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Buick Goes Dark - Why Has the Brand Been So Quiet In Recent Months?


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buick press release nov 18.png

John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com

The staff at GM-Trucks.com are fortunate to be included in multiple automotive media groups. Without talking too much "inside baseball," we are tuned into product releases, press releases, and new product announcements. Our daily inbox is filled with dozens of brands vying for our daily attention. This activity spikes during late winter and early spring as the annual auto show cycle is in full swing. During this busy cycle this past year up until today, GM's Buick division has been eerily silent.


For example, GM's media website, which is broken down by the four individual brands, has new press releases each week. Sometimes more than one per day. The last Buick press release was written in November of 2018, over five months ago.  This is unusual for Buick. We looked back and found that Buick had posted 12 press releases in 2018. Yet, in nearly half a year, none.  


Of course, news about automobiles and brands is not limited to the press release announcements generated by those brands. Good writers dig up stories and create other forms of content about brands and models. We did a Google search on the keyword "Buick" to see what news these writers and publications had come up with for Buick over the past couple months. The top story by date (meaning recent news is elevated to the top of the search bar) is that Buick may import another trim of an existing model to the U.S. Multiple outlets are reporting that Buick may bring is longer wheelbase trim, the "Encore GX" crossover, to the U.S. The longer wheelbase version of that model is presently an Asian-market product. 


We also found a few stories about Chinese-market Buicks being written by publications that have a global reach online, like Automobile. One sign that the Buick news is slim is that on the first page of "Buick" news results on Google, a paid advertisement by a Buick dealer that appeared in the auto sales section of STLToday.com appears. Click it and the link is dead. Buick's top news search results include dead links to adverts. 


By contrast, Cadillac has press releases on its website posted in the past week and four for this April. Then also five in March, two in February, eleven in January. We also looked at Acura's media site for a gauge on its activity. Acura has five press releases in April so far, had seven in March, including two in one day, four in February, and the trend continues at that pace in months prior. 


Another concerning sign is that Buick has never visited the headquarters of our local New England media group. Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Jeep, Ram, Acura, Kia, Hyundai, Honda, and many other brands appear regularly with news, new products to show off and for writers to test and photograph, and to offer technology updates and tutorials. Heck, we see tire manufactures on a regular basis. Buick is conspicuously absent. Buick had no media presentation at this year's Boston Auto show. There is no New York Auto Show (happening this past week) news posted on Buick's website. Buick has no media test fleet that we are aware of. Buick is the only mainstream or premium brand without test vehicles that we know of. Reviews can only come from test vehicles. Without them, there can be no reviews for readers at shopping sites like CarGurus, BestRide, and iSeeCars.


GM-Trucks.com is a fan of the Buick brand. In our collective fleet of personal vehicles, we own a Buick.  Here's to hoping the slow pace of news and announcements is not a sign of anything bad to come. 


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My garage is full of Buicks. Cars, not SUV's. If it is planning on abandoning the personal luxury car market I plan on abandoning Buick. New ones anyway. That certainly looks like their direction. Sad to see this happen over and over and over again. 

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Buick is pretty much dead, isn't it? Other than the Encore, Chinese-made Envision, and the Enclave, what else do they have? The LaCrosse is in its last model year, the Regal/Regal Wagon and that little convertible are going bye-bye too, aren't they? 

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