Fri, 27 Dec 2013
General Motors and its Chinese partners have announced their second recall in the People's Republic this year, following a 2,653-unit recall of the Cadillac SRX earlier this year. This latest recall affects nearly 1.5 million cars built between 2006 and 2012. It's not explicitly stated, but as there's no movement from the US NHTSA, we suspect that the cars in question were all Chinese-built rather than imports.
Mon, 23 Dec 2013
The vast majority of the affected vehicles are Buick Excelles (pictured), with 1.2 million units being recalled over a faulty bracket that's meant to secure the fuel pump. The Excelles in question were built between 2006 and 2012, while an additional 250,000 Chevrolet Sail superminis, built between April 2009 and October 2011, are being recalled for a similar reason.
According to the PRC's Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the faulty bracket could crack and potentially cause a fuel leak.
"Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?" So asked one Marty McFly of his mentor Dr. Emmett Brown, who replied: "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"
Mon, 16 Dec 2013
Doc Brown was right, of course: with an exotic mid-engine layout, gullwing doors and stainless steel body, the DeLorean DMC-12 sure looked the part. It just needed a little more juice. Well this one might not have 1.21 gigawatts of time-bending power - that'd be more than one and a half million horsepower - but it does have more than the 150 hp in the the standard 2.8-liter V6.
That's because this particular DeLorean has had its stock Peugeot Renault Volvo engine swapped out for a Buick-sourced, all-aluminum, 4.3-liter V6 from the Grand National. Dutteiller Performance didn't leave the engine in stock form, either: while they were swapping it out, they added a pair of turbochargers, new pistons, crank, cams and much, much more.
Years ago, General Motors used Buick cars to test out the idea of a "smart highway" concept. More recently, GM has been talking up its award-winning Super Cruise semi-autonomous technology that will roll out with Cadillac and make its way to Buick. The LeSabre in the video above has nothing to do with any of that.
Fri, 29 Nov 2013
On Interstate 15 in Utah, a man driving this LeSabre got into an accident that rearranged the front end and set the horn on permanent blare. At the time of writing this, no one is sure what happened next, but the man ended up sitting in the snow in the highway median while his car carried on down the highway without him. Passing traffic stayed well to the right.
The 51-second video below provides a different take on our autonomous future. A local newscast on KUTV covered the story the evening of the incident, but the Utah Highway Patrol didn't have any update on the fate of the LeSabre. We'll take that to mean that Buick's take on Christine could still be out on the prowl... so watch out!
Buick may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of performance automobiles, but fans of the brand know what letters to look for. If you believe the reports, there's a new GNX and Grand National on the way, but in the meantime, Buick may offer more GS models to fill the void.
Fri, 08 Nov 2013
Currently, the Regal is the only model available as a GS (pictured above), packing the same 259-horsepower turbo four as the Regal Turbo but enhanced with key suspension, brakes and rolling-stock upgrades. As Car and Driver notes, similar upgrades could easily be applied to the Verano and LaCrosse, although maybe not the Encore or Enclave crossovers. Of course, Buick would still have to steer clear of Cadillac's Vsport line, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a little room to play.
We've spoken at length previously about the fallacy of poor hatchback sales in the US, and with the runaway success of its Chevrolet Cruze sedan, it's somewhat unsurprising to hear that General Motors is rethinking its decision not to sell an overseas five-door variant in North America as it looks to plug a number of holes in its lineup. GM North American President Mark Reuss admitted during a media luncheon this week that not offering the model "... was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake," says Forbes. With the next-generation model already well-along in development, it's likely that the current Cruze hatch (shown above) won't see US dealers.
Mon, 21 Oct 2013
Reuss admits not offering the model "was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake"
In what must have been a far-reaching conversation, Reuss hinted at a number of new products for many GM brands, including "a much more beautiful Panamera" range-topper for Buick (which sounds a bit like the line of reasoning the TriShield brand has been pursuing with its Riviera concepts) and a "Ford Transit Connect-fighter" to supplant the recently announced badge-engineered Chevy City Express from Nissan.
Looking to set itself apart in the mid-luxury segment, Buick is looking to introduce a diesel engine somewhere in its US lineup. And according to Edmunds, the two best chances of a diesel Buick rest with the Encore and Verano.
