Buick VP Says Electric Is A Perfect Fit For The Brand

1 week ago by Steven Loveday 32

Chevrolet Bolt

Buick reportedly set to get all-electric crossover based on Chevrolet Bolt EV platform!

In GM’s plan to roll out at least 20 new EVs over the next five years, and two in the next 18 months, the Chevrolet Bolt-based Buick CUV is likely at the top of the list.

Well before GM came out with the recent announcement, CEO Mary Barra made it clear that the Bolt will serve as a platform for a whole range of electric vehicles. We received information from a reputable source that the Buick crossover is likely next to arrive.

Now, WardsAuto and partner AutoForecast Solutions believe a Buick Encore-like EV will arrive in 2019.  Quelle surprise!

General Motors Buick Chevrolet

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Buick is a perfect fit for GM’s next electric vehicle. Wards explained:

“Buick is GM’s second-best-selling brand globally and the No. 4 brand overall in China, where government regulations in the world’s largest market will demand 10% of an automaker’s sales by 2019 carry a New-Energy Vehicle score linked to the production of zero-emissions and low-emissions vehicles. It rises to 12% in 2020, while Beijing continues to formulate a timetable for phasing out the internal-combustion engine in the future.”

Global is key, especially now, as many European countries are speaking to bans on ICE vehicles in the not-too-far future. China is the world’s largest automotive market, has enormous potential for EVs, and is also considering the idea of completely eliminating ICE cars. Buick-GMC vice-president of sales and marketing, Duncan Aldred told Wards:

“Buick will play a huge part.

We will have multiple entries in a fairly short period of time. We’re GM’s biggest brand in the world’s biggest market. You’ll see a number of different technologies to go toward (our) zero-emissions objective.

A lot of the electrification adoption will be driven by legislation.

There’s a race already in China, because they are putting out some very strict (emissions) criteria for manufacturers to meet.” 

Interestingly, Barra just spoke to precisely the same topic at a recent conference.

Earlier this year, GM began selling the Buick Velite5 in China. It’s an extended-range EV with about 72 miles of electric range (on China’s more optimistic testing cycle) and an ICE engine backup. It’s much like the fancier cousin to the Chevrolet Volt (because underneath it all, it is the 53 mile (EPA) extended range Chevy).

Buick

Buick Velite5

Due to the fact that the brand is so successful in China, and many Americans still favor ICE cars (not to mention politicians are currently unwilling to support the cause), Buick will move more aggressively into China at first. Aldred shared:

“Because we are so successful in China, it gives scale and leverage in North America. We will have multiple (electrified) entries in China over the next few years. When, and if, the market develops here we will be in good shape.”

Unfortunately, Aldred was unwilling to go into detail about Buick’s immediate plans for our shores (we suppose we will just have to act ‘surprised’ this January in Detroit). He did say that the vehicles will still carry Buick’s reputation for luxury. Buick is known for upscale interiors, long standard equipment lists, lots of extras, and ultra-quiet cabins.

“The battery technology we are developing now, as well as the next generation, is impressive to the point where there won’t be any sacrifices.

You talk about quiet tuning, nothing is better than electric. The sense of well-being in the cabin, the serenity, is delivered ultimately by pure electric. It fit that brand exceptionally well.”

Source: WardsAuto

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32 responses to "Buick VP Says Electric Is A Perfect Fit For The Brand"

  1. Leszek says:

    Looks like Opel / Vauxhall Mokka,very popular car in uk. Electric version will be a huge success. Likely not going to happen due to peugeot takeover.

    1. Dan says:

      That’s because the Buick Encore was sold as the Opel Mokka in Europe. They are the same car, just different badges with a more upscale interior on the Buick.

      1. SJC says:

        This could sell well.

      2. wavelet says:

        You have it reversed. The Mokka was designed by Opel, and is built in factories in Spain & China. The North American version was badged as a Buick, but is still built in Europe.

        The underlying platform, Gamma II, was designed by GM Korea.

        1. Dan says:

          The Buick Encore is NOT made in Europe. It is made in S. Korea. The Gamma II is pretty much all Korean coming from what used to be Daewoo. The same unit is responsible for the new Gamma GSM, which underpins the Bolt.

          Also, since Opel’s sale to PSA, I doubt if any new models going forward will be Gamma based.

      3. SJC says:

        The Chevrolet Trax is a subcompact crossover SUV manufactured by Chevrolet since 2013. The car is based on the GM Gamma II platform, which is shared with the Chevrolet Aveo/Sonic, as well as the Opel Mokka/Buick Encore.

