Home » Nearly Half Of Buick’s Dealers Choose To Drop Buick Rather Than Sell EVs

Nearly Half Of Buick’s Dealers Choose To Drop Buick Rather Than Sell EVs

Tmd Booting Buick Ts
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There are strong forecasts out today for electrification across the globe, with the largest percentage growth in market share expected to be in the United States. Don’t tell that to the approximately 47% of Buick dealers who decided they’d rather not sell Buicks if it means investing in electrification. In today’s The Morning Dump I’m gonna talk about why that’s logical, why it’s probably good for those dealerships, and why it’s likely good for Buick.

You know what wouldn’t be good for a bunch of automakers? The proposed 52-million car recall over airbags that safety regulators are saying is likely necessary and automakers are saying shouldn’t happen. Who will come out on top?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

‘Tis the season for asking questions about the future, and our journalist pal Micki Maynard has a few of them regarding driving habits of the future and how they’ll impact the market.

EVs On Track To Increase Market Share By 66.4% In The US Next Year

2020 Buick Electra Concept China Exterior 01b

Normally, in The Morning Dump, I like to make the headline match the first story so you, my dear readers, don’t have to scroll too far. Today, though, I think it’s important to establish the prospects for the electric vehicle market in America.

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My conjecture all along has been less that people don’t want electric cars and more that automakers in the United States haven’t offered enough competitively priced vehicles with the right feature mix. This is why I think we’re likely to see a rise in hybrid sales next year.

Even with all of the headwinds for BEV sales (Battery Electric Vehicles, excluding hybrids) out there, the reality is that more people will switch to electric cars next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. It may be slower than some like, but it’s happening.

EV Chart from S&P Global

The folks at S&P Global Mobility, whom we quote often, are now out with ttheir EV forecast for 2024 and, overall, they see an increase in the share of electric cars growing their share by 39.5% to 16.2% of sales globally.

Why?

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Despite slowing consumer demand for electric vehicles, reports of the demise of EVs have been greatly exaggerated. S&P Global Mobility’s 2024 global sales forecast projects battery electric passenger vehicles to be on track to post 13.3 million units worldwide for 2024 – accounting for an estimated 16.2% of global passenger vehicle sales. For reference, 2023 posted an estimated 9.6 million BEVs, for 12% market share.

This feels about right to me, and the growth in the United States of 66.4% (in spite of changing tax credits) in share is a reflection of both consumer demand and the fact that the U.S. lags behind places like China in EV adoption so there’s still a lot of low hanging fruit with buyers who have been on the fence.

Why Buick Dealers Are Bolting

2023 Buick Electra E5 China Press Photos Exterior 024 Front Three Quarters Zoom 720x480
Source: BUICK

Almost half of Buick’s U.S. dealers have elected to take a buyout from the automaker as opposed to making a large investment in selling EVs in preparation for when the Buick brand becomes EV-only, according to Automotive News. That’s a lot.

Specifically, Automotive News reports that Buick had 1,958 dealers in the United States when the year started and that it’ll end 2023 with approximately 1,000 of them.

Buick offered to buy out retailers who did not want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on tooling, equipment and training to prepare to sell and service EVs as the brand goes all-electric by the end of the decade.

But, you might wonder, didn’t the last story indicate that there will be more EV sales next year? Yes. Are Buick sales down? Nope. Buick is the fastest growing of GM brands this year, up 54% in Q3 of this year, despite losing dealers. What gives?

There are multiple factors at play, but let’s start with the most obvious: America probably didn’t need 2,000 Buick dealers. From the AN report:

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The roughly 1,000 dealerships that left the brand this year previously represented about 20 percent of Buick’s U.S. sales, Aldred said. Dealer throughput has increased by an average of 300 percent this year, he said, adding that that shows the brand has been able to retain customers. About 89 percent of the nation’s population is still within 25 miles of a Buick dealership, according to the brand.

