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2013 Buick Enclave and Verano Turbo Deliver Style and Power

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There was once a time when Buick was synonymous with stodginess—an aging automotive brand out of touch with contemporary luxury car buyers. Then came the Buick Enclave for 2008 model year, a premium mid-size crossover that gave birth to a more exciting, redesigned Buick, providing styling cues that today’s luxury customers demand. So has been the theme of recent Buick entries and revivals, including its latest premium compact entrant, the Buick Verano. And for 2013 model year, Buick has made notable improvements to both Verano and Enclave.


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General Motors’ Failures – Kudos for Trying

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General Motors Company (formerly “Corporation”) today is a shadow of its former self.  It sells fewer models through fewer brands since its bankruptcy in 2009.  It is reconstructing itself and building itself into a competitive and profitable car company.  That transformation appears to be going very well.

Over the years, however, General Motors has often tried to be a trailblazer (no pun intended) in new vehicle design and development.  Many of these vehicles failed, but we believe GM deserves a tremendous amount of credit for trying where other companies did not have the creative thought or resources to make a “segment breaking” product.  Here are some examples…


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Chevrolet Traverse – 2013 What Were They Thinking?

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We have always liked the General Motors Lambda Platform crossover SUVs (XSUVs).  The Buick Enclave is the most elegant and chrome laden.  The GMC Acadia picks up sheetmetal from the now-dead Saturn Outlook for 2013.  That’s OK.  The Outlook wasn’t bad looking and GM likely saved bundles by using /modifying tooling for the “fresh” Acadia.  The Chevrolet Traverse was the last Lambda launched and was arguably the better looking of the three “mainstream” Lambdas – Traverse-Acadia-Outlook.  It carried the bold crossbar in its grille that has come to clearly identify a Chevrolet when seen in the rearview mirror.

Chevrolet Traverse Front End Goes Plain Jane

Now they’ve gone and ruined it.  For the 2013 mild freshening, Chevrolet has abandoned its bold and distinctive front end appearance for a milquetoast “car” front end look for its crossover.  This fits into the VehicleVoice category of “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”


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2012 Buick Lacrosse eAssist: A Premium Sedan with a Boost in Fuel Economy

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While the upcoming Buick Lacrosse failed to induce any excitement within the automotive enthusiast in me, I was more than a bit impressed by its new fuel-saving powertrain technology: eAssist. Recently, I had a chance to try out the new 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist through various terrains near San Francisco, both city and winding country roads, in order to witness eAssist in action.


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2011 Buick Regal: Gen Y Please Buy

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Buick is in the midst of an identity crisis. According to GM executives, the average age of a Buick buyer is 64 years old and they aren’t getting any younger. With Gen Y kids being the biggest group of consumers behind the Baby Boomers, how can Buick move from grandparents to grandchildren? The 2011 Buick Regal is the answer.
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2011 Buick Regal: First Drive Takes Us Around the World

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Buick chose a grand way to celebrate the arrival of their newest model, giving a few the chance to drive the car through its German birthplace. After spending a couple of days in Beijing, visiting the auto show and taking in some time at a local Buick dealer, we flew to Frankfurt to experience the car at GM’s Dudenhof test facility, along the autobahn and German country roads on the way to the Nurburgring, and for one lap each of the famed Nordschweife itself.
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You may ask why all this globetrotting for such an American brand. While Buick’s roots are firmly planted in Detroit, China is a far larger market for Buick right now than the United States. In China, Buick outsells Chevrolet, though the gap is small. Buick is on track to sell more than 500,000 vehicles in China this year; in the States, Buick closed out 2009 selling only 102,000 cars. The last time the U.S. market bought up more than 500,000 Buicks in one year was in 1994.
We have the Chinese market to thank for Buick surviving bankruptcy. And for what you will find at Buick dealers today and tomorrow, including Regal, there is reason to be grateful. Today’s Buicks are again graceful, quiet, and responsive and good to drive in a whole new way–they take the brand’s traditional values and express them in modern context.


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Cadillac Wins AutoPacific 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award As Top Brand

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CadillacLogo2010.jpgCadillac’s owners’ cumulative scores for each Cadillac model in AutoPacific’s 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction research have given Cadillac a win in the race to be best brand overall. Cadillac outpoints Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln and Buick (top Popular Brand). This is Cadillac’s seventh win in the past eleven years. Winning so often is testament that Cadillac is selling to buyers who really appreciate their vehicles.
The Cadillac Escalade Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle is the only Cadillac winning its class outright, but the CTS, the STS, the DTS and the SRX scored well enough to move Cadillac into overall leadership.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Buick Wins AutoPacific 2010 Award as Top Popular Brand

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Buick_VSA-Logo.jpgBuick and Cadillac Win Top Brand Awards Buick wins the AutoPacific 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for top Popular Brand. Buick’s feat completes a General Motors sweep of brand winners – Cadillac wins as top Premium Brand.
With three vehicles – LaCrosse, Lucerne and Enclave – Buick has achieved superior scores overall topping Honda, Ford, GMC, Mercury and Hyundai among Popular Brands. Some might contend Buick is a Premium Brand. If Buick had been included in the Premium Brand list it would have come in behind Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln. Buick’s performance is excellent whatever class the brand is entered into.
Class Without Ostentation With a “mature” buyer base, Buick has to score highly in ease of use, easy to get into and out of, comfort and quietness. A Buick buyer demands transportation that does not challenge them or their neighbors. They want a vehicle that conveys class without ostentation. With Buick, they have it.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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Recalls and Used-Car Shopping: GM and Carfax Team Up

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Being a company focused firmly forward, we don’t talk used cars much. But a program like this deserves some virtual ink.
Recalls have been in the news this year like rarely before. The depth and scope of Toyota’s problems has increased sensitivity to any manufacturer’s recalls–and make no mistake, there are many issued. Most not so severe as Toyota’s problems with accelerator shims, but out there all the same.
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Half of the equation for ensuring cars on the road have had any recall work performed is in the owner’s hands. Often, owners ignore recall notices, particularly for minor issues, or figure it’ll get handled with the next oil change, to have it fall off today’s crowded to-do lists.
GM and Carfax announced a measure of help for anyone looking to purchase a used vehicle, making it easier to find out if the car was affected by a recall and if the work was done. GM is providing VINs to Carfax of millions of Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, GMCs, Saabs, Saturns, Pontiacs, and Hummers with open recalls.


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