Whenever we hear car brand names, each of us has a picture that comes to mind. For Jeep, that picture is your friend’s Wrangler, for Chevrolet, you think of your dad’s pickup truck, and for Buick, you probably think about your grandparent’s car. Buick has managed to change the vision of their brand recently, and it’s nothing like it used to be. Buick now produces a lineup of vehicles that target the younger, more tech-savvy generation. Visit any Buick dealership, and you’ll find premium SUVs that work for the family or businessman. How did they make that change and succeed in appealing to Millennials?
Brief History of Buick
Buick has always been a top-producing car brand in the United States. It’s been around since the early 1900s and even produced more vehicles than Ford and Cadillac in the early days. Buick’s vehicles through the decades were consistently classy and premium for their time. For example, the 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible was sure to be a status symbol in that day.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Buick’s sedans like the Park Avenue, LeSabre, LaCrosse, and Regal were popular among sedan drivers and became the image of the Buick brand. When people think of Buick, one of these models probably comes to mind. Times were changing, though, and SUVs were becoming more in demand among the younger generation. Even if Millennials weren’t growing their families yet, they still preferred a snazzy SUV over a sedan.
In 2008, the Buick Enclave was released as a luxury crossover SUV, and that began the change for Buick. Buick found a way to maintain their foundation for premium vehicles and modernize it for the younger generations. In recent years, Buick chose to discontinue its sedans from its lineup in the United States and focus solely on the growing SUV and crossover lineup. It’s a bold move, but one that keeps Buick relevant today.
Making a Change – New Lineup of Vehicles
As of 2021, Buick currently has six SUVs and crossovers. They include the Buick Encore, Encore GX, Envision, Envision Avenir, Enclave, and Enclave Avenir. Overall, Buick SUVs are more upscale than the standard car brands but don’t quite have the price tag as luxury car brands. It’s a nice compromise that really isn’t a compromise at all. More people have the opportunity to own premium cars.
The Buick Enclave continues to reign for Buick as its 3-row SUV option. Over the years, the Enclave consistently offers features that stand out in its segment like massaging front seats and premium design.There’s even a luxury version of the Buick Enclave known as the Enclave Avenir. The Enclave Avenir features more upscale finishes, like wood-tone accents that set it apart from the rest.
The Buick Encore and Envision are smaller than the Enclave, but still provide the premium features you expect from Buick. The Encore is the smallest Buick SUV and works well in tight spaces and city streets. Just a few inches larger than the Encore is the Encore GX. There aren’t many differences between the two SUVs, beyond the sizing. Buick emphasizes the small SUV by providing more than one option.
The Envision is slightly larger than the Encore and Encore GX and is all-new for 2021. You have the option for the extra upscale Buick Envision Avenir too. Both the Encore and Envision seat 5 passengers, but the Envision’s extra space provides more room for the 5 passengers and cargo. With the Avenir model and the other Envision trim levels, Buick puts its luxury stamp all over the Envision.
When you look at Buick’s new lineup of vehicles, it’s very different than it was just several years ago. All of Buick’s SUVs might look similar on the outside, but they stand on their own in each segment. With Buick’s SUV lineup still maintaining its popularity, what appeals to Millennials about this revamped car brand?
The Appeal to Younger Generation
It takes a lot of effort to change someone’s impression of a brand. Buick succeeded in that in recent years by completely revamping its car lineup to include only SUVs, but there are SUVs everywhere in the market. It’s important to discuss what makes Buick a solid brand for Millennials. One thing that’s increasingly a part of Millennials and the younger generation’s lives is technology.
Buick has prioritized advanced technology in its current vehicle lineup. Technology that helps drivers make a seamless transition to home and work life to life on the go. Some examples of the standard and available technology include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, WiFi hotspot, and advanced safety technologies. The younger generation values staying connected, and Buick makes that easy with its included technology.
Beyond their vehicle features, Buick as a brand has a strong reputation, and they have the accolades to show for it. In 2016, 2017, and 2019 Buick won a JD Power award for the most sales satisfaction in mass-market brands. From 2016-2018, Buick won a Kelley Blue Book award for best value luxury brand. Buick cares about its customers and provides premium-level vehicles at an affordable price for the average person.
What’s Next for Buick?
Buick has already begun releasing their 2022 model year vehicles. The 2022 Buick Enclave continues to strengthen Buick’s reputation for premium SUVs. This model year of the Enclave comes with more standard features, like Buick’s safety technology suite and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard technology is in high demand from drivers, and Buick continues to respond.
The 2022 Buick Enclave also releases an updated design with more modern features in the exterior and interior. This is essential to note for Buick’s future as it will largely be determined by continuing its modernization. Buick seems to do that with its new 2022 Enclave by focusing on sleek, bold, and premium design features.
For the other vehicles in Buick’s lineup, the 2022 models are refreshed with technology and luxury as the foundation. The Avenir model of the Envision and Enclave return again for the 2022 model year, providing an extra dose of luxury for those models. The 2022 model year of Buick vehicles looks to be a strong showing of Buick’s values and should yield positive responses from drivers.
It will be interesting to see how Buick continues to adapt and target the younger generation. Could that mean new models or revolutionary technology in the future? Time will tell, and the consumer demand will have a say in it too. If Buick continues to evolve and satisfy the needs of
Millennials and their growing families, they will see continued success.
Buick is a Relevant Option for Millennials
When it was apparent that sedans were dying in popularity, Buick had a choice to make. Buick chose the path that aimed to change from the “older person car” to a car for the “tech-savvy Millennial family.” If you visit any Buick dealership, you’ll probably find a younger generation of car shoppers. Through Buick’s history and current offerings, they’ve managed to become relevant to the younger drivers. For the person growing in their career and family, but not quite at the luxury car status, Buick has been the answer for many.