The math here is pretty simple. Approximately 1,000 dealers had to share just 20% of the company’s sales. Even with the brand improving and growing post-pandemic, it’s maybe even a relief for some of these dealers to take some cash and move on.

Geography also plays a factor here. While EV sales are up, the distribution is extremely varied across this large country of ours. In California, EVs have a market share of about 25% the year, compared to just 1.2% in North Dakota.

And it’s not like these dealers are necessarily leaving the GM fold as there are few standalone Buick dealers, as noted in the piece:

Bo Mandal, chairman of the Buick-GMC National Dealer Council, said some dealers who chose to give up their Buick franchise wanted to focus on other parts of their business, including other GM brands. Some, for instance, may have been in stronger truck markets and opted to concentrate on GMC.

This is a rare situation where most parties probably make out alright from this arrangement. Dealers who don’t see a future for EVs in their market can pocket a little cash, dealers who do now have less competition, and Buick can focus on supporting its most successful partners.

What Is The Future?

Genesisxgranberlinetta9 Revised
Photo: Genesis

It’s a big question. There’s still so much uncertainty and we’re all grappling with it. Do you know who might have a good read on it? Our pal Micki Maynard. She’s one of the smartest and most experienced reporters in the car game and she posted something yesterday on her Substack that’s worth reading.

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I shall excerpt from it, as is my wont:

There is an intellectual and an emotional disconnect in the way people are looking at automobiles as 2024 approaches. Intellectually, it seems clear to us all that change is coming – and indeed, must come about if we care at all about the planet and about each other’s safety.

Emotionally, however, automobiles are still prized possessions for many of us, if not necessities for their owners. The tens of millions of vehicles in use reflect the fact that in many places, there is simply no alternative to personal vehicle ownership.

I think all of us feel this quite strongly. Anyway, give it a read, it’s good.

The Looming Recall

Enclave
Buick

I warned y’all back in October that the biggest disruption to the car market in the near future isn’t going to be electric cars, but rather this giant 52 million vehicle airbag recall that sounds very much like the Takata nightmare of earlier this century.

As a refresher, here’s the NHTSA description of what happened:

Based on its investigation, NHTSA believes that ruptures may result from the weld slag produced by the friction welding manufacturing process. Should weld slag of a sufficient size become dislodged, it can cause a blockage of the inflator exit orifice when the air bag deploys. A blockage of sufficient size will cause an over pressurization and rupture of the inflator, leading to the potential forced propulsion of shrapnel or metal fragments from the inflator into the passenger compartment. Additional inflator ruptures are expected to occur in the future, risking more serious injuries and deaths, if they are not recalled and replaced.

This impacts a bunch of automakers and a confounding number of cars. Will it actually happen? Automakers are arguing against a recall, saying the events are too rare to be worth the cost.

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Per Reuters:

GM, which in May recalled 1 million ARC inflators after a rupture in March resulted in facial injuries to a driver, said NHTSA failed to demonstrate the need for “a massive and unprecedented expansion of the existing ARC inflator recalls.”

GM added the recall would affect “as much as 15% of the over 300 million registered motor vehicles in the United States.”

GM and Stellantis both called NHTSA’s decision “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law.”

GM is probably the worst off here, as they used maybe 20 million of these airbags in their vehicles. NTHSA should rule soon and then we’ll see what the automakers might do to stop it.

What I’m Listening To While Writing This

Do you like electronic music? Sometimes I like electronic music. Check out Yaeji’s “With A Hammer” if you do.

The Big Question

If you’re a Buick dealer in your home market, do you take the money or make the investment? Also, tell us where your market is.

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Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

Really is there a difference between Buick and Chevrolet? Buick sells less so the investment is a higher percentage of sales. My local Buick dealer has a dirt lot crams 30 cars new and used and employee and customer parking. They should sell. Very nice people.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
3 months ago

In the small central California towns around me (think 10-25K folks), I see quite a few Teslas, a few Rivians (even saw one of their SUVs), and a ton of plugin hybrids. When petrol is $4.53 and was over $5.50 just a short time ago, people try to save however they can. My DD hybrid gets 80 to 90 mpg just on the commute, and you can’t turn your nose up at that.

