• Jul 5, 2007


The GM FastLane Blog revealed that its first video interview with Bob Lutz that addressed GM concept cars was actually supposed to be the second one released. This new video just released today was to be the first, but technical issues pushed it back. Here we have Lutz in front of the lens addressing the most commonly asked question about Buick, specifically its relation to the raging Chinese division and its position in General Motors as a whole.

When answering why Buick's Chinese division is getting better looking luxury cars than the U.S., Lutz simply fires back, "I don't think they are." The consumate diplomat, he says the door is always open for the rear-wheel-drive Zeta-based Park Avenue that will be sold in the Chinese market to make its way to the States, but we'd have to disagree that the U.S. market LaCrosse and Lucerne hold a candle to what's coming down the pipeline for the Chinese.

When asked about Buick's role in GM, Lutz takes up most of his time explaining Cadillac's role as a world leader and then places Buick just below it. It's interesting that he says, "The days of taking some Buicks and pricing them with Chevrolets... will never be repeated." The $32,790 price tag of the new Enclave CUV compared to its other Lambda-based offerings from GMC and Saturn is proof positive that Buick will be positioned near the top of GM's portfolio.

So there you have it, a little Lutz on Lutz action for your Thursday evening.

[Source: GM FastLane]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      All the newer models or updated current models GM is selling now is a clear sign that the General finally woke up. The styling, technology, price points and warranties make it hard to go to someone else. But did the "over-sleeping" hurt them for ever?

      I know one current mistake GM is still doing... limiting their clients to XM radio. That is the ONLY reason I am driving the competition... I'm a Sirius "lifer" and didn't want to reinvest in another satellite company.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I came back from Shanghai two weeks ago.

      Lutz is right. By far I wouldn't say the Chinese Buicks are overall better looking. Some are just Chevys or sub-Chevys rebadged. They have a lot of the crappy Terraza minivan too.

      But some are quite good looking, like the LaCrosse. These do look better than ours.

      Also, the taillights on the Chinese Cadillac SRX are better looking than ours too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      CADILLAC...luxury RWD

      BUICK...near luxury AWD

      PONTIAC...sporty RWD

      CHEVROLET...mass market FWD (except for Camaro & Corvette)

      SATURN...FWD green machines

      It doesn't get any simpler than that! GM still needs to separate its multiple car brands to give them real identities. This would be a big step in the right direction.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anybody remember the last time Bob Lutz said anything that had any credibility or made sense? I always said, if GM would just hire one person to tell them how ugly their cars are, something great might happen. But Bob Lutz seems more interested in the design of his suits then GM cars and is more interested in being politically correct than addressing reality. Thirty years later, GM still can't build a Honda Accord, a Hyundai Santa Fe or a 5 series BMW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like GM is headed in the right direction for the most part.

      It makes sense that Buick shouldn't have the Lucerne AND the Park Avenue. I don't think the Park Avenue is the driver's car AutoBlog readers would hope for anyway - more of an LS400 than a GS400.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I''ll sing with the chorus: China's Park Avenue is much cooler-looking than the Lucerne or LaCrosse. Aside from the Enclave, Buick has no interesting products. Who wants a FWD V-8 four-door? I'd spend a little more on a Lexus IS250, BMW 328i, or discounted Caddy CTS.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think that you missed Mr. Lutz's point about the Enclave being the starting point of the "New" Buick.

        More significantlly I think the days of Badge Engineering are coming to a close at GM.

        Still, SolsticeSun is indication that old habits aren't so easy to kick.

        The SUN should be the convertable, the Pontiac should have been a Hi-Performace near entry level coupe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Caddy should the sporty luxury brand of the younger single demo.

      Buick should be the luxury brand for families.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Devin is right. Bring on the Velite, make the Lucerne RWD and Buick is back in business.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anyone else wonder why GM doesn't just put the Lucerne on a RWD platform so that way everyone is happy. Buick has a midsize-large FWD car (lacrosse) and a large rwd sedan (lucerne). There is no need to introduce yet another large sedan in buicks already large-sedan-filled lineup.

      Also, Buick needs to make a compact CUV with styling like the Enclave, but even more sleek and sexy. Add the Velite, and Buick is the most wanted car in GM's linup.
      • 7 Years Ago
      l.i.dave is spot on. Buick is the oldest brand in America a deserves to be kept and revitalized. GM had their chance to kill Buick, but killed Oldsmobile instead.

      The brand identities Lutz has laid out makes perfect sense. When someone thinks of Lexus they don't think of performance, they think of refined, subdued (boring), luxury. Buick is the best brand for that role. Leave Cadillac to take on the performance luxury market.

      If these new brand philosophies are properly executed and each are given a healthy does of American style (like the new Caddies and the Enclave) then both brands will slowly but surely begin retaking market share.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I admit, GM has made large strides in the last couple of years. But the competition has not stood still while the General has taken its time to get back onto its feet. Toyota and Honda are not waiting around, take a look at the market. Econo subcompact; Honda Fit domiates with the Yaris close up, econo-compact; Honda Civic dominates the market with the Corolla a distant second to the domestic's third. The family sedan; Toyota Corolla dominates by far, with the Accord second, and the new accord set to take first position.