  2. Ziv says:

    Buick’s Encore, Envision and Enclave would be nicely augmented by a Buick Electra built on the Bolt platform while looking a bit more like the Encore, rather than the Bolt. Possibly designing the Buick Electra to be a bit longer overall than the Bolt AND the Encore, enough to have better lines and appearance, not to mention a bit more space than inside the already roomy Bolt. Make it sit a bit higher and give it an AWD option that the Encore enjoys and it would be a big hit. Admittedly an expensive option, but a useful one. Given the fact that the Envision is 15″ longer than the Encore, there is room for a BEV/CUV to slip in between them in size.
    I am starting to see Encores around Northern Virginia, for a cute ute they aren’t bad.

    1. Kdawg says:

      This would work. I’d also like just a little something to set it apart as an EV, like no grille or something to that effect. Nothing too weird.

      I see so many Encores here, it’s ridiculous. I think every 4th car is an Encore.

  3. WadeTyhon says:

    I know it is basically just a badge swap, but I wish they would bring the Velite to the US!

    The Gen2 Volt is already a great looking car, but I prefer the buick’s front end styling.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    Do we have any details on how the Buick Velite is selling over in China? I had all but forgotten about it.

    Is that made over there, or exported to there from Detroit?

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Ah, found an article now that says it is made in China. So GM duplicated their assembly line over there to avoid the import penalties, interesting.

      Also saw that GM gives their own $5500 rebate there. I wonder if that’s the current amount that the Volt’s price could be reduced by in the US when the tax credit goes away.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        It has been selling moderately….not sure it justifies China assembly at this point. Looking at the numbers…we probably have to give it more time to figure it out still. One imagines the regional VOLTec platform will expanded to other offerings, as GM has (government-induced) designs on more than a few plug-ins.

        364 in September, before that: 194, 382, 170, 119 and 67 in launch month in April.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Thanks for providing the numbers Jay! I’m surprised that GM gives out a subsidy. It’ll be interesting to see how the numbers play out over the next year or so.

  5. bro1999 says:

    I bet we see the Buick Bolt unveiled in Jan at NAIAS.

    1. Ziv says:

      I am with you on that Bro, but here is hoping that they bring back the Electra nameplate for the Buick version of the Bolt. And maybe stretch it a bit too. The platform is there and it is a good one. Use it for different market niches.
      Both Buick and Cadillac need some younger updates, and this would be a good place for Buick to start.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Nah, it’ll be called the Buick Jolt EV, in the name of marketing clarity and to avoid any confusion.

        Also not to be confused with the Chevy Jolt EV
        http://www.chevyjoltev.com

        😛

  6. BillT says:

    Please bring our a Buick version of the Bolt with at least 24 CF behind the 2nd row ASAP.

  7. Warren Hurd says:

    I hope that it’s stylish and comfortable.

    1. James says:

      Lost here is that MSRP for the Buick Bolt will be $52,000.

      Yeah, a 2″ longer Bolt, possibly imported from China, will sell like hotcakes here…NOT!

      So maybe the Chinese will buy a lot of them That’s a good thing.

  8. ffbj says:

    20 electric vehicles is 5 years. I’m tired of hearing that BS, and wish people would quit repeating it. GM has talked about axing 6 models, will they even make 20 models of cars this year?
    Not buying it.

    As far as the Buick ev cuv goes, it’s a good idea. We may see it a few years.

  9. Eco says:

    GM needs to develop all-electric EVs that are aerodynamic (sleek front – no grille – sloped rear window) and have RWD and an option for AWD. Maybe Buick is the division that will do that, otherwise I’ll stick to my Tesla Model 3 reservation.

  10. Loboc says:

    Unless it has ACC, no sale.

    I need a car to replace my ELR when it gets older. I also need a car for a retired guy (me). The main requirement is a high seating position with easy entry and egress. Others are:
    EV or PHEV (prefer EV)
    power seats
    ACC or Super-Cruise
    FWD or AWD
    Apple Car Play
    Driver assist features like lane keeping.

    So my future choices are:
    XT4 PHEV
    Model Y
    This Buick CUV-EV (if it meets the above list)
    Some other CUV-EV/PHEV (BMW, MB, Audi, Volvo)

  11. Get Real says:

    I’m a little skeptical of GM’s big EV plans at this point.

    They have hedged their bets with the
    Voltec and Bolt so far and seemed to have developed them more in the case of Govt mandates towards electrification/raising CAFE which are not happening under the Trumpster.

    GM shows very little signs of making a big electrification push in the US market as their complete lack of Voltec SUV/trucks show how they are squandering this opportunity to dominate here going forward.

    They have basically bailed out of the European market (bigger then the US market) and almost certainly all future Opel products will be PSA based and not GM-based.