But a BEV around here still only makes sense to those who can charge at home, as like so many areas, the charging infrastructure is limited to say the least. We take too many long trips, so PHEV makes a lot of sense until charging infrastructure catches up.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
3 months ago

The problem is that BEV’s have become a political lightning rod. You only need to see how quickly social media amplifies criticism of BEVs. Remember when Tyler Hoover complained about the towing range of his Lightning? Suddenly every right wing channel on YouTube was trumpeting that “truck expert” Hoover said that all BEV trucks were crap.

Or the latest one where a dealer tried to rip off an insurance company (ICBC) for a new battery on a new Hyundai BEV that had a damaged battery from running over something (the owner was pretty vague about what he ran over); now all BEVs will be a write-off as soon as there is any damage. YouTube channels from as far away as Australia are all over it.

Actually, is anything in society not a political lightning rod these days? It’s exhausting.

Toecutter
Toecutter
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

Society itself is a political lightening rod these days. The problem stems from how little control people actually have over their lives because powerful people have given themselves that responsibility(regardless of whether or not you consented to this), powerful people which don’t have to face meaningful consequences for their actions because they are chronically shielded from liability.

So when people perceive that EVs are being forced onto them, there will be resentment, justified or not.

All of these massive tech-laden trucks/SUVs/CUVs being built are also a bad application for electric drive systems and a total waste of resources. IMO, the current trendline in the industry is a path to long-term failure.

It’s an interesting shit show to watch, for sure. I say this as someone who absolutely loves EVs and EV tech.

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
3 months ago

That is ALMOST the best possible news for GM. The only better news would have been if all the Buick dealers did that.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago

As always: Bring back Saturn, this time as a no haggle BEV producer free of GM’s interference, and bring back the rust proof plastic body panels while you’re at it.

Dest
Dest
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

And make them affordable!

BentleyBoy
BentleyBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Dest

And put the plastic panels on a frame that does not rust.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago
Reply to  BentleyBoy

Plastic panels on an aluminum frame!

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
3 months ago

“About 89 percent of the nation’s population is still within 25 miles of a Buick dealership, according to the brand.”

I find this surprising, because I can tell you where to find a Daewoo dealership in the US but not a Buick one, unless this is solely lumping them all in with Chevy dealers.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
3 months ago

There is a Buick/GMC dealer near me. Although it’d be tough to tell driving by it. They have a whopping 22 Buicks in inventory, compared to 111 GMCs, and 49 used cars.

They got the “Please Call” price on those new Encores though…so look out…Buick has a hot one.

James Kohler
James Kohler
3 months ago

Can we just find some alternative to grenade powered cushions for our steering wheels? Like I have no way of ensuring my own safety here other than praying I don’t get my coratid shredded by metal bits in the event I have a serious wreck. Get it together OEMs. Sheesh.

Mentec
Mentec
3 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

They had one, sort of. I don’t know if it’s still an option, but all through the 80’s and early 90’s we had motorized seatbelts, or worse the door mounted kind. Seeing as most people hated them, I don’t see that making a comeback. They never bothered me. I had 3 different cars with motorized belts and never had a problem with them.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
3 months ago
Reply to  Mentec

Motorized seatbelts do nothing to improve the safety of passengers who are smart enough to wear passive belts. Airbags, 99.999999% of the time, do provide additional protection for seat belt wearers. So motorizing seat belts is not a solution for the Vision Zero that the industry is working towards.

On the other hand, superheating bags of popcorn kernels upon sensing an impact not only provides a non-metalic safety cushion, but also provides a delicious snack while waiting for first responders. Add in a sucrose-based fire suppression system, and BAMMM!!! Carmel corn!!!

