Buick Is Bland: Will This Fix It?

Hey look, over there, another Buick concept has just hit. And guess what? It is another in a long, long, line of GM concepts that will never see production. Called the Wildcat, the sedan portends what some boxy, lifted SUV might look like in the future. Except it won’t, and raises questions about what Buick is actually doing?

Why is Buick debuting a new sedan concept?

Buick Wildcat
Buick Wildcat EV concept | GM

Today, it also released information on “Electra,” its electric vehicle lineup. And the company proclaimed 2030 the end of gas-powered Buicks. So we have a concept that has no chance of being relevant. A myriad of other carmakers has already established this. And it’s confusing for pundits trying to determine its role in the US. Still.

We get it, the brand has a certain panache in China, its biggest market. But it is trying to find relevance here, and not having much luck. Sales have rebounded to around 200,000 vehicles a year, up from 2009 when barely 100,000 were sold in the U.S. Sales worldwide top a million. So it does far better outside of the U.S. 

As for the Wildcat concept car, it’s a car, not an SUV. Buick will no longer make cars, only SUVs. So that’s puzzling. Second, GM never has the wherewithal to make its production cars come even close to its concepts. And all of GM is turning its back on sedans. So, what does the Wildcat represent? Sort of like an encapsulation of bland Buick’s whole problem in the states.

Have other Buick concepts become production cars?

2015 Buick Avenir
2015 Buick Avenir concept | GM

GM’s reason for the concept is to have a “tremendous opportunity to come up with what a new design language and aesthetic for Buick will feel like.” GM shareholders, are you listening? Here’s more justification, “The Wildcat’s mission is to inform the styling of upcoming Buicks by giving the brand’s designers a clear design direction that they can apply to production vehicles.” 

2016 Buick Avista
2016 Buick Avista Concept | GM

That’s what the Electra concept was supposed to do, and the Avista concept before it. And the Avenir before the Avista. See what we mean? It seems like a series of very expensive busy work that ultimately means little to nothing. 

Are GM’s concept teases becoming irritating?

Buick Wildcat
Buick Wildcat EV concept | GM

The tease becomes irritating for consumers. Cadillac is another division with some fabulous concepts that also went nowhere. GM may find that rather than dazzling crowds, it may be putting some of them off as they tease away another dead-end concept. 

In this era of tight budgets, it just seems like money thrown down a design hole. If any of these concepts had come to fruition, they would really be fantastic tools. Both the designers and marketers could build on a concept’s creation. But going nowhere means going nowhere. Even Buick admits the Buick Wildcat concept is headed there. Again.

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