in the next couple of years.

“We think the best way to grow the brand is by continuing to increase the entries product-by-product,” he said. “Our current lineup consists of the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse and Regal sedans, and within a few years we will add a compact sedan and small crossover.” Those new models will substantially expand Buick’s market coverage, from just 14 percent of the market segments today to 46 percent after adding these new entries.

While no product names or exact timing details have been announced, buyers will expect to see these new Buicks in showrooms in the next few years. The new product additions combined with other refreshments to the current Buick lineup, will make the 2011 Regal, a new sport sedan just now arriving in dealerships this spring, the oldest vehicle in Buick’s stable by 2013.

Trim Levels
In order to give every Buick models a more premium appearance, all trim-level badges will be removed from the vehicles by 2012. “No other premium brand has those designations,” said Craig Bierley, Buick marketing director.

He noted that customers are sometimes confused by the CX, CXL and CXS designations. “This is about giving each vehicle one great look,” said Bierley. “Trim levels implies a hierarchy – that there's a cheap one, a middle-level one and a really, really nice one.”

Bierley told GM employees that future models will offer packages with increasing content levels that build on each other.

Reaching Customers
Buick is moving away from large golf sponsorships to focus more on the customer and their buying experiences. Bierley said that future marketing campaigns will focus more on grassroots efforts reaching consumers who are looking for luxury without the luxury price.