SarlaccRoadster
SarlaccRoadster
3 months ago

Modern cars even have a different airbag deployment model in case you’re not belted in, compared to the default mode (with the seatbelt ON). If I remember correctly, if the airbag deploys at full blast it could injure someone who doesn’t have their seatbelt on, and since seatbelt sensors exist it can easily determine which mode to deploy.

It’s also why having one of those ‘belt plugs’ in is not a great idea if you’re in a big crash.

Last edited 3 months ago by SarlaccRoadster
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

Audi actually had something before airbags, procon-ten – which essentially pulled the wheel away from the driver, toward the front of the car, in the event of an impact.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
3 months ago

So if you are grasping the wheel, bracing for impact, the steering wheel pulls your head towards the dash/windshield?!? I think I see why it didn’t catch on.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

Well, you’re already being thrust forward due to impact, so I don’t know if that adds much of a change to the force. It was never offered in North America AFAIK, don’t know if NHTSA or anyone studied it. Likely didn’t catch on more due to pressure to just go with airbags, both competitively and from regulatory standards such as U.S. law. They would have had to had to offer motorized or door-mount belts anyway here since airbags were a restraint system, and pulling the steering wheel away doesn’t restrain the occupant.

But, to the original point on alternative cushions – it seems most of the inflator ruptures/issues are for frontal airbags, are others like side/curtain liable to have similar issues? Not sure there’s even an alternative for those.

J pmac
J pmac
3 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

I think the airbags should be on the outside of the car.

J pmac
J pmac
3 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

Did we learn nothing from that mars rover? Or reactive armor in tanks? Put the protection on the outside of the passenger compartment, and make the car reusable after a crash. All the while being safer for the occupants. Airbags in the outside of the vehicle is smarter than on the inside.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  J pmac

The airbag prevents collision between your body and the hard interior body parts. IE steering wheel or dashboard. If you put airbags outside either your body or steering wheel and dashboard need put outside as well.

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
3 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

The HANS device and the 5 point harness.

The Dude
The Dude
3 months ago

Automakers are arguing against a recall, saying the events are too rare to be worth the cost.”

Reminds me of that scene from Fight Club.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
3 months ago

It’s been ages since I’ve seen a Buick dealership that wasn’t twinned with GMC. Based on the sales lots of those dealerships, I’m pretty sure that most of the money came from the GMC side anyhow.

Gubbin
Gubbin
3 months ago

KEXP has been playing “For Granted” by Yaeji a lot and I’ve been really enjoying the style. She did a DJ set there too.

Who Knows
Who Knows
3 months ago

Big question is a trick question for me, as the closest dealership of any type for me in the central mountains in CO is ~90 miles away (not counting dirt road “shortcuts” that are open in the summer only), and the closest Buick dealership is ~150 miles away. There is no decision to make, as there is no dealership in the area. It’s not a question of if the region will support an EV dealership, it won’t support a dealership at all. There used to be a Chevy dealer 20 miles away, but they dropped the franchise at some point and only sell used cars now.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

The biggest obstacle to GM EVs and PHEVs is that dealers desperately don’t want to sell them. Only dealerships I’ve ever been to where someone actively discouraged buying one of their products.

HowDoYouCrash
HowDoYouCrash
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I think it’s going to take EVs having massive profit margins for dealers to change their minds. They make SO MUCH MONEY on pickups. And there are always a ton of them in the service dept too. The reality that EVs won’t be taking up as much service time rightly scares them shitless. In an all EV future the will make less money on service, and less money overall. They likely need to run with fewer employees too. Even though they will still be making money they won’t be making as much… hence their slow adoption.

Sc00t3r
Sc00t3r
3 months ago

Eliminating 1/2 of Buick dealerships is a great start! Now, how do we eliminate the other half?

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
3 months ago
Reply to  Sc00t3r

“Eliminating 1/2 of Buick dealerships is a great start! Now, how do we eliminate the other half?

