History of Buick
Buick is a division of the American automobile manufacturer "General Motors" (GM). It was founded in 1899 by automobile pioneer David Dunbar Buick under the name "Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company" and was one of the first American automobile brands.
David Buick founded his company on May 19, 1903, in Detroit, Michigan, as the Buick Motor Company. His curiosity was piqued by internal combustion engines, which he began experimenting with in the 1890s. He founded the company so that he could devote himself entirely to engine work. The company's stated goal was to market engines for agricultural use. Instead of just developing an engine, he soon began designing an entire vehicle.
The First Buick logo features a picture of Uncle Sam and the phrase "renowned around the globe," was designed in 1904.
Buick was one of the first American automotive brands to become a General Motors brand in 1908. William C. Durant, who is the founder of "General Motors", was the company's chief executive and largest investor prior to Buick's creation. Buick was positioned as an upscale luxury vehicle below Cadillac after consolidating its market position in the late 1930s when the junior Marquette brand and Cadillac's junior LaSalle brand were discontinued.
Buick is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, USA. And you may ask "Where Buicks are made?" - their production centers are in the U.S., Canada, China, South Korea and Germany.
Interesting facts about Buick
Buick is a premium automaker in the North American market, offering luxury cars, sedans, SUVs and convertibles that are more expensive than the flagship models of the Cadillac division of GM, but still priced above the company's mainstream brands. The Detroit News reports that "a successful executive with a family" is Buick's current target market. Buick has built many models with seating for two, four, five or six people. But only two times in 110 years has the brand produced vehicles with up to eight seats: the 2008 – 2013 Buick Enclave and the 1991 – 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate.
The company officially ranks fourth among the largest automakers in the world and first in America. General Motors is listed as the 13th largest company by revenue in the Fortune 500 list with total revenue of $137 billion as of 2019. General Motors includes Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Buick and more. Buick is still growing, and the reason is that Buick sells more than 80% of its vehicles in China - with only 20% of its sales in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The modern Buick Regal luxury sports sedan GS is the fastest-producing Buick in company history. It reached a top speed of 162 mph in the 2012 Nevada Open Road Challenge.
Buick's shortest and longest models:
- The 1904 Model B, which had an 83-inch wheelbase, was Buick's first automobile. Despite not being nearly as compact, the 2013 Buick Encore luxury small crossover has the smallest wheelbase (100.6 inches) since the 1912 Model 34. (90.7 inches.)
- The Buick Electra 225, which was built in 1975, was the company's longest car ever. Between bumpers, it had a length of 233.7 inches.
Buick's involvement in racing dates back to 1908, when it first demonstrated its prowess on racetracks. Six times a Buick has been the Indianapolis 500's official pace car, and in 1981 and 1982, the company won two NASCAR Manufacturers' Championships. In the 1980s and 1990s, Buicks with aftermarket V8 engines were also entered in the Trans Am Series.
Biggest competitors on the market
The top 5 main competitors of General Motors are Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Nissan. Together, these businesses employ 1.2 million people globally, with General Motors employing just 164 thousand and ranking fifth among its Top 5 rivals. The average number of workers among the top 5 rivals is about 250,000.
Pros and cons of Buick models
Most popular models
The Buick lineup isn't huge, but it offers crossovers in the most popular sizes, and these are the best Buicks that have shaped America's auto industry:
- 1909 Buick race car - Bob Burman won the 250-mile event behind the wheel of a Buick with an average speed of 53 mph. Nine cars finished the race, three of them were Buicks.
- 1936 Buick Century - The Buick Century or Series 60 had a 5.3-liter inline eight cylinder under the hood that made it to 120 horses. In the 1930s, 120 horses were worth their weight in gold, and the Century got its name because it could go over 100 miles per hour.
- 1950 Buick Roadmaster - The 1949 model was at an all-time low in sales, with the 5.2-liter inline eight-cylinder engine aging a bit too soon. That's why Buick beefed up the design and added nine unmissable chrome teeth to the grille. The Roadmaster will always be an iconic Buick car - and those teeth were its crowning glory.
- 1963 Buick Special Skylark - Buick managed to fit in a 3.5-liter all-aluminum V8 mill, available in two options: One was a two-barrel carburetor that produced 150 hp, the other a four-barrel carburetor that made it to 190 hp. The latter option was bumped up another 10 hp to 200 hp, making it the perfect race car for its time.
- 1963 – 1965 Buick Riviera – With 6.6- to 7.0-liter Buick Nailhead V8s and 325 to 360HP had more than adequately powered in this understated car. The '65 Riviera is believed to be even better than the '63 models. The headlights get shell covers, adding a subtle touch of mystery to this already exotic beauty.
- 1966 Buick Wildcat GS – Having 2 options for the Wildcat GS: a single Y48 carburetor setup with 340HP on a 7.0-liter engine and a Super wildcat W14 dual-carb option upped with 360 Hp.
