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#24801 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [uplanderguy]
Jun 09, 2012 (6:05 pm)
I'm going to arrange a Volt test drive in the next coupe of months. The Chevy dealer is between 1-2 miles out-of-the-way from where we live to my wife's work, which driving straight from home to work is about 12 miles each way.
I'm curious to see if, on a full charge, the car can make the round trip from the dealership to her work, then home, and back to the dealership.... All on battery. The terrain is, for the most part, fairly level with a few gentle hills.... No significant inclines or declines.
If it does, there is good chance there is a Volt in our future...
#24802 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [ab348]
Jun 10, 2012 (3:54 am)
Very happy that you are enjoying your Regal. Buick has been a high quality division for GM and my Mom still has her 2001 BPA with no problems.
I still believe Buick should have been rolled into Caddy. It is a 'tweener division at best.
Your Regal should be an entry level Cadillac. Actually, the new ATS is going to compete even more with Regal Turbo. Why buy a Regal when for $2K more you get Caddy? The only thing missing is Olds and Pontiac but it's an old story.
Point being it's hard to change some things at GM even today.
#24803 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [circlew]
Jun 10, 2012 (6:12 am)
It is a classic problem, not unique to GM. There are no right answers.
Toyota is facing similar issues among Toyota, Scion and Lexus. Chrysler has Fiat, Dodge, and Chrysler. Ford killed Mercury because they didn't know what it meant and is trying to cover the range with 2 brands now. Hyundai is trying to cover the entire span of the market with one brand. Who's correct? Nobody can say.
#24804 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [ab348]
Jun 10, 2012 (6:46 am)
GM is doing fine with new product being brought along. The newer cars are high quality and the question of which to keep, Buick or Pontiac, is nice to discuss but relatively trivial.
As new product is situated into the slots in the market, changes will be made to adjust the margins. The glass is 2/3 full.
#24805 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [circlew]
Jun 10, 2012 (7:32 am)
Your Regal should be an entry level Cadillac. Actually, the new ATS is going to compete even more with Regal Turbo. Why buy a Regal when for $2K more you get Caddy?
My perceptions on the subject are probably old fashioned by now, but I think the Regal is too "cheap" to be a Cadillac. It starts around $27,000, and IMO, that's just too down-market for what a Cadillac should be.
Plus, no matter how nice it might be, I'm just not comfortable with the idea of a 4-cyl Caddy.
#24806 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [ab348]
Jun 10, 2012 (9:34 am)
And GM should be asking "What does Buick mean?" If sales trend up with new models, the answer is positive.
If not, time to rethink.
#24807 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [circlew]
Jun 10, 2012 (10:35 am)
But sales were up in 2010 and 11. That chart ends at the old Buick.
I'm with Andre that the Regal would be too cheap to be a Cadillac. I think they got the cutting of divisions as close to right as could be done given how quickly the had to do it.
#24808 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [fezo]
Jun 10, 2012 (10:54 am)
Sales did rebound to 155,000 in 2010 and 177,000 in 2011. (But returning to pre-C-11 sales numbers ain't going to happen at Buick.)
YTD May is tracking 9% below 2011 71,300, however, in a growing market with new products. So sales have peaked since the bankruptcy and are in decline says change something.
Agree they had little time to cut to the most advantageous product mix but old GM is still alive and well with 4 Divisions. More merging is required, IMO.
Agree Regal is a great product but the Verano (upscale Cruze) will only go so far and Regal sales fall further indicates car sales at Buick aren't going to grow anytime soon. Perhaps when new models are introduced and existing ones improved.
#24809 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [circlew]
Jun 10, 2012 (11:20 am)
The 90's, for the most part, were still an era when Buick was, in typical GM fashion, trying to be all things to all people. It was a trend that really got taken to the extreme in the 1970's and 1980's, but it had been going on to a degree before that.
In 1995, for example, Buick still had a broad range of cars. Here's how their breakdown was, according to my Consumer Guide auto encyclopedia...
Skylark: 53,860 sold (by this time, mainly a rental car queen most likely)
Century: 113,699 (again, lots of rentals, but older people on a budget tended to like these. And to be fair, they were a nicely trimmed car for not a lot of money)
Regal: 100,169 sold (I suspect a lot of these went into rental fleets as well, but they also appealed to a buyer who was a bit younger, and a bit more moneyed than the typical Century buyer)
LeSabre: 171,783 (good, well-rounded car. Plenty of the cheaper Custom models no doubt went to rental fleets, and sure, plenty of old people bought them, but it was also a great choice for someone who wanted a nicely decked out full-sized car)
Park Ave: 62,994 sold (probably a few rentals, but with a base price of $28,244, hardly a cheap car. Good choice for those wanting a luxurious car without the flash of a Caddy, and decently quick with the supercharged engine)
Roadmaster: 30,508 (a throwback for Buick fans who missed their old Deuce-and-a-quarter)
Riviera: 41,442 (to fully disclose, an extra-long model year. There was no 1994 Riv, and I remember seeing these in the showrooms in the summer of '94. A few were probably rentals, but most were probably bought by the Buick faithful.)
As the years went on though, Buick started paring back a bit. Some models, like the Roadmaster, Riviera, and Park Ave, dropped off due to lack of interest. At the low end, the Skylark was dropped. The few retail buyers probably moved up to the Century, while rental fleets were satisfied with the Alero, Grand Am, and newly-revived Malibu.
As the years went by, the LeSabre and Century were increasingly dependent on fleet/rental sales, and the Regal fell from favor. And the Regal itself wasn't immune from the rental fleets. My Dad's '03 Regal is a former rental.
Buick killed two possums with one rock with the 2005 LaCrosse, as it took out both the Century and Regal. And while many LaCrosses no doubt went into fleets, the volume was much less than the Century/Regal had been. I'm pretty sure by this time, the Grand Prix and Impala were picking up most of the need for this type of car in rental fleets and such. So while fewer LaCrosses were sold than Centurys and Regals, they probably saw a greater profit per car.
In a similar fashion, the Lucerne took over for both the LeSabre/Park Ave, and again, it was less dependent on fleet sales than the LeSabre had been. In this case though, demand for large-ish cars in general was drying up. Witness the demise of the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car, and the lackluster performance of the 500/Montego and Taurus/Mark-S-or-whatever replacements. Seems like only Chrysler is having some degree of success anymore in this field with the Charger/300.
Nowadays, Buick doesn't flood the rental/fleet markets like they used to, and they've also eliminated some of their models that had been at the extremes (Skylark and Century on the low end, Roadmaster, Park Ave, and Riviera at the top), so I'd expect their sales to drop somewhat. But they've also expanded into SUVs...first with the Rendezvous and Rainier, and now with the Enclave.
But, to see them drop from 500K plus (back in the 1970's and 1980's they hit 800-900K a few times) to only 100K by 2009, is pretty scary!
Buick currently doesn't have anything that really gets me excited, but I do hope they stick around. And heck, maybe I should go check out the Regal, to see if it's something I'd be interested in.
#24810 of 32000 Re: Regal Upmarket or Failing? [andre1969]
Jun 10, 2012 (11:38 am)
The way I see Buick is that they are heading in the right direction but they are clearly an unfinished project. Pretty much all they've done since the bankruptcy is going in the right direction - including the things that I wouldn't tough myself - but they are not done. We'll see.
It's a strange no world when Buick seems to make the right moves these days while Honda has lost as much as a clue....