GM Plans $3bn Overhaul of Buick Brand

06 February 2004

General Motors is planning a multibillion-dollar overhaul of its Buick brand as it tries to revive its car sales.

The auto giant will invest $3 billion (€2.4bn; £1.6bn) in Buick over the coming five years in a bid to claw back some of the ground lost in recent years to Asian car companies.

"Starting in 2005 we're looking at double-digit increases in [sales] volume," vowed Buick general manager C J Fraleigh.

The overhaul, part of GM's $25bn five-year capital expenditure programme, was announced as the auto group unveiled the Buick Lacrosse, a new passenger car due to hit US showrooms in the autumn. It marks a change of direction for GM, which has previously -- like its Detroit rivals -- focused on sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks, leaving the car market open to foreign competition.

According to Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, the new Buick models are also designed to attract younger buyers and counter the brand's older age profile.

"Buick's demographic will probably continue to be the 45 to 59-year-old, but I think it's going to bring younger buyers in," he said.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff