Archive for the ‘Buick- DO NOT USE’ Category
As the domestic car brands reinvent their vehicles, consumers are slowly taking notice of improvements. This is evidenced by the results of a new consumer satisfaction survey, which saw domestic brands take the top spots for the first time ever.
Ford‘s Lincoln and GM’s Buick lines took the top two spots in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. GM remained unchanged from the last survey with 88 percent of consumers satisfied, while Lincoln posted a 1 percent increase to take the top spot at 89 percent.
While the results were good news for Detroit’s automakers, the rest of the auto industry was not as lucky. Customer satisfaction scores fell by 2.4 percent on average overall, with fourteen of the nineteen ranked brands declining in satisfaction. While the American brands remained unchanged for the most part, they were able to take the top spot thanks to sharp fall by Toyota‘s previously top-ranked Lexus brand.
“No doubt they’re benefiting from [the recalls], but they’re also doing more things right,” said Claes Fornel, the founder of the index.
Nissan, meanwhile, posted the biggest gain with a 5 percent increase, with an overall satisfaction rating of 82 percent.
Customers in the market for a vehicle may want to heed these or previous results, then shop the used car market in order to get the best deal.
General Motors will spend $890 million to upgrade five of its engine and component plants to keep up with demand for the company’s most popular vehicles, including its four core brands Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.
About $400 million will be spent to revamp GM’s powertrain factory in Tonawanda, New York, and $235 million will be spent on the company’s St. Catharines, Ontario plant. The rest will go to engine casting and component production at factories in Defiance, Ohio; Bedford, Indiana; and Bay City, Michigan, the New York Times reports.
The new investment comes less than week after the Detroit-based company repaid a $6.7 billion U.S. loan and announced a $257 million upgrade of its assembly plants in Kansas and Michigan for the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu sedan.
GM aims to build more fuel-efficient engines in response to consumer demand and future federal mileage requirements. Its North American assembly plants work on 24-hour schedules because of spikes in sales after it emerged from bankruptcy using government bailout money. GM’s sales were up 17% though March this year compared to 2009.
Prospective car buyers interested in purchasing a used family vehicle may want to take a look at the 2006 Buick Rendezvous, which has the look and feel of a sport utility vehicle and the interior space and safety features of minivan.
For 2006, Buick equipped its crossover SUV with a more powerful engine and numerous additional standard features. The base model comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of producing 201 horsepower and 216 pound-feet of torque. An upgraded 3.6-liter V6 is also available.
The ’06 Rendezvous comes standard with OnStar, an innovative alarm system, rear parking assist and sound-reducing QuietTuning technology, according to Edmunds.com.
Possibly the most acclaimed aspect of Buick’s hallmark SUV is the expansive cabin space and extensive cargo capacity. It delivers 109 cubic feet of cargo volume, while maintaining the elegant upscale look that Buick is known for.
Sharing a basic platform with Buick’s Terraza minivan, the Rendezvous seats up to seven passengers and has split-bench seats that can fold away.
While the 2006 Rendezvous is an excellent family car, it is, however, not a capable off-road SUV. Buick’s fuel-efficient crossover was bred for the highway.
Nearly three months after crashing his Cadillac Escalade outside of his home in Windermere, Florida, Tiger Woods has resurfaced. The world’s number one golfer will address select members of the media on Friday to deliver a prepared statement regarding his highly publicized extramarital affairs.
Woods has taken immediate criticism for the decision because he will be speaking in front of a hand-picked group of reporters and will not be taking any questions.
“Of course he’s not going to take any questions,” said celebrity image consultant Michael Levine on the Early Show, responding to the widespread abhorrence regarding Wood’s decision. “Nor should he. If I represented him, I wouldn’t allow him to take questions either. The potentiality for salacious questions is just too great.”
Meanwhile, General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz recently recalled the automaker’s good fortune in severing all ties with their former spokesman before the scandal erupted, according to USA Today.
“We weren’t too lucky with Tiger Woods for Buick,” said Lutz, adding that GM’s relationship with Woods did little to help sell Buick brand vehicles.
It is still unclear when Woods will return to professional golf.
Part of General Motors efforts to revitalize its many lines of vehicles includes updates that come from its design teams worldwide, but the new Regal may not interest buyers who would prefer the American look of used Buick Regals in New Jersey.
The 2011 Buick Regal will be a rebadged Opel Insignia, a sedan sold in Europe that has a higher waistline and a more continental appearance, according to the Detroit News.
Recent speculation from automotive writers suggest that the new car would be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, marking the first Buick Regal in America in six years. Buyers who are turned off by the styling, however, could consider used Buick Regals in New Jersey.