    The problem is that in the US, the Buick brand is really seen as a old persons’ car and even Cadillac’s reputation is not much better.

    With their Chevy brand GM refuses to do things like put in power seats/sunroofs or even ACC on the Volt/Bolt so they are aiming pretty low in this regard.

    I’m sure they will electrify in China because they will have to but that is pretty weak commitment.

    IMHO, GM is becoming largely a fuel-guzzling truck/SUV manufacturer in the US selling to people who mostly use them to commute solo to desk jobs with their excellent electrification engineering as mainly a hedge towards the future change we know is coming.

    Its a shame because GM’s electrification engineering is world-class but their management is not.

    1. Djoni says:

      I’m split on this.
      One plus side is more EV is better and new model with more history is welcome.

      But I just can’t stand this BS “Because we are so successful in China, it gives scale and leverage in North America. We will have multiple (electrified) entries in China over the next few years. When, and if, the market develops here we will be in good shape.”

      China don’t let the market decide, the tell the market what they want.

      This sould be a lesson for all the free marketing advocacy GM make.

      They just don’t have any option.
      It’s free market, but everyone must have this product.

      Trully, it’s free like you can choose not to breathe.

    2. Someone out there says:

      GM is smart enough to not throw the entire company into a money-losing endeavor. It is advancing cautiosly as it should do for respect of its shareholders. Of course GM knows that eventually the entire car market will go EV but it doesn’t know when. It could be many years until the EV market can carry itself and that would mean billions lost and putting the company in jeopardy.

      I would say GM is pushing more than most. Tesla is losing other people’s money so it’s not really comparable. With the Bolt EV it went far and above would it would have to do just for collecting ZEV credits. By launching a 200+ mile car for way less than a Tesla it set a new standard for other companies to follow.

    3. David says:

      Well said.

  12. Jennifer says:

    When will the 2018 GS Regal and 2018 Regal Sportsback.

  13. ModernMarvelFan says:

    A Buick Envision PHEV + Encore BEV would be a double knock out for sure. Of course, adding an Enclave PHEV would be a trifecta.

  14. Bill Howland says:

    I’m glad GM says they’re bringing out 20 EV’s soon – I just hope at least a minority of the ‘100% electrics’ are re-fueled by something other than what I call a ‘10,000 psi hydrogen hose’ (in actual practice, the dispensing pressure is around 15,000 PSI to get the show on the road).

    The fact of GM building an EV is a 2-edged sword – it magnified Decades of GM Arrogance into one new product at a time.

    For instance, GM almost always gets the basic car working correctly (beefy gearbox, decently insulated and waterproofed wiring, conservative operating temperatures, non-overloaded motors, and adequate cooling and lubrication systems).

    People piss on GM for having lack-luster specifications (eg: so-so fast charging, only 32 amp charging even for the BOLT ev (Europeans will cringe at only single-phase charging for the AMPERA-e, but, that’s all the existed for the roadster world wide, and at least the Ampera-e can be fast charged.

    So the expensive to fix stuff they got basically right. But there are operational things that are very unnerving when driving the car, especially as when you’re short on battery, as I was today driving 420 miles over a single long day, partially in horrible weather, and partially heading into strong wind guests.

    Item: You tell the heater you want to shut the battery killing resistance heater OFF, yet the control system refuses to do it. Sometimes just the fan would be enough to see out of the windshield sans heat, and I’d rather have the battery juice sometimes rather than the heat, – so I’m there constantly fiddling with the heater controls to kinda see out the window, when I’m really supposed to be paying attention driving. The crappy quality touch screen is essentially like typing in right here. I constantly have to relocate the cursor – but then Im not trying to drive at the same time as I was earlier today.

    Item: The Bolt center screen freezes on occassion frustratingly a la the GEN 1 Volt did – AGAIN WITH THE HEATER CONTROLS!!!!!

    You’d think some great brain would just put knobs and switches in, which chevy THOUGHT they did with the BOlt except when the screen freezes or blanks out the only way to TURN ON the heater is with the automatic button inside the temperature knob to BLINDLY turn the heater ON, when, the screen is actually working right, then it won’t let you turn the heater OFF, even though it say it does. UGHH!!!!!

    item: Battery conserving NON-sensical features like having a page full menu setting the screen blanking function to warn of radio screen shutdown when the battery is variably 3-10% state of charge (as if the 5 watts the screen draws tops would let you drive the car a few inches further down the road.

    Item: Worrying about non-existent problems, yet apparently they don’t have or can’t make, a wattmeter with any precision in excess of Fred Flintstone. (And sometimes the numbers displayed just are