FTFY

Last edited 3 months ago by SNL-LOL Jr
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

Buick sales were down ~40% in 2022, the only GM brand that wasn’t up that year, but then a lot of large manufacturers were down too that year – Toyota was down around 9% and Honda around 33%.

Aside from the Envision (-0.38%), Enclave is up 33%, GX 104%. The old Encore was dropped after MY2022 and had been a price leader cut down to just base trims near the end of its run, so sales were up for the other models despite that. Its replacement, the Envista hasn’t been out a full year but should be good for the brand margin-wise since it offers higher trims too.

Lokki
Lokki
3 months ago

As in many places where Ev’s are increasing their market share substantially, China offers substantial incentives to encourage EV manufacture and purchase:

New energy vehicles (NEVs) purchased in 2024 and 2025 will be exempted from purchase tax amounting to as much as 30,000 yuan ($4,170) per vehicle.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/china-announces-extension-purchase-tax-break-nevs-until-2027-2023-06-21/

Norway’s policy is well known:

“In 2021, about two-thirds of new passenger vehicles sold in Norway were fully electric. Norway’s success in promoting electric vehicles has mainly been driven by generous tax incentives, including the exemption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) from the registration tax, VAT and motor fuel taxes, as well as at least a 50% reduction in road taxes, and ferry and parking fees. These fiscal incentives were essential for shifting demand towards ZEVs and increasing their share in the car fleet.”

https://www.oecd.org/climate-action/ipac/practices/norway-s-evolving-incentives-for-zero-emission-vehicles-22d2485b/

Meanwhile, in Germany:

Sales of new plug-in (EV or PHEV) vehicles in Germany in September 2023 took a massive hit as the country’s EV subsidies continued time-gated phaseouts, based on data analyzed by InsideEVs. Specifically, business subsidies for EV purchases were eliminated entirely as of September 1, 2023 — and the result was a 35% reduction in all plug-in registrations year over year for the month of September. BEV registrations, as compared to the total figure (i.e., including PHEVs), dropped 29% in the same period.

https://electrek.co/2023/10/16/german-ev-sales-nosedived-in-september-2023/

Torque
Torque
3 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

1st world Governments using positive incentives toward ev adoption seems like a smart move if the desired objective is to work towards lessening reliance upon fossil fuels. This can be a potentially good environmental And economic move both at a micro and macro level.

EVs and PVs have a synergistic relationship, i.e. buying one makes the purchase of the other much more likely.

Personally I think psychologically it is easier for someone to move towards electric by buying an ev and then buy solar panels to power their ev (and the rest of their household electric needs) bc you have a heck of a lot more personal interaction with an ev than pv 🙂

Last edited 3 months ago by Torque
Deathspeed
Deathspeed
3 months ago

“My conjecture all along has been less that people don’t want electric cars..” No, we don’t. Electric cars may be inevitable, but I can’t honestly conceive of ever wanting one. I’m one of those guys that people come to for car advice, and not a single middle class person I know in my town or at work has ever expressed any interest whatsoever in electric. I know only one who drives a hybrid, and it was free to that person. Even if prices were comparable to ICE counterparts, sufficient infrastructure just is not here yet, especially here in rural America. It’s not just reduced range or range anxiety or longer wait times to add as many miles as gas or lack of soul compared to a rumbling V8. In vast swaths of this huge country, publicly accessible charging stations just do not exist. It seems to me that many writers (not just on this site, which is my favorite among the vehicle sites I regularly read), especially those based on a coast or a metro area, don’t really comprehend just how big this country is or how sparsely populated the Great Plains or the West or Southwest are.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

In contrast to that, there are a lot of people in heavily populated areas that do want electric cars, or at a minimum hybrids/PHEV. I live in the rural Northeast, but many people ask me questions about EVs and hybrids all the time.

You can’t complain about everyone ignoring rural America when it comes to these stories, then ignore all of the people who live in population centers as if they don’t exist.

