• Mar 7, 2011
There are a number of simple, reliable truths in the world. The Earth is round. A compass points north. Nobody but the Chinese buy Buicks and Lexus is the best-selling luxury brand in the United States. Well, hold on to your horses. Lowly old Buick, long seen as the doorstop of the luxury segment, has outsold Lexus two months straight and shows no signs of slowing down.

Our friends at Kicking Tires ground through the sales figures and found that Buick also sold more luxury cars in February than Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Acura. In fact, the only luxury brand that sold more cars in the States in February was BMW, and even then only by 800 units.

What makes Buick's meteoric rise to the top of its segment even more impressive is the fact that it has done so with just four nameplates: Enclave, LaCrosse, Lucerne and Regal. By way of comparison, Lexus offers nine models in the States.

And lest you think that buyers are choosing Buicks solely because of a value proposition, Kicking Tires notes that average Buick transaction prices have increased by $11,113 since 2003, according to Buick spokesman Nick Richards. Sounds like Buick deserves some real kudos, no?

We suggest you scan over the whole article from Kicking Tires, it's a very interesting read.

[Source: Kicking Tires]


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  • 135 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      You people are ridiculous. First off, a brand new Buick lineup against an aged Lexus lineup. Once lexus brings out its new generations, the Buicks will look old, and thats it. Honestly, why are you people on AutoBlog if you didn't understand this to begin with. Chevy and GM are riding on curiousity sparked by new models against older Japanese competition. Car sales were always impacted by new generation release cycles.
      Secondly, the Lexus IS is nicer than any of the Buick cars. I dont have a Lexus, so don't call me biased. When you look on the road you see Lexus and Toyota vehicles, ever 20 years old, still running. That's no surprise to anyone. On top of that put the recall fiasco that hit Toyota Motors last year and the low supply of Lexus vehicles at the dealers, and its no surprise what so ever. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible for Lexus to have sold more units than Buick, given the situation. I'm sorry but Lexus is still the best luxury brand in America.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Just you wait!!!!" BLAH BLAH BLAH! How do you think Buick go into trouble in the first place? It was by allowing models to rot! And now that Toyota is doing it, by not updating and rebadging Camrys you want to cry foul? Get over yourself. It's painfully obvious that Toyota is not what they used to be regardess of what CR says or the so-called "witch hunt." Toyota is faltering under the pressure of their own arrogant quest to be number one. If they hadn't let their models ROT they wouldn't be shaking in their zories now.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Buick is a luxury brand, so is Hyundai.

      Have you ever been in an Equus?


      no really. This naming convention needs to be revamped.
      there's mainstream, premium, and luxury. Then there's ultra luxury.

      buick is not a chevy, nor a caddy. It's a premium brand, but not a luxury brand, yet.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Buick is nothing more then what Mercury was to Ford...Entry level cars guised up with luxury bits and pieces...GM's real Luxury brand is Cadillac. The Fact that GM thinks Buick is a Lexus competitor and Cadillac is BMW competitor is a laugh since Lexus is tier 1 luxury competitor to the Germans.....The only people they are trying to fool is the Chinese citizens driving Buick's...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed, Hyundia build more LUXURY than Buick.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good job, Buick. However, if Lexus sold a car that started at $26k their sales would likely increase a lot as well.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed.

        Buick deserves some major recognition for accomplishing this. Well done.

        But I do think that Buick should be compared with the near-luxury category -- such as Acura, Volvo rather tahn the big boys from Germany and Lexus. But as with any segment, of course there is overlap and variance depending on the model in question.

        Buick's line-up is also completely brand new, whereas Lexus' line-up is rapidly aging. But it does seem like they are capturing some would-be Lexus ES drivers.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, of course they would sell more if they didn't horribly overprice their rebadged Corolla or their rebadged Camry.

        The Lexus rebadge jobs of the Corolla and the Camry are such pathetic "slap in some leather" jobs that it makes the Cadillac rebadge jobs of the 1980's look good.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @beavboy

        sure, but when a VW has the chassis characteristics of an Audi, or the fact that the SLS is the embodiment of what was to be the next gen Viper or when Jeep and Mercedes co-develop an SUV platform, does the affiliation with the lesser brand diminish the performance or prestige of the more expensive one? I dont think so.

