• Dec 29th 2009 at 10:31AM
  • 50
2011 Buick Regal – click above for high-res image gallery

We interrupt our regularly scheduled "Buicks are for old people and lascivious golfers jokes" to tell you that the average, median age of a Buick buyer is 70 years old. Compare that to the average age of a new car buyer: 52. Obviously – and no offense to you septuagenarians out there – seventy ain't sexy. And as the first rule of twenty-first century marketing (and light beer commercials) dictates: sex sells.

That said, there is a glimmer of hope if you look at the brand's recent sales trends. Take the 2010 Buick LaCrosse. The median age of its buyer is 55 years old. That's a decade and a half younger than the average Buick buyer, but still a full three years older than the industry average. However you pull apart the numbers, that's good news for Buick.

Buick's new boss – 42 year-old Brian Sweeney who just took over the Buick/GMC division from the nine days and out Michael Richards – wants to lower that age even more. His plan? In a word, Regal. Buick plans to use "experimental marketing" when they pitch the new Regal to potential customers.

We don't yet know what that means in specific, but Buick feels they helped pedal the new LaCrosse to a younger-ish audience by showing the car at, "coffee shops, art fairs and wine festivals." Can we therefore expect to see the Regal at tattoo parlors, dive bars and yoga studios? We wouldn't rule it out. Well, we would rule out the dive bars. And the tattoo joints. Either way, pitching "Not your grandfather's Buick" is a hard sell.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Go against the grain: If you're young and wanna be unique, get a car that few of your peers drive . . . a Buick!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was under 30 when I bought my Buick ...

        Hey, what other choice do I have for a RWD wagon with a 'vette V8 under the hood? OK, so I could've gotten a Caprice instead, but where's the sleeper factor? Nothing says WTF like getting outran by a woodgrained whale of a wagon ... with whitewalls.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring back the Pontiac G8 as a Buick GS. That's it, just call it the GS.
      Forget the Regal GS, give Buick a proper rwd sedan to compete with the Lexus IS, MB C class, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      52 is a pretty good average age... right in line with lexus and other entry level lux brands.
        • 5 Years Ago
        52 is 19 years younger than their owners' age before they signed up Tiger Woods. It still doesn't explain Buick's ad agency using unshaven hoons in its ads. Lexus's, either. These guys look like they hijacked the cars from the valet parking guys.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know what I really don't get? When AB posted about the turbo 6spd buick, I said "Buicks are for dying old people. They offer nothing exciting whatsoever." Yes, buicks in the PAST were kind of cool, but in the past 20 years, besides the GN, they have had NOTHING. NOTHING WHAT SO EVER. So now that the data comes out that PROVES that buicks are for dying old people... I say it again:

        "Buicks are for dying old people. They offer nothing exciting whatsoever."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not really. The average buick buyer is still 70 years old. The average age of a BMW 3 series buyer is 42, for the Lexus IS it's 41, and for the entire premium entry category, it's 45. An average age of 52 for a car that's aimed at a younger audience is terrible.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jeez, I don't know where you got those numbers from, but the Detroit Free Press reported last year that the average age of a Lexus owner is 56.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand the desire for niche brands to want to capture a more diverse market. You sell cars to old people. Once you master that art you can *think* about tackling other markets.

      I don't see Fixodent trying to get their denture paste onto a 30 year old's bathroom counter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "And as the first rule of twenty-first century marketing (and light beer commercials) dictates: sex sells."

      21st Century? God, you guys are lame.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the Regal GS was an awesome sleeper for the know-ed teenage american muscle fan... straight line fast and low insurance!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not about marketing. It's about product. Want a younger buyer? Bigger wheels, sporty suspension, louder stereo and sleek looks. That's it, well except brand perception (that will take time).

      I'd take a new Mazda over then Buick pictured above. Where are the wheels and lower ride height the Euro version has? Next to the dentures?
      • 5 Years Ago
      They need a GNX branded halo car that looks nice and priced correctly to get younger buyers in the door. Yes the Buick stigma of the old folks car is still there but when you mention GNX or Grand National to even passing car folks they know what your talking about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dont count this out. Remember GM did an odd thing with the Regal and announced it will have the option of a manual. Which for a lot of us is what killed the SHO in our minds. Sure theres only 12% of the market buying manual transmissions now but thats because they just plain arent available in anything, American wise, bigger then a subcompact.