I am not surprised that if you live in a rural area that people aren’t interested in EVs. They don’t need to be, that’s fine. But there are plenty of people that would be well served by one, and there are plenty of people interested in them.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

To be fair, I’m not sure most people want an ICE vehicle either. Most people I know just want reliable, convenient, and affordable transportation. Right now, for most drivers an ICE vehicle is the best way of achieving that.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Well said and on that note I want to add the used car market is an ignored piece of the pie. A used EV just doesn’t have the resale value and as such trade ins will be affected.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

I want an EV. I recognize the challenges and will likely wait a few years before I buy an EV, but I want one very much.

A lot of the challenges are overblown – if I can access a quick charger in Wynyard, Saskatchewan they’re clearly getting a foothold – and there’s a lot of effort to make them seem scary, but I want one and lots of people I know want their next car to be electric in some way.

Last edited 3 months ago by Citrus
That Guy with the Sunbird
That Guy with the Sunbird
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Same here. Yeah, I have a paid-off car now and I’m loving the no-payment life. It’s a 2016 Mazda6 with 78,000 miles, so it has a lot of life left. If I can drag it out long enough (i.e. no catastrophic maintenance costs or accidents), then I can see my next car being an EV or at the very least a PHEV.

Dest
Dest
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Same, I’m hoping the Jeep Recon doesn’t suck. I want an ev but there’s not one out right now that I actually want to buy.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

According to Pew Research Center, 38% of Americans (including 24% of rural Americans) are either “very” or “somewhat” seriously considering an EV. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed Chevy Bolts and Volts are common in rural Missouri because elctricity is cheap.

I think your experience is an outlier.

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

Interesting you say that, because I’ve seen Volts in several rural driveways in Indiana and Kentucky as well.

Marlin May
Marlin May
3 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

Ooooh! How dare you provide an actual citation in your post. Research. Bah, Humbug! 😀

The Dude
The Dude
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

I want an EV for my next vehicle.

Deathspeed
Deathspeed
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

Fair points, all! I just get a little frustrated constantly reading about how we “all want EVs but they are too expensive.” Geographically, they still don’t make sense to a lot of us regardless of cost, especially those of us who cannot afford a second vehicle.

I do remember seeing a Volt or two in the MO town of 4,000 where I live. 🙂

I’m personally more interested in the 61 Impala 4-door a guy here uses as a daily driver.

Torque
Torque
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

Using a +60 year old car as a daily driver Is impressive.

Years ago I stumbled across this site called ‘365DaysOfA”, where like the site name suggests, a youngish guy decided he was going to drive a Ford Model A as his legit daily driver for a full year and he lived (still does?) in the UP, i.e. Upper Michigan, so easily +4 of those months would be in winter conditions.

He mostly made it too, from what I remember he had at least 1 significant mechanical issue I think it was the rear main (rope) seal which required pulling the transmission out and it took several days (or a couple of weeks) before he could use it again.

https://www.365daysofa.com/

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

Counterpoint: I can’t even be arsed to read about new ICE cars. Only EV pique my interest and my next lease will very likely be EV.

Timbuck2
Timbuck2
3 months ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

Honestly I can’t even be asked to read about most new vehicles anymore, EV or not. They’re all just focused on comfort and gimmicky features and too expensive.

Timbuck2
Timbuck2
3 months ago
Reply to  Deathspeed

If I had the money for multiple vehicles one of them would probably be an EV, but as long as I have to stick with having one vehicle, it will be an ICE. I don’t have any problem with EVs, but factors like the right to repair, my dislike of giant screens, the lack of decent charging, the way the chargers charge you for the electricity, my enjoyment of lightweight vehicles, and the constant barrage of political bullshit around EVs is going to keep me away for now. Plus, I like the rumble of a v8 and the mechanical feeling of winding out an engine. I think EVs would be great as commuters and I do hope the technology improves, but I hope sports car will be continue to be ICE for as long as they can.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago

I would imagine my dealer in suburban Chicago will take the hit and upgrade. There’s only two Buick dealers in the county, and I can see the other one- in a much more trucky sales environment- bailing out. There’s also a huge Sun City out here with scads of Buick-ready customers.
No way the next-nearest three Buick dealers, in Northwest Cook, bail out. Too much money on the table.