        Perhaps Toyota's products are comfortable and well-engineered enough to be re-branded as a lexus. I know the same isn't always true in every case (ie Ford's turned into Lincoln's before 2008/9) but in same cases, they work very well. The ES is a great car at a great price with a target market that agrees - its not exciting, nor was it meant to be. The driving experience is enjoyable in a more "comfortable" way. Not my cup of tea, but id never be in the market for one anyways.
        • 3 Years Ago
        LMAO! Who in their right mind would EVER consider "Buick" a luxury brand? Answer: No one!! Winning!!...

        No self-respecting luxury driver would (or should) rub elbows in the same dealership with all the other rif-raf during their purchase or during servicing. Luxury is more than just getting a luxury car...it's about the treatment and service you receive.

        And that's why every manufacturer "smartly" seperates their luxury makes from their mainstream brands.

        I can see it now...
        Customer: "Hi I'd like to test-drive a Buick"
        Salesman: "Sure - we've got 4 different models parked beside those Sonic's"
        Customer: "Huh? I can't tell the difference."

        If Buick is a luxury brand, then ask yourself where the Cadilac brand is? (Besides dead)

        Watch at autoshows - the only people looking at Buick's and Caddy's are sporting gray-colored wigs's.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke,
        and today the Hollywood stars roll around in the Toyota Prius!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wow the people here calling Lexus a bunch of Toyota rebadges are totally clueless. Is this really a car blog anymore, or just a cheering section for "American" cars?
        • 3 Years Ago
        No doubt, since when is Buick a "luxury" brand? LMAO!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FT get over yourself

        Buick is very much Luxury, have you ever been in an Enclave? Buick is even now a step above Lincoln!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Invisible

        Who is this "Government Motors" you keep talking about? Do they have a website, or twitter account or something?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Lexus does sell a car that starts at $26k, but they put a Toyota sticker on it. Think about it, people, what are you paying for? How much more do you think the components of a Lexus ES 350 cost than a Toyota Camry XLE? My bet is, not much. The auto makers make huge margins on the luxury models because the market is willing to pay it, not because differently shaped body panels, leather seats, and one step better shocks cost so much more.

        Buick has really turned around its image, and if they can turn a profit at $26k and compete for the same customers as Lexus at the same time, more power to 'em. Seems to me they've found the right balance for the target audience; don't hate 'em because they're affordable.
        • 3 Years Ago
        lexus could have priced ct200h at $26k, but they chose not to
        • 3 Years Ago
        I guess since the new Sonata by Hyundai sold more cars than Lexus ...It would be the
        next luxury brand? :=)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FT,

        Well, at least since the 1930s, when Hollywood actors routinely had their pictures taken standing next to or on the running board of their own Buicks.

        /stupid question
        • 3 Years Ago
        I wouldn't compare Buick to BMW because I don't consider Buick a tier1 luxury brand, unless one was to lower their opinion of what it means to be one.

        I guess it can be compared to Acura, Volvo, Lincoln, and other entry-level luxury brands. I have a feeling that Ford sells more luxury-packaged pickups(Lariat, KR, Harley, Platinum) then the entire Buick brand, but that doesn't help things... neither would comparing Buick's sales to those of Bentley or lotus.

        They're sales numbers are impressive none-the-less, but just to put things into perspective...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Strange, that Buick should be equated to competition of Lexus, especially since Lexus competes with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. My wife and I will be buying her a 2012 LS460 when they become available and Buick isn't even in consideration. Equating Buick to Lexus is like equating an Aveo to a Ferarri. Utterly ridiculous!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Who says Lexus compete with German cars. The Germans build works of art, like Buick, Lexus build appliances.
      • 3 Years Ago
      so the cheapest entry Luxury car brand Buick sold more cars then Some tier 1 luxury brands? is that so no sht really.....its a oxymoron...whats next more Corvettes sold then Ferrari's?
      • 3 Years Ago
      The new Verano and upcoming Compact CUV will help them get even more sales.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Invisible why don't you stay true to your namesake?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jsmeagle5

        LOL, that is one of the most ignorant post I've read in a long time. You people need to get outside of Detroit ghetto more often.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah, that really cheap economy car rebadged Cruze will move a lot of cheap cars for Buick.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Every Buick sedan offering has a starting price below 30K. Hardly competitors for Lexus.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado

        Yeah, more sales but I don't even look at Buick as a luxury brand! I never did! I always thought of Buick as like Mercury
        • 3 Years Ago
        Let's see:
        The IS was released in 2005.
        The GS was released in 2005.
        The ES was released in 2006.
        The LS was released in 2006.
        The LX was released in 2007.

