The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Detroit's GM Fans Have no Daewoo-built Buick on their Radar

Recently I've posted quite a bit on my favorite car forum regarding my desire to see Buick import an Excelle or a Tosca as a Buick to combat the steep 40% decline in Buick sales in the USA.

GM fans at will have none of it.

Narrow thinking, in my opinion has lead to the problems Buick is having as a brand. Buick has more than a few opportunities around the globe to bolster its product portfolio, but is stuck with styling duds like the Terraza, and clone cars of other traditional GM brands already offered sometimes in the Pontiac dealership next door.

In the last few years that Buick has dropped like a rock in sales, Suzuki has risen at least that much on the back of GM Daewoo product sales, specifically the Forenza, sold as a Buick in China and Taiwan.

The GMI guys generally hate my suggestion, mostly due to the "Daewoo-Stigma" I expect that they have, but I think its worth restating the option when GM fans spout that "there is no other choice, they're doing the best that they can, Buick can only reskin Chevies and Pontiacs and hope for the best with new styling".

A radical change could help Buick, if only GM were brave enough to give up the silver-haired set mentality and give an entry level car from GMDAT a try. Certainly it couldn't HURT sales. And image? You've got to be kidding me. People around my workplace consider the new Hyundai Azera to be a better car than "A stodgy old Buick".

It would indeed be able come out of "thin air" because the products have already been sold by Suzuki here in the USA, and countries like Australia and Canada seem to have no problem importing the Epica.

The best of Buick's offerings now is a reskin of the GMC sold in the showroom next door at BPG dealerships (Enclave). And all it really offers is better (subjective) styling.

And from the responses to my idea, my guess is that most people at GMI just want more reskinned Epsilon(II) s, Lambdas for Buick.

Formula: reskin, rehash, QuietTune, and hope it sells along with 5 other stablemates. Like the Rainier. Or Terraza. Or LaCrosse. Such HUGE hits...(sarcasm intended)

Its a stale, dated 1980's GM-style approach to selling cars that might have worked once, but not since that little thing called the 
Internet caught on.  And Buick deserves to fail if that's all GM (and its fans) can come up with - more reskins of mechanical quintuplets of every new platform GM North America makes.

More tired excuses, or action and revitalization and a Buick that really attracts younger people with value-packed pricing? The best "entry lux" cars that Daewoo can offer, or a continued slide in sales with promises that newer, better styling alone will save the day with a reskinning and heavy chroming of less expensive models, essentially a Mercury-like (gussied up Fords available at the dealer across the street) strategy?

We'll have to wait and see.

Photo above: Taiwanese Buick Excelle (Forenza/Lacetti-based)

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