Buick himself later found it difficult to run the company that bore his name. Eventually, James H. Whiting took over the company, and William C. Durant was brought in to manage it. Whiting and Durant relocated Buick to Flint, Mich., and Buick himself sold his interest in the company soon thereafter.
In 1906, Buick built its first four-cylinder production car, the 1907 Model D. Two years later, Buick was acquired by Durant's newly formed automotive conglomerate, General Motors. As a part of GM, Durant steered the Flint-based company toward establishing itself as a luxury brand (right below Cadillac in the GM hierarchy) where it remains to this day. By 1914, all Buick models featured six-cylinder engines and were the car of choice among well-to-do professionals.
Buick Through The Years
Buick offers luxury cars that are reasonably powerful but offer more comfort than performance. Buicks became popular with American drivers throughout the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s not just because of the level of comfort it offered, but also for the many innovations it introduced. Some of the innovations Buick introduced to American drivers during this period included four-wheel brakes and rear turn signals.
In the 1940s, Buick expanded its brand to become more popular with the average American driver. This was accomplished through the success of models like the Estate Wagon and the Roadmaster. The Dynaflow was introduced in 1948, and it featured the first torque converter automatic transmission that was available in an American-made passenger car. Buick continued to innovate its way into the hearts and driveways of American drivers throughout the 1950s and 1960s when it introduced additional innovations such as power brakes, power steering, and twelve-volt electrical systems.
However, like most U.S. automakers, Buick was forced to make changes during the Middle East oil crises of the 1970s. The company’s stately but extremely large vehicles were downsized in the 1970s, and by the time the 1980s rolled around Buick had fallen back in step with the American auto buying public by introducing compact and midsize sedans. So successful was the company’s reinvention of itself that Buick’s brand reached its sales peak in 1984.
Since that time Buicks have remained popular with drivers who crave dependable, American-made luxury sedans. However in order to remain in step with changing driver’s tastes, Buick now produces slightly sportier vehicles, accented with a dash of European style. The company also diversified over the years and now offers compact and performance vehicles. Buick also currently produces the Rendezvous, which is an SUV crossover.
The Buick brand was largely founded upon well-established sedan models such as the Century, Regal, LeSabre, and Park Avenue. However, models such as the Century and the Park Avenue have been discontinued in recent years. The Regal, on the other hand, was reintroduced in 2011 after undergoing a sporty, Euro-influenced redesign.
A more contemporary model produced by Buick is the LaCrosse. A full-size sedan, the LaCrosse offers good handling, a modern design and many of the traits drivers have come to associate with Buick over the years including light steering and a smooth ride. The LaCrosse is also available as a hybrid.
The Rainier is a midsize SUV that was available between 2004 and 2007. The Rainier had much in common with many of the other vehicles in GM’s midsize SUV class at the time. However, it also offered many of the luxury add-ons and extras drivers expect from the Buick brand.
Another midsize SUV from around the same time was the Rendezvous, a midsize crossover vehicle available between 2002 and 2007. The Rendezvous was designed to be something of a combination between a luxury sedan, a minivan, and an SUV.
With the Lucerne having been discontinued in 2011, the LaCrosse is Buick’s current flagship model. The LaCrosse offers much of the distinction and comfort drivers have come to associate with traditional Buicks, along with an added dash of performance to help appeal to younger drivers.
Buick Products and Technologies
Drivers have always regarded the Buick brand highly for the level of comfort and innovation its vehicles provide. One of the latest models to exemplify this is the Verano, which is an all-new compact luxury sedan introduced in 2012.
The Buick Enclave, which is currently quite popular, is a full size crossover SUV. It was introduced as a replacement for the Rainier and the Rendezvous, and since its introduction in 2007, the Enclave earned high marks, helping to clear up Buick’s reputation for producing rather humdrum SUVs.