Post from another board: A Buick that turned my head

This post from a Focus forum blew me away when I saw it: “A Buick that turned my head” The person was talking about the Lucerne. Surprisingly, the guy wasn’t flamed…most people agreed it was a handsome car!

I think I need to see the Buick in person.

I have read 4-5 auto mag reviews that say this is not what you would expect from Buick, in a good tone.

on a side note,

I still can’t fathom how the Jaguar XK looks like a Buick front end in general.

Now I also want to see the Jag in person

I remember seeing the Jag in person at the new auto show in January. I thought it looked like the current XK, but with an aftermarket bumper.

I don’t recall seeing the Buick, but I do think I’ve seen one on the road already. It’s refreshing to hear some good news from the General.

i saw one on the road a few weeks ago and it caught my eye as i passed it.

the cadillacs are doing the same thing to me.

still wouldn’t buy one though.

If you do a search on here for the lucerne, you’ll find a thread comparing it to the last generation Taurus. The resemblance is undeniable. I’ve seen the car in person and it isn’t very awesome. But I kind of feel the same way about most of the new american cars (500, fusion, that Dodge thing that’s replacing the Neon, all of those stupid chevy crossover things like the uplander and the HHR). They all just look really awkward and strange in person. I think there are a lot of factors at work in the struggles at Ford and GM, but it would be a start if they would make some effort to make things that people want to buy instead of make mediocre stuff that they try to push out the door with incentives.

what do people want to buy? does the accord and camry sell because it’s a tremendous design? nah, it’s a good package with reliability, a perceived level of quality and value. it’s like shooting for the fat of the bell curve.

statistics, market research, cost analysis and target marketing. there’s where the criteria and restraints come from

and yes, the incentives, rebates and insane financing only hurt the resale (value).

i read an interesting analysis/view a few months ago about car manufacturers: american manufacturers are in businiess of making money for their investors. japanese manufacturers are in business to please their customers.

don’t know if these philosophies are 100% true, but it made sense.

No, they’re not tremendous designs, and they won’t ever be regarded as classics. But they’re not ugly. Owners of these cars won’t turn heads, which is good for people that are afraid of expressing themselves the whole time they’re on the road. A lot of American cars constantly express themselves by virtue of their sometimes over the top ugliness. So if people want a vanilla sedan (in beige or black or some other non-color), they want it totally vanilla. Head-turningly ugly isn’t vanilla.

Maybe the Accord and Camry are tremendous designs because they both manage to be super bland without being stale designs. I think it says a lot about their understanding of their markets and about their design team to be able to do complete facelifts of their cars without alienating the brand or their customers.

Toyota and Honda have become big players in North America because of a combination of factors, reliability, design, engineering, emotion, etc. However, their success took 20~30 years to mature. If the Big 3 truly want to turn around, they need to think in terms of 10 years at least. If they want to win big profits, they just need to foist some kind of high margin crap like SUVs on the American public again.

Ironically, the Japanese are doing a much better job of making money for their investors than Ford or GM. It’s all about the product.

yes, i agree, but if you consider the philosophies it’s ironic.

When Ferdinand Piech was running VW, he told a journalist, “I never think about the stockholders”. Some sycophant immediately hopped to attention to explain to the journalist that, of course Mr. Piech thinks of the stockholder, but that what he meant was something else.

In the end, I think in our western cultures we breed the kinds of execs who make decisions based on what will help the stocks rise rather than make money. is a good example of that.