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
3 months ago

I can sort of envision (no pun intended) a paper-rock-scissors deathmatch between the two Buick dealers in my county. They’re both small, they both rely heavily on GMC truck sales, and neither can really siphon much if any Buick business from the 3 dealers in the more populous county to the south. Oh, and there is an entire county to the north that has zero dealers, before you have a county with 1 dealer, then… Canada.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago

I saw someone driving an Envista in DC the other day. I thought it looked pretty sharp to be honest. For something that’s a pure econobox/appliance it has some character. If someone asked me what cheap new car they should buy I might even recommend it.

There’s also someone in my neighborhood who has an Enclave. Out of all the crossovers in the world it’s definitely one of them, that’s for sure. I’ll occasionally see Encores as well and find them to be uniquely depressing for some reason. There’s just something about the tall but stubby entry level crossovers (the Ford Ecosport applies here too, as does the Hyundai Venue) that’s so remarkably unappealing to me.

They just give off this aura of indifference. No one drives one because they want to. There is absolutely nothing interesting about them. There are myriad other options for that same money that are exponentially better in every conceivable way. They just scream “I have given up, I’m in a dead end middle class job and had two kids before I was ready, please up my Prozac, doc”. It’s a very specific flavor of suburban American malaise

Also wanted to mention that I’m not making fun of folks who are depressed or feel stuck in life…I’ve taken an SSRI for years and it’s helped me tremendously. Just trying to set the stage, if you will.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

A bit harsh on the Encore/its buyers. I’m one that thought the Encore was going to flop initially and it’s one of the more dull vehicles I can remember driving, but it’s not hard to see some reasons why it became successful. It’s easy to dump on it too after many good options have since shown up, but at first there weren’t many other options in that size.

For the price you could buy a size up…but feature wise you were getting a lot more with the Encore. Most base compact SUVs still looked and felt cheap, you had to spend more to get some of the things standard on an Encore like a power driver’s seat, alloy wheels, roof rails, privacy glass. Even now you have to spend up to get some of those things in competitors in that class.

And then of course discounts too or as a used buy. It was the entry price leader to the brand, often with a $199/mo advertised lease, which was also like a base midsize sedan lease and much less than other crossovers. As a used buy you’d get a lot for your money too and get a better optioned vehicle for less than a lot of other options for the price.

So call it a value buy, but for the average buyer that doesn’t care so much about driving, the vehicle itself wasn’t bad. It did get long in the tooth. Most reviews credited it for surprisingly good ride and quietness, which wasn’t always the case for other vehicles its size that did follow. That helped with older buyers (aka your more expected Buick buyer) who didn’t want something big but wanted something higher riding/easier entry/exit.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago

The only thing about the Envista that makes me gag is the name. Who at GM decided that every Buick has to start with En-? Did no one notice that maybe being forced to name every product like that would be a bit limiting?

Encore, Enclave and such are crappy names, but at least they’re, you know, words. Envista screams “Yeah we ran out of words that start with En-, so what?”

Hmmmm, brings up a good question. What will the next Buick model be called?

Enhance?
Enchant?
Enigma?
Engulf?
Envoy (whoops already taken)
Endeavor (whoops, also already taken)
Envy? (I could totally see Buick slapping Envy onto a basic crossover and putting out a horrible ad campaign for it)
Enormous (possible replacement name for the Enclave, though I suppose it’s E-norm-ous and not En-orm-ous, so phonetically it doesn’t really fit the convention.

Ok, I’m done.

Oldskool
Oldskool
3 months ago

Envista sounds like one of those medicines that I see commercials for 50 times a day. Which is supposed to be great but has a crap ton of side effects. Yep, sounds like a lot of modern cars.