- 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1 - could have made you forget about the Mustang, but unfortunately it arrived on the scene a little too late. The 7.4-litre V8 that powered it produced 350 horses, which increased to 360 in top trim. The torque of 510 ft-lb remained a 33-year-old record until it was finally broken by the Dodge Viper in 2003.
- 1975 – 1980 Skyhawk - power mill – a 3.8-liter V6 that spat out 110 horses and preferred not to explode like the Vega's block four. Undeniably Skyhawk was fast.
- 1986 Buick Regal T-Type and Grand National - 1986 Buicks had 235 horses, which were increased to 245 the following year. 1987 was the last year for these models, and as word got out, sales skyrocketed. In 1986, 7896 of these cars were sold, and in 1987, the number increased even more with more than 20,000 Grand Nationals sold.
- 1987 Buick GNX - With Buick underselling the HP at 276 and torque at 360 ft-lb, GNX became the fastest car of 1987, and one of Buick's fastest cars, going 0-60 mph in a flat 4.6 seconds, but sadly only 547 of these cars ever left dealerships.
- 2012 Buick Regal GS – Has had the highest horses a Regal ever threw out, with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pounding out 270 HP and 295 ft lb torque. This made the Regal GS spin 0 - 60 mph in a quick 6.1 seconds.
The worst models and their imperfections
Unfortunately, Buick has also had its share of bad vehicles:
- 1992 Buick Skylark Gran Sport
- 2001 – 2002 Buick LeSabre - The largest complaint filed for both model years is with significant windows and engine concerns
- 2002 Buick Rendezvous - The dreadful appearance, outdated tech, and strange build made it problematic
- 2005 – 2007 Buick Terraza - made to be more affordable than most other minivans in the market, this translated to a vehicle that lagged behind others
- 2007 – 2008 Buick Lucerne - The most common issue is electrical problems that are mainly caused by an overheating fuse box, with real electrical and engine concerns
- 2008 Buick Enclave - This was one of the worst Buicks ever made, with a slew of faults such as transmission and engine concerns, that required repairs and recalls
- 2010 – 2011 Buick LaCrosse - the most common issue listed is for the check engine light coming, but that's mainly due to the need to complete engine block replacement. Also the need to change the spark plugs or clean out carbon build-up.
- 2011 – 2012 Buick Regal - The most common issue is the engine stalling or shutting off
- 2014 Buick Encore – This vehicle was one of the most disappointing and lackluster ones ever created with real interior and engine concerns
In early 1902, David Dunbar Buick formed the Buick Manufacturing Company to produce and market his own cars, but also to produce engines for other car manufacturers. Buick was a capable inventor, and he originated the valve-in-head engine and the windshield. Compared to the competing side-valve engines that all other manufacturers were using at the time, this engine design process offered a far more powerful engine. Most automakers today use overhead valve engines, but only GM and Chrysler consistently build the "pushrod" version. Virtually all of today's engines can be said to be descendants of the Buick innovation, as the overhead camshaft engines are design variants of the OHV engines.
When Buick began equipping all of its models with 8-cylinder engines in 1931, other manufacturers began using V8 engines in their luxury cars at the same time. In 1953, the company introduced its first Buick V8 engine, and in 1962, the company unveiled its first V6 engine for the small Special model. With few exceptions, Buick engines were always equipped with overhead valves, a technology the company introduced with the Buick Model B in 1904.
Safety and reliability
Between premium brands and mainstream, Buick is positioned in the middle of the market. Most vehicles are upscale and polished, with well-designed interiors and basic entertainment systems. On the other hand, most Buicks can't keep up with current competitors on gas mileage. As with other automakers, there is an increasing focus on SUVs. Even with its small model selection, Buick remains one of the most trustworthy domestic brands. Buicks are currently the most reliable American-made cars if you're looking for a domestic vehicle. Buick ranked 11th out of 32 car brands with a total score of 72 out of 100. According to "Consumer Reports," Buick is less reliable than Japanese automakers like Mazda and Toyota, but clearly the most reliable U.S. car brand - ahead of brands like Ford and Chevrolet.
Buick has joined the top five in 2022 producing vehicles that consistently position them at the top of annual auto reliability brand rankings. There is also impressive gas mileage on Buick cars, especially SUVs. Buick is on the list of the most reliable American car brands.
Five most reliable Buick cars:
- 2012 Buick Regal GS
- 2018 Buick Lacrosse
- 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir
- 2019 Buick Encore (Avoid 2013, 2014, 2015 models)
- 2020 Buick Envision
Customer complaints and manufacturer recalls
What are the most complaints by the owners:
- Worst Issues: transmission and power steering failure in the 2008 Buick Enclave, power window stopped working in the 2000 and 2001 Buick LeSabre, engine stalls/shuts off while driving in the 2011 Buick Regal, timing chain stretched in the 2010 Buick Enclave.
