Buick

Buick

Buick USA

 

Established
1897
Founder
David Dunbar Buick

Headquarters
Detroit, Michigan, United States

 

History

1899-1910s :

Buick is one of the oldest automobile brands in the world and the oldest in America. (Autocar, founded in 1897, is the oldest motor vehicle manufacturer in the western hemisphere; while originally an automobile maker, Autocar now builds heavy trucks.

The first two Buick automobiles were made in 1899 and 1900 at the "Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company" by chief-engineer Walter Marr. In 1903, the third Buick automobile was made, this time by Richard, but in 1904 Buick, whose company was now called "Buick Motor Company," moved to Flint, Michigan, and Richard stayed behind. Marr was rehired in Flint as chief engineer, to begin making automobiles in production. That year, 37 Buick automobiles were made, production increasing to 750 in 1905, 1,400 in 1906, 4,641 in 1907, and 8,800 in 1908, taking the number one spot away from close competitors Oldsmobile, Ford, and Maxwell.

In 1904 the engine Buick and Marr developed for this automobile was a 2-cylinder valve-in-head engine of 159 cubic inches, with each cylinder horizontal and opposed to each other by 180 degrees.  Durant was co-owner, also in Flint, of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, which was the largest carriage-making company in the country. Durant spent the next 4 years turning Buick into the biggest-selling automobile brand in the US. David Buick sold his stock upon departure in 1906, and died in modest circumstances 25 years later. In 1908 he founded General Motors. The first full-size Buick to join the smaller Model B was in 1907, when the Model D was introduced with a four-cylinder 255.0 cu in (4,178 cc) engine, installed in the front with rear wheel drive.

The powertrain and chassis architecture introduced on the Model B was continued through the 1909 Model F. The Model F had a two-cylinder engine, an 87-inch wheelbase and weighed 1,800 lbs. The basic design of the 1904 Buick was optimally engineered even by today's standards. The flat-twin engine is inherently balanced, with torque presented to the chassis in a longitudinal manner, actually cancelling front end lift, rather than producing undesirable lateral motion. resources, Buick vehicles shared a common platform, called the GM A platform, that was shared with Chevrolet, Speedway.

In 1911, Buick introduced its first closed-body car,four years ahead of Ford; the car was built at the all-new factory in Flint which later became to be known as Buick City. Buick during the 1920s made various sized vehicles, with series designations for different years, sometimes using numbers, while later years using lettered designations. One of the larger vehicles with straight-six and straight-eight engines was the Buick Master Six.

In 1929, as part of General Motors' companion make program, Buick Motor Division launched the Marquette sister brand, designed to bridge the price gap between Buick and Oldsmobile; however, Marquette was discontinued in 1930. All Buick, Marquette, Viking, and Oldsmobile products shared the newly introduced GM B platform starting in 1926. Buick debuted two major achievements for the 1931 model year, the OHV Buick Straight-8 engine and a synchromesh transmission in all models but the Series 50. The Eight was offered in three displacements, the 220 cubic inch (bore 2 7/8 in. stroke 4.25 in.), was available in the Series 50 with 77 brake HP. The Series 60 engine was a 272 cu. in. unit (bore 3 1/16 in., stroke 5 in.) giving 90 brake HP.

The Series 80 and Series 90 used a 344 cu. in. version (bore 3 5/16 in., stroke 5 in.) for 104 brake HP. Automatic vacuum-operated spark advance was another new feature replacing the steering column mounted spark lever although an emergency lever was now dash mounted. Buick scored another first in 1939 when it became the first company to introduce turn signals, which did not appear on other car brands until almost a decade later. All 1939 models also had a steering column mounted shift lever.

Since 1930s Buicks were popular with the British royal family, particularly Edward VIII. He imported and used a Canadian built McLaughlin-Buick that were GMs top brand in Canada, Cadillac not having caught on there. George VI used one for a coast to coast royal tour of Canada in 1939.

 

1940-1960s :

In 1940 — Estate introduced as wagon designation on Super and  M18 Buick Hellcat Tank Destroyer in 1944,Hellcat army tank and supplied radial engines installed in the B-24 Liberator, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, and Douglas C-54 Skymaster. Buick then launched Dynaflow with automatic transmission for the first time in 1948 and  VentiPorts in 1949.

In 1953 Buick's 50th Anniversary introduced of Buick V8 engine and Roadmaster Skylark.1955 witnessed the Best model year sales to date with 738,814 Buicks sold. New 364 cu. in. engine block & Ball joint front suspension debut. Roadmasters now had aluminum finned brake drum since 1957 followed by Electra, Invicta and LeSabre and 401 cu. in. V-8 (in Electras & Invicta) in 1959 . Electra was the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 race.

 

1960-1990s :

In 1960 — Electra 225 became the Official Pace Car of the Daytona 500 race. Skylark nameplate returns as top model of new Special compact car with new 215 cu. in. aluminum V-8 in 1961. The Wildcat was introduced as trim level on Invicta in 1962 and Special named Motor Trend Car of the Year.

