I worked at a GMAC for a year in the seventies. The factory made the Chevy Nova and its clones in the Pontiac, Olds, and Buick lines. My boss claimed that a Buick Apollo coming off the line would be 200 pounds heavier than a Chevy Nova (a number he no doubt pulled out of the sky), due to the Apollo having more insulation, padding, and other extra bits. It would also have better quality upholstering, carpet, etc. The Apollo would therefore have a different look and a quieter ride. He figured that people could decide whether it was worth the extra bucks to buy upline.
According to an article I heard on National Public Radio, General Motors believed that eliminating the Buick brand in the United States would harm its prestige status in China, where it’s perceived as being a luxury brand highly desired by Americans.
Does it? I was under the impression that though they’ve never been very successful at selling cars to people under 50, that’s not a particularly bad thing since older folks make up a pretty big chunk of the new car market. Plus Buick has been far and away GM’s best line in terms of build quality and customer satisfaction, occasionally even beating some of the Japanese luxury models.
Plus I think the new Regal (which is really a rebadged Opel) actually has a decent shot at attracting some younger buyers since it’s pretty affordable for a “tasteful” luxury car (as Student Driver puts it) and it’s avaliable with some beefy engine options and even a manual transmission!
And, with Cadillac’s repositioning into a performance brand over the past decade, it leaves Buick as GM’s only brand making floatmobiles for older drivers.
Back when I bought GM cars, I bought Pontiacs. Now that Pontiac’s gone, what in the world is there to buy? A common, run of the mill Chevrolet? Cadillacs are still either too small, or too pretentious. I think that I’d be quite happy with a Buick Lucerne, and I’m still under 40 (disclaimer: my main car is still a Continental, but c’mon, 275 pounds of torque!).
The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon both made Forbes’ list of the Top Five Clunker Cars To Avoid. From what I can discern from the photos, they appear to be basically the same truck.
And a Marquis was a car by Mercury, not to be confused with the Ford LTD.
The difference was trim level. The Mercury was nicer than the Ford. The Mercury had leather seats and plush carpet while the Ford had vinyl or brocade seats and rubber floors.
If you wanted Luxury, you bought a Lincoln Mark V and got leather, plush carpet, tinted glass, thermostatic air, intermittent wipers, rear defrost, AM/FM/8-Track, and a couple of inches of insulation on everything but the windows so you didn’t have to hear that damn engine running.
All three were the same car with different grilles and taillight lenses and a couple of other small cosmetic differences.
My experience with a GMC S-15 truck 20 years ago was that it was the completely stripped down version of the Chevy S-10. Nowadays, it seems that GMC is the nicer version of the Chevy.