Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lucerning Differences

So I know what your thinking: Why didn't GM axe Buick with Oldsmobile? I would say that Buick is the most underrated car company today. In terms of GM brands, Buick doesn't have any Supercars, Convertibles, or Muscle Cars to spice up the brand. Nobody refers to things as "The Buick of Blenders". You don't get your first job out of college and say "I'm going right to the Buick dealer to buy my first brand new car". However Buick, whether you want to believe it or not, is a top tier manufacturer in terms of quality. J.D. Powers puts Buick fourth on the list of quality of ownership after 90 days, just behind Lexus, Jaguar, and BMW. J.D. also listed Buick fourth behind Lexus, Porsche, and Lincoln for quality of ownership after 3 years. Yup, those facts are correct. The Lucerne's biggest competitor is the Toyota Avalon. Forget the myth of Japanese built cars being infallible and unstoppable (by even meteors!). In 2005 the Avalon was recalled because a number of them had un-welded steering mechanisms. Why don't you see that on the evening news? It seems like whenever a Ford gets a paint chip it's on the 8:00 news. The Lucerne is a car of a dying pedigree. As upscale luxury cars are trying to copy BMW and Mercedes with super stiff suspensions and performance features, the Buick still has a large trunk, a large interior, and a comfortable, luxurious ride. And unlike a lot of so-called luxury cars it comes with an available V8. I'm not sure how people get away with calling V6s luxury cars. Luxury isn't having to drop 2 gears on the highway to pass someone. Heck even Tiger Woods rolls around in a Buick. Tiger makes hundreds of millions a year; He could drop Buick and take sponsorship with Lexus if he wanted. Tiger likes a nice comfortable ride with a trunk big enough for 4 golf bags. He isn't fooling himself thinking he's driving an F1 car to the golf course and the grocery store. The Lucerne is an instant classic car, however, we will see if anyone buys them.

The answer to last week's trivia question is: 1992 was the last year in which GM cut its dividends.

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