The Riviera and the Wildcat introduced as its own models in 1963. with special reintroduce as intermediate sized car on GM "A" body platform 1964 and radial tires available as options on all full size Buicks by 1967.  1970 Estate introduced as its own model. GSX high performance package first offered on Gran Sport (GS) 455. followed by Centurion and "boat-tail" Riviera in 1971. Apollo and Regal introduced as upper trim level on Century in 1973.

In 1975 Skyhawk introduced and Park Avenue introduced as trim/option package on Electra 225 Limited. Century became Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 race. Century became the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 race for the second year in a row. 1977 — Best model year sales to date with 773,313 Buicks sold. In 1978 at Buick's 75th Anniversary the Turbocharged V6 introduced in the Regal Sport Coupe, Best model year sales to date with 795,316 Buicks sold. Riviera S-Type named Motor Trend Car of the Year in 1979.

In 1980  Diesel engine became available on select Buick models.Somerset was introduced as trim/option package on Regal Limited. T-Type performance trim introduced on Riviera and Regal was the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 race in 1981. Grand National high performance package first offered on Regal. First Riviera convertible produced in 1982 and became the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 race. Best model year sales to date with 810,435 Buicks sold in 1983.By 1984 became the  Official Car of the XXIII Olympiad and Best model year sales to date with 906,626 Buicks sold.Somerset introduced as its own model. Best model year sales to date with 915,336 Buicks sold in 1985.

Official Car of the U.S. Olympic Team,the Reatta 2-seater introduced in 1988 and the Ultra introduced as trim/option package on Electra Park Avenuein 1989. In 1990 the First Reatta convertible produced and Park Avenue was introduced as its own model in 1991. Roadmaster returned to lineup after 33-years of absence. In 1993 at Buick's 90th Anniversary a Special 90th Anniversary Edition LeSabre produced as a milestone.Limited production Riviera Silver Arrow produced to commemorate original 1963 concept in 1999.

 

2000s :

In the 2000s, Buick's lineup was modified with the compact and performance segments being abandoned in favor of the crossover/SUV that was growing in popularity. In 2002, Buick introduced its first SUV, the Rainier and the Buick Centieme crossover concept car in 2003 to commemorate Buick Motor Division's 100th anniversary. Some of the Centieme exterior design and interior features later appeared on the 2008 Enclave crossover. In 2004, Buick added the Rainier mid-size SUV. Buick consolidated its lineup in 2005 and by 2008 had reduced three models with new nameplates: the 2005 LaCrosse/Allure, the 2006 Lucerne, and the 2008 Enclave.

In 2008, the Super name returned after a 50-year absence as a new performance trim level on LaCrosse and Lucerne. While the brand's total overall sales slipped in the United States, the profitability of the model lineup ensured Buick's future within General Motors.  2010s saw the return of a classic Buick nameplate (Regal) as well as the addition of several new ones, plus the brand’s first factory convertible since the early 1990s.

In January 2009, Buick unveiled the new 2010 LaCrosse sedan, an all new styling direction which included traditional Buick cues. The market responded to the LaCrosse, with reviews favorably comparing to luxury models such as the Lexus ES. In 2010, Buick became the fastest growing automotive brand and attracted a younger customer demographic. An all-new Regal sedan, a smaller model based on the European Opel Insignia, was re-introduced for the 2011. 2012, the all-new Verano a compact sedan based on the Chevrolet Cruze joined the lineup.

Additionally, the performance-oriented Regal GS officially went on sale and became the first Buick in almost 20 years to be offered with a manual transmission and a turbocharger. Buick also entered the hybrid market with the introduction of eAssist technology on the 2012 LaCrosse and Regal which helped improve fuel economy ratings by as much as 38% over the regular gas-engine versions. Market for the Enclave crossover remained strong.

In January 2012, the all-new Encore mini crossover was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Also in 2012, a turbocharged version of the Verano was introduced and the Enclave was redesigned for the 2013 model year. In 2013, GM confirmed plans of a "hybrid global brand" which includes Opel/Vauxhall and Buick using more synergies between the brands. The LaCrosse and Regal were refreshed for the 2014.

In 2015, the all-new Cascada compact convertible debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In November, the all-new 2017 LaCrosse was shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Buick also confirmed that the Envision midsize crossover would be sold in North America starting summer 2016.  As of 2017, Buick's North American lineup consists of the Encore compact crossover, the Verano compact sedan, the Cascada compact convertible, the Regal midsize sedan, the LaCrosse full-size sedan, the Envision midsize crossover, and the Enclave full-size crossover.

There are plans to add a Sub-brand to accompany Buick, with the Avenir badge being applied to its top of the line level trims, starting with the 2018 model year, utilizing the same strategy as GMC's Denali Sub-brand, which has been successful. The Opel/Vauxhall division to Group PSA in March 2017, Buick is expected to move away from sharing the same Opel model/designs upon the completion of the current generation vehicles or a debut of a replacement after the sale closes.

 

 

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