        Crossover SUV: Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, THEN Ford Escape, Minivan: Dodge Caravan(best selling, but definitely one of the worst choices) Toyota Sienna, Honda Oddysey (repeatedly won awards for best minivan by Car & Driver). Midsize SUV; Honda Pilot (overall class leader), Toyota Highlander. Mid-size Pickup; sure the Ridgeline isn't a real pickup, it has unibody construction, blah blah blah, but that doesn't stop it from winning award after award and selling like hotcakes.

        The only real market where the domestics still hold a firm grip is the truck arena. The Tundra has made huge strides and who knows? Maybe in a couple of years, they will show you why Toyota is set to take the number 1 automaker position in 2-3 years.

        Let's not even get started on the luxury market, BMW and MB still have a stranglehold on this market, and the only automakers making headway in this market is Lexus, and Infiniti. Acura's MDX is a bestseller, and Acura is set to release their next gen NSX, revamped TL, TSX, and Lexus their LF-A which will only further cement their positions. The Cadillac CTS-V is a great car, i don't deny that, but does that necessairly mean its going to significantly penetrate the market? Can it handle as well the BMW 3 series of the Infiniti G35? Is it as refined as the Lexus IS, does it offer as good a value as the Acura TL, does Cadillac have the brand image of Mercedes?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just dump the Buick brand in the states, let the chinese keep it alive. This Alfred P. Sloan marketing just doesn't work anymore. Buick sales numbers bare this out.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Before the CTSSTS onward, people were saying the same thing about Cadillac.

        Cadillac - Luxury - Performance - Corp. Standard Bearer

        Buick - Luxury

        Chevy - Mainstream mass market cars (P.S.: Euthanize the Cobalt, could use a fresher more youthful design). Look at the cars you are competing against.

        Pontiac - Stop pretending to make sport sedans. If this going to be the near entry level performance division, make it just that. The Solstice is a good start. Evertyhing else labelled Pontiac should be redesigned with a new purpose.

        Saturn - On the right track, will take time though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm always amazed that so many people chant for the death of Buick every time there is a Buick story posted here.

      As has been said; Buick is the oldest American auto brand left. There is a certain amount of prestige that goes with that. And while that may not be appreciated by the regulars of this site due to their age, it is still significant nonetheless.

      But in addition to the prestige that goes along with being the longest surviving car brand, there is also the fact that at a time when we're losing our automotive industry to foreign competitors, long-surviving brands like Buick stand as a symbol of what the American auto industry once was... and what it could be again.

      More over, Buick has an image of quality. Yes, they may now have an image of being 'old people' cars, but that is only because GM allowed the brand to stagnate for so long. But that image of quality does still survive, and it is thriving.

      GM would be hard pressed to 'replace' Buick. They certainly couldn't do it by spreading the Chevy brand even further across the chain because Chevy does not have the type of image that a brand in Buick's position needs. What are the other options? Pontiac? Please.

      Buick isn't going anywhere, especially not now. If anything, Buick is more important to GM's future as it has ever been.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Beautifully said and thoughtfully written.

        Glad to know I'm not the only one who hasn't jumped ship.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Who cares that is it the oldest? For the last 30-40 years it's been making pure pseudo-luxury cheap crap. In the last 40 years only 100-year-old have been buying it. Why? Not because of the quality, refinement, style, technology, handling, acceleration etc. but because only those born in 1800's remember that it is a good old brand. For the rest of us, it is a 100-year-old old fart who thinks he is a sexy lad.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My goodness, your ignorance amazes me. Having a rich heritage does actually mean something to some people, this of course is obviously lost on someone like you.

        Buicks have always ranked high in reliability and customer satisfaction. The last 40 years huh? Being the expert that you are I'm sursprised you forget the GSX or the Grand National? Of course I'd be willing to put money on the fact you've never even heard of those models, let alone seen one, rode in one, or even took the time to research one.

        I'm a Gen-Xer, so I certainly don't qualify as a hundred year old. Our jet-black 2004 Regal GS is the nicest car I've ever owned and hasn't had to go in the shop once in three years we've owned it.

        It's quick (3.8L supercharged V6 that produces 240HP and a ground thumping 280lb-ft of torque at a low 3200rpm), quiet (Lexus quiet), comfortable, handles well, has all the electronic goodies I could ever ask for (power everything, heated leather buckets, sunroof, dual electronic climate control, hands-free calling, etc.), and I get damn near 30mpg. If I turn off the traction control I can lay down 20 yards of rubber without hesitation.

        We got all of that for just under $26K, because oh yeah, Buick has always been about value for your money too.

        My wife and I are old enough now where we don't need to be flashy. If wanting a solid, dependable, comfortable ride makes me an "old man", then that's your opinion.

        But don't think for one second that this "old man" couldn't drive circles around your little Toyonda econo-box.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Very well said AMGoff. Agreed whole heartedly.

        And for the record, I'm 22 years old. If I can find many things about Buick to love where others can't, it's because others aren't even bothering to look.
    • Load More Comments