        It's no wonder Lexus sales are down. Half their lineup is stale! Is Lexus shooting for 7 year product cycles, like Old GM?

        Lexus, wake up!

        Meanwhile, Buick has an almost completely fresh lineup, not including new future cars. It's no wonder they're kicking as$!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @John H.

        I like your comment of bringing a Volt model to Buick and calling it the "Electra". The name fits perfectly.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @technomania:

        Buick sells 5k Enclaves a month. You can't get them for less than $30k, and I doubt you can find them on the lot for less than $35k:

        http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f134cc8

        People are dropping $40k, almost $50k on Enclaves, such as the one poster who bought a fully-loaded Enclave CXL2 that went for over $49k out the door. That's a far cry from $27k.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Exactly so. Baby Enclave & high-content compact cover the wagon / sedan bases pretty well.

        Replace the Lucerne with a range-topping Park Avenue, bring back the Riv, and add a Volt-based Electra, and Buick can go toe-to-toe with any other large&soft luxury brand.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It is well known that when Lexus started they went right square for Buick! Now Buick is reclaiming a lot of those sales by hitting Lexus back right where they live!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Since when is Buick a "luxury brand"? Upscale from Chevy, certainly, but no. Not luxury. Isn't that what Cadillac is for...?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Buick and KIA are very similar. They rely of flashy trim pieces put on to blind customers, and when they can't move them to retail, they flood the rental car lots with the excess inventory.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Americans have no taste.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thank you eltard.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Okay, I am confused. This article specifically mentions February 2011 yet your own Autoblog numbers do not confirm this article.

      Your posted numbers for February 2011 were: Buick: 15807 and Lexus 13814. However, Mercedes is 16276 and BMW 16416. So while Buick and Cadillac have grown, they appear to take sales from Lexux and not Mercedes or BMW.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Is that before or after the average $3,800 in GM's usual incentive spending per vehicle?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hey, the Sprinter even has a starting price in the mid to upper 30K range. That's what luxury brands are able to do when you build and sell quality products. Perhaps Buick will be able to sell cars in the 30K range if they build a better reputation.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Kicking Tires article, which this story was based, excluded the MB Sprinter Van sales as part of the sales comparison figures. Presumably the Mercedes-Benz sales total Autoblog reported for February included the Sprinter figure.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Exactly right. Mercedes counts the delivery vans as part of their volume, but they don't like to talk about it much.

        If Smart sold in volume, you can bet they'd fold those under Mercedes, too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dude, there are plenty of Buicks that are 20 years old and still running. Heck, Ill invite you to see my neighbor's 1965 Riviera that is still running like a top, and only recently on its 3rd engine.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is great to see Buick doing so well! However, how does one define a "luxury" car brand? Even owning a Cadillac and Lincoln (and some other once luxury brands) isn't as much of a luxury as it used to be.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Regal is a nice car. I recently went on a test drive of one and was pleased with the vehicle. The one thing that I thought was odd that not a single one of the Regal's at this one dealership had in dash GPS. When I asked about it the salesperson told me that people are moving away from them as it costs more to update the GPS maps as opposed to buying a Tom Tom and updating it via one's home computer. I almost laughed in his face. Instead I just walked away and went to another make dealership.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I believe there is a supply shortage for Buick and Cadillac nav systems right now.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Dealers will say anything to get you in a car today instead of waiting for an item they don't have on the lot.

        He does have a point, the location databases are always out of date on these NAVs, so no one with a smartphone would really use the internal NAV to find a business. But they can still route you to an address.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They should offer a modular system which offers an easy way to update both the hardware and the software yet still be "built in." And offer it at a reasonable price. Make them universal!
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't think the dealer is wrong. Why should I pay $1500+ for an in-dash unit that will be obsolete in 4 years when I can get the same function out of a $200-300 unit?

        Also, in-dash Navigation reduces resale value, because no one wants your crappy 7 year old system when you go to sell that car. It just becomes dead-space in the dash.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ nardvark

        I'd go even farther...
        why pay $1500 on a built-in car navigation system, when I have a FREE one in the form of my smartphone?
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