        To a lot of people this means a more sporty look to a car. Plus a lot of car magazines will probably go for the stick as their long term test cars. Its all about image.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In my opinion, the mistake GM keeps making is using the wrong badge on the wrong car.

      I'm 30 yrs old, I've driven my father's old Buicks and loved them. But honnestly, even though I appreciate their new models, I would NEVER buy one strictly based on the branding. However, if they would market the Insignia under the Opel brand, I would buy one with no hesitation... The Buick brand is outdated on so many levels starting with its name, right down to its tri-shield logo...

      As far as age, you don't see any Japanese or European car makers worrying about age demographic when they design cars. I've seen Camry's with a sports package and i've also seen them in the 'old man's' dusty-beige... and guess what its the best-selling 4-door sedan in the US.

      All this to say, when a car is well designed and well-branded, alot of people will drive it...the only thing left to worry about is which color & trim....

      My two cents...

        • 5 Years Ago
        See, I'm 26, and I'd buy a Regal with a Buick badge in a heartbeat.

        I just might, actually, when the 2.0T 6-speed MT is released.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have to say that I believe Buick will become increasingly relevant. I am in my 30s and I love the new LaCrosse and I am planning to make my next vehicle the new Regal once the Turbo model comes out. While I will miss the Pontiac and Saturn brands, I am glad that GM sees the value in maintaining the Buick brand. It has a great history of powerful and expressively designed vehicles such as the Riviera, Roadmaster, Wildcat, GNX, Regal Grand National, T-Types, etc. Yes they have made some mis-steps along the way, but that is in the past. (look at the past of just about any brand and there are mistakes that were made) I like the direction that they are heading in and I believe that Buick will be more popular and dare I say fashionable to drive within the next five years. And to those who make fun of those over 70 who drive Buicks, who cares? I see old people in Toyotas, Hondas and Lexus all the time. They are all yawn-mobiles.

      PS: I enjoy getting the chance to drive my dad's 2008 LaCrossse Super with the V8 in it, it is sharp looking, comfortable and has plenty of power.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...and you know the saddest thing of all (and the stupidest)? GM should have killed Buick and kept Pontiac. Afterall, they had cars for geezers already available (the Cadillac DTS) and didn't need Buick. But they screwed up when they killed Pontiac because it could have become their premium 'hot' brand (i.e., the American BMW) since they already had geezer mobiles available to the over-70 year old crowd (the Cadillac DTS). Buicks are redunant and un-nessesary, especially when they're NOT appealing to younger buyers. Who's going to buy a Buick when you can get a Lexus, Infiniti, or BMW? Not me(!)...and I'm about to turn 65. I wouldn't be caught dead in a Buick (sorry...had to say it!).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right. Because the maker of the Aztek, Daewoo LeMans, and G3 was going to get street cred as a "premium" BMW-type brand anytime soon.

        One of the reasons the G8 didn't sell is because NO ONE was going to spend $35k on a Pontiac.

        Four out of their 7 2009 models were rebadges of other cars. 2 were performance-oriented, but didn't sell worth a damn until massive incentives were put on once...wait for it...GM announced the brand's discontinuation. And the G6 was both behind the competition and was flogged off to fleets at a rate of 60% of sales.

        Yeah, they were really going to get a BMW-like image out of that!

        Buick's two latest launches are beating Lexus's entries at their own game AND attracting younger buyers than Lexus is getting. Plus, the brand is actually making GM money.

        Pontiac didn't do that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I appreciate why Buick would want to attract a younger audience - but it would be a BIG mistake to ignore and/or offend the very demographic that has been their bread and butter all these decades. A cheque [that's 'check' to you Americans] smells just as sweet coming from a septuagenarian as it does coming from some punk in his 40's. [I'm 46 by the way - and am very impressed with the LaCrosse!!]
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