- What Breaks the Most: Engine, Windows, Interior, Transmission, Electrical, HVAC, Steering
- Years to Avoid: 2008, 2002, 2001, 2003, 2000, 2011, 2005
The Buick recalls are over problems with airbags, steering and ignition. One of the defects noted in the Buick recalls is a problem with the ignition switch. This defect causes the affected ignition to switch off while in operation. This disables essential features like power steering, power breaks and airbags. This serious defect has been linked to a number of crashes and fatalities. Other recalls:
- Buick Envision - one recall since 2017, and with a quick fix, manufacturer's repair shops can correct a potential electrical issue that may improperly communicate with dashboard visuals.
- 2021 Buick Envision - concern that the airbag malfunction indicator may fail to warn the driver if there is a problem with the airbag, increasing the risk of an injuries in a crash.
- 2021 – 2023 Buick Envision - While the headlights were on, daytime running lights could not turn off. This may blind other motorists, increasing the chances of a crash and injury.
- 2010 – 2013 Buick Regal - The rear suspension toe links used in the affected vehicles could break due to the supplier’s excessive use of protective coating, which could fail to shield the part against corrosion. This could lead to the toe links wearing down and breaking, increasing the risk of a crash and injury.
- 2016 Buick Regal - concerns steering assembly faults. Bad circuit boards in these vehicles could lead to power steering failure, which could put additional steering pressure on the driver.
- 2018 Buick Regal sedans produced between June 9, 2017, and February 22, 2018 - potentially equipped with defective seat belt assemblies, can contain rear outboard seats with improperly routed seat belts. Consequently, these safety features may not adequately restrain occupants in the event of an accident, leaving them open to injury.
- 2018–2020 Buick Regal mid-size cars - potential loss of brake assist. In the affected vehicles, a software error may lead to the EBCM failing to engage the brake booster function. If there is no assist, the vehicle may take a longer distance to stop, based on the amount of pressure the driver applies to the brake pedal.
- 2010 – 2013 Buick Lacrosse - The rear suspension toe links used in the affected vehicles could break due to the supplier’s excessive use of protective coating, which could fail to shield the part against corrosion. This could lead to the toe links wearing down and breaking, increasing the risk of a crash and injury.
- 2014 – 2016 Buick Lacrosse sedans - Affected vehicles contain sensing and diagnostic module software that may not properly deploy front air bags and seat belt pre-tensioning features in the event of an accident. This poses serious safety risks to drivers and passengers, as they may be left unprotected during collisions.
- 2018 Buick LaCrosse sedans produced between March 27, 2018, and April 20, 2018 - potentially equipped with defective fuel system components (high-pressure fuel pump’s whose housings are not properly welded nearby flanges). These faulty welds could crack over time, resulting in fuel pump flange separation. Should this occur, the pump may oscillate within the engine compartment, leading to fuel leakage and, in some cases, fire.
- 2018 – 2019 Buick LaCrosse sedans - missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator end cap. The missing bolts may result in a transmission oil leak, a loss of vehicle power or an engine fire.
- Buick Encore GX - three recalls since 2019, related to the equipment mislocated in the user guide, loose rear seat screws, and service brakes.
- Buick Encore - since 2019 it has 3 total recalls, with two consecutive years of power train manufacture recalls and one GM-based airbag recall.
- 2019 Buick Encore - In a collision, the car's airbags won't inflate, increasing the chance that someone inside will get hurt. The majority of the same module's other controls, including those for seatbelt reminders, event data collection, and post-collision notifications, will likewise be inactive.
- 2020 – 2021 Buick Encore GX subcompact SUVs - concerns the brake-by-wire system, which uses an electronic brake booster to help stop the car quickly without depending on how hard the driver presses the brake pedal.
- 2020 Buick Enclave – due blocked fuel pump nozzle that could stall the vehicle. The tires in question were accidentally cured for longer than necessary, making them prone to rupture and failure.
- Buick Enclave - eight total recalls have ranged from airbags not deploying, powertrain failure, and leaks from the fuel tank. And received the most complaints, which included: Transmission failure, Power steering malfunction, Engine difficulties, Broken internal motor parts, Blown head gaskets.
The Buick LaCrosse had a fatal accident rate of 13.0 versus an overall rate of 2.6 fatalities per one billion miles. Its rate is five times higher than the Denver average. The LaCrosse isn't a speed demon and it is a large sedan, not a tiny car that a big truck or SUV could easily crush. It performs well in federal and insurance industry safety tests, so much so that the Becker Law Office in Kentucky recommends it as one of the safest large sedans to provide a teenage driver.
Buick electric models
An exciting transformation has already begun in Buick. Buick's first electric car is anticipated to be available in North America in 2024, and by the end of the decade, both the U.S. and Canada will have an all-electric portfolio. As a result of the switch to electricity, the Buick E5 family will once again get the moniker Electra.
The first Electra E5, which will also be sold in China, is expected to go on sale in 2024 as a 2025 model with an expected price tag of about $50,000 with a driving range of about 340 horsepower and around 300 miles.