Shuffling off this mortal coilover

There was a time when General Motors had many more badges than they do now. And one by one, they were judged superfluous and were made to face the firing-order squad. (Remember Viking? Oakland? Okay, LaSalle ran great for a decade or so, but they’re forgotten by now.) What matters now, though, is that Buick, the very first brand bought by Billy Durant on his way to founding GM, must die:

Buick is now clearly the dumping ground of GM product. If you look at GMC, for example, you’ll see fresh faces and shiny grilles and waiting lists for products like the four-cylinder Terrain. Buick? Well, they have

  • A Korean blob (Encore)
  • A Chinese blob (Envision)
  • A Polish blob with a folding roof (Cascada)
  • A sedan that nobody buys (Regal)
  • Another sedan that nobody buys (LaCrosse)
  • A monstrous CUV that weighs 4,800 pounds in its cheapest FWD variant and which has no visible market whatsoever (Enclave)

And since all but a handful of Buick dealers also sell GMC trucks and trucklets, you can see them more or less simultaneously.

Weirdly — or perhaps not so weirdly, since I am old and set in my ways — were I to buy one more car before I go, it could well be a Buick. The brand image may be murky these days, but I still think of Buick as Cadillac’s quieter, if perhaps dowdier, sister. There isn’t much space, though, between Cadillac and Chevrolet, and the General doesn’t seem to be making any room for the Roadmasters of legend.

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