Torque
Torque
3 months ago
Reply to  Oldskool

Don’t take Envista if you are allergic (to Envista), may cause a super long list of serious medical problems including killing you

Torque
Torque
3 months ago

“Ladies and Gentleman…

I introduce you to
OUR ALL NEW 2025 ELECTRIC FLAGSHIP 3 ROW SUV/CUV MODEL!!!…

THE BUICK ELEPHANT!!!”

Last edited 3 months ago by Torque
H4llelujah
H4llelujah
3 months ago

I imagine my local Buick dealer will be taking the buyout.

They are located in Carrollton, Ohio. There are about 20 total charging stations within 50 miles, and they are all spread out at other new car dealerships, a bank of them at the mall in Canton (a 45 minute drive north of the dealership) another one at a local marina, and one more at a state park.

I drive 28 miles to and from work, 5 days a week, and I have yet to see any EV other than an F150 lightning owned by a local Attorney, and a couple of Teslas driven by wealthy housewives.

The right leaning guys here lean REALLY right, and the left leaning folks are only leaning left because they grew up in a Union Labor house like me. The only people in Jefferson, Harrison, and Carroll counties that would want an EV either can’t afford one, or can’t realistically have one for a daily.

I’ve BS’d with the guys that work at their store, and they couldn’t even move hybrid trucks. People around here just want gassers, and they will for a long time, until they get to actually see and experience them.

I made a post last night on Facebook excited to tell people about the Ram 1500 Ramcharger (which, mind you, has a GAS engine) and I was absolutely bombarded with people shitting all over anything EV related.

Unless you’ve seen whats been filling these people’s heads when it comes to EVs, you probably wont understand: The average person from rural america (ohio at least) actively HATES the idea of an EV. To them, they symbolize everything “wrong” with the country, and since around here they realistically cannot own one without some serious adjustments to their daily life, to them an EV is a California/Government idea that they are being forced to buy.

There’s no way they’re even going to THINK about spending money to sell Buicks. They can’t even move Hybrids.

Last edited 3 months ago by H4llelujah
Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

I think I’ve noticed this a little here in MA and NH. In the past, I would expect a Smurf-blue Japanese sports car wouldn’t earn much more than a sniff of derision from a certain (small) segment of the population, but it has actually received positive comments that are odd in a way that makes is seem that they think I’m similarly politically affiliated and I suspect it’s because I bought a new car that isn’t an EV and a sports car seems like more of a thumbed nose to environmentalists than even a standard ICE vehicle (even though I actually average over 30 mpg) as if I’m making a statement when I really just want to enjoy driving and deal with the minimal nannies and other dumb BS of modern cars (I would have no problem buying a basic sports car EV that also lacked the stupid—unfortunately, ever more mandated—garbage and wasn’t built to be disposable).

James Kohler
James Kohler
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Unfortunately, there are more govt mandated nanny bits coming down the pipe in 2026 and beyond. Not thrilled about it myself, but we gotta get from A to B somehow. Keep the current ride rolling smooth is the current plan.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Been noticing similar in online comments elsewhere lately – lots of “golf cart”-esque commentary and then some. Even anti-hybrid sentiment. It’s only the last few years where we’ve seen the gap really narrow or close between a hybrid and nonhybrid as far as the cost/benefit, and so even that will probably take some time for public perception to catch up.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
3 months ago

Yup. I try to lead by example, you can love horsepower and fun and still want to drive a car that is a bit better for the environment.

I have an old wrangler that I love to take out and beat around in the woods, and drive all over hells half-acre on nice days, or really really snowy days. I love that old gas-guzzling shitbox.

But I drive 50 miles a day, all on beautiful winding appalachian backroads. I have a level 2 charger at work. A Hornet R/T lease is 280 a month and I was spending 300 a month just in gas for the wrangler.

I am now slinging an Italian American bastard box up the hills and down the dales, and half the power that goes into it comes from the sun.

Liberals call me a redneck, the rednecks call me a liberal. Who cares. I’m just here to drive fun shit.

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