The 2004 model costs less than some new motorcycles, and according to Edmunds.com editors, it is “a competent sedan for the money” with a supercharged V6 available in some trims and a roomy interior.
Updates for that year also included expanded wood trim and dual-zone climate control options, noted the website.
General Motors marketing head Bob Lutz has told his advertising teams that he was not impressed with recent marketing efforts for Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, and some say that his arrival could mean that buyers considering used cars in New York will see new commercials with more input from automotive designers within the company.
He told teams that while recent spots for Cadillac and Chevrolet may have tested well, they were not “effective” advertisements, according to a report in Advertising Age.
“I think you will very quickly see a drastic change in the tone and content of our advertising,” Lutz said according to online magazine. “And if you don’t, it will mean that I have failed.”
The move by Lutz to curtail recent marketing efforts represents one facet of GM’s attempt to become profitable before its chief stakeholder puts the automaker back on the market.
Ron Bloom, chairman of the U.S. Treasury task force overseeing the bailouts of both GM and Chrysler said that he was eager to “dispose” of the government’s stake in General Motors, hopefully by next year, according to an Associated Press report.
GM has recently announced that new Buick Lacrosses will come with an optional four-cylinder engine for improved fuel economy, but for consumers looking for used cars in New York with a little more kick, used versions all come with a more powerful V-6 or V-8 option.
The luxury sedan will get a slightly more powerful version of the Ecotec engine that powers compact cars like the Chevrolet Cobalt, for combined fuel mileage of about 25 miles per gallon, according to GM.
“Buick LaCrosse customers will have the fuel-efficient option of the Ecotec 2.4L direct injection engine, a four-cylinder that is not available by key competitors, such as the Lincoln MKZ and Acura TL,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president.
But for those looking for a slightly stronger engine a used Buick Lacrosse in New York from 2005 could be worth checking out.
Edmunds.com editors said that it had a “smooth and quiet ride” even with a V-6 engine with 20 more horsepower than the 4-cylinder offered in new version.
For the money-conscious, the fuel mileage was still fairly high in its class, they noted, with an EPA average combined estimate of 21 miles per gallon.
It’s no secret that times are tough for General Motors, but now it seems that the country’s largest automaker will need to auction 100 or so classic used cars to make ends meet.
The Los Angeles Times reports that GM will be selling about 100 antique and show cars in an effort to raise money for the failing automaker and to reduce warehousing costs.
Included in the list of cars to be auctioned, according to the paper, is a 1920 Chevrolet Model T truck and a 1978 Corvette Indy 500 pace car – one of only four in existence.
This will be the second time this year that the car company will be auctioning off some of its collection. In January GM sold more than 230 of the cars in its collection, including a 1996 Buick Blackhawk Custom which sold for $522,500.
It is unlikely that the company will sell off any of the one-of-a-kind vehicles it owns and is attempting to rid itself of the many duplicates it currently houses.
“We realized that we had a lot of duplicates and cars that we could do without,” Greg Wallace, manager of the General Motors Heritage Center, told the paper. “We had three GTOs. We figured, ‘Do we really need three?’ We decided to keep the best one.”
According to its website, GM’s Heritage Center houses more than 200 vehicles on display along with many other documents and products from GM’s history in its 81,000 square foot space in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Although Lexus fell to the third spot on the list, Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis said the car still performs well.
“Buick and Jaguar both lead the industry in nameplate performance,” Oddes told the Associated Press. “In terms of individual model performance, Lexus and Toyota still do very, very well.”
While knocking the luxury Japanese brand from its perch at number one was a big upset, it is somewhat surprising for many in the industry to see Jaguar vaulting to the top spot from last year’s ranking of 10th.
In ranking the car brands, J.D. Power looked at problems car owners complained of over the last three years. It surveyed 46,313 original owners of 2006 model year vehicles.
This means that late model used cars from some of the top brands may be a good choice for used car buyers looking for a dependable vehicle.
It’s tempting to spend a lot of money on a new car even while the economy is tanking, but Boston Globe reporter Geoff Edgers makes the case for the used car saying a used car has something a new one will never have – soul.
Edgers admits it’s tempting to look at a new car, but he’s happy with his 1997 Buick Skylark which he says allows him to appreciate the finer things in life, like good wine. But perhaps more significantly, used cars have something that’s less tangible.
“Old cars have soul. They have character,” says Edgars. “They get us where we’re going without forcing us to spend money we should not be spending or should be spending on something important.”
A new car might seem essential, but Edgars says by spending less on a used car you can save money and buy something that might be more important. A $600 a month car lease, says Edgards, means an extra $7,200 at the end of the year.
Buying a used car may be even cheaper than it would have been a few years ago. According to the National Automotive Dealers Association, used car prices in every category dropped during 2008.