With sales surging 12 percent in the first seven months of 2014 – compared to the industry’s 5-percent hike in the period – Buick has proven that its marketing campaign is working right. The chief of Buick-GMC, Duncan Aldred, believes it too.
Aldred believes that the campaign, which has been on since March, has been able to Buick's false image as an old person's brand, he told Automotive News. He noted that according to Nielsen measurements, the current commercial is Buick's highest-rated spot in many years.
The campaign also allowed Buick to perform the best among General Motors’ four brands so far this year despite the lack of any major launches. Likewise, non-GM customers are beginning to flock to Buick’s showrooms. In fact, Buick’s was 32 percent in the second quarter of 2014, IHS Automotive data show.
That could be attributed to the popularity of the Buick Encore small crossover, which surged 80 percent in the first seven months of 2014. Buick sold a record 1 million vehicles globally last year, more than three-fourths of which were delivered in China.
Aldred has been tasked to sell more vehicles in the US, something that he has managed to achieve as sales in the country as so far outpaced that in China. But Buick can’t rely on marketing alone; it may need a fresh product to keep growing.
Sources told Automotive News that a US version of the Envision midsize crossover should arrive by late 2015. Buick would then launch a Buick-badged Opel Cascada convertible in early 2016.
IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby remarked that Buick’s lineup is “moving in the right direction." He noted that Buick’s next step would be to more clearly define its position and target market.