Fri, 11 Oct 2013
In both our First Drive and Review of the 2013 Encore, our chief complaint about the compact crossover was the the lack of power from the 138-horsepower turbo engine. Edmunds says that the recently introduced 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (with both gas and diesel variants) from the Encore's overseas cousin, the Opel Mokka, could make its way into the Encore delivering the much-needed boost in power.
Then there's the Verano. As a close relative to the Chevy Cruze, which just added a diesel engine for 2014, the article speculates that a Verano Diesel might actually be the more "probably candidate" if and when Buick decides to add a diesel model to its portfolio. Either way, offering such an engine in one of its products could be a great way for Buick to differentiate itself from Cadillac and possibly even attract buyers from Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz looking for a luxurious, fuel-efficient vehicle.
The Opel Adam, the microcar of General Motors' European subsidiary, has seen its sales cool significantly since it first hit the market in the United Kingdom and Europe, but a push is reportedly under way that just might be enough to get the stylish, little car moving again.
Sun, 06 Oct 2013
Using the Opel Adam Rocks Concept as a template, Opel will ruggedize the Adam, so that it might compete with the growing herd of city cars that sport SUV styling, like the Volkswagen Cross Up and Fiat Panda 4x4, according to a report from Automotive News Europe. Sporting a bumped-up ride height and tougher body work, it's a dedicated soft-roader, but will freshen the Adam's lineup and, hopefully, broaden its customer appeal.
The Adam Rocks, according to IHS Automotive analyst Ian Fletcher, should also make some more coin for GM's struggling European arm. "Automakers are happy to meet demand for SUV and crossovers as the customer pays a premium," Fletcher told ANE. And although the Rocks might have been planned from the start as a production vehicle, the timing, with the Adam's sales slowdown, doesn't seem like a coincidence.
American servicemen and women interested in a new vehicle from Chevrolet, Buick or GMC now have a bit more incentive to head down to their local dealer, as General Motors has announced plans to improve its military discount program.
Tue, 24 Sep 2013
The new GM Military Discount Program offers eligible consumers a new Chevy, Buick or GMC at invoice pricing, which in some cases can take very large chunks out of a car's retail price. When factored in with other incentives, most of which are available with the Military Discount, the bargains are thick on the ground for members of the US armed forces.
GM's Retail Sales and Marketing Support general manager, Chuck Thomson, said, "GM has long supported the military and military families, and we hope this simplified and enhanced discount will show our appreciation for their service and help make it easier for them to own one of our great new vehicles." The program is open to all active duty and reserve members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard, as well as veterans that have been out of the service for less than a year. Military retirees and their spouses are also eligible for the discount.
The Future Buick Verano Convertible?
Fri, 13 Sep 2013
I wasn't wearing a pedometer while in Germany covering the Frankfurt Motor Show this year, but it's safe to say I walked more than a few miles between press conferences, shooting cars and trekking back to the media center on the first day alone. For this reason, it didn't take much convincing from General Motors for me to duck out of the Messe a day early and drive some of its latest Opel models. No, this didn't include the all-new Country Tourer, but I was able to drive the Opel Mokka (our Buick Encore), the Opel Adam and the Opel Cascada.
I focused most of my driving time behind the wheel of the Cascada, which went on sale in Europe earlier this year, since rumors are swirling that a Buick version of this convertible "could happen soon." Buick hasn't had a convertible since the Reatta, and GM has been lacking a non-performance, budget-minded convertible since the Pontiac brand - and its G6 - was dropped, so adding the Cascada to Buick showrooms could further help the reemerging brand compete in the near-luxury segment. Although the weather was too chilly (and occasionally rainy) to enjoy the Cascada with its top down for very long, I was able to clock a fair bit of drive time behind the wheel on roads ranging from the autobahn to tight roads in small, quaint villages.
For a company with a long tradition of grand touring convertibles, it's almost unseemly that General Motors doesn't offer a properly relaxed four-seat convertible in North America. There's the Chevrolet Camaro, of course, but it's not big on rear-seat space and it doesn't offer that sort of serene demeanor that many open-air buyers crave. We're thinking of something more refined and, dare we say, elegant. Something a bit closer to the Opel Cascada.
The General's front-wheel drive convertible went on sale in Europe this year, and while it seemed like a natural fit for its Buick brand in America, it's never been sold here. That may be about to change, however. Back in June, CEO Dan Akerson hinted he'd like to see the Cascada available in the US, and now there's word from Edmunds that importation "could happen soon." That's according to an unnamed insider at the company.
It's almost unseemly that GM doesn't offer a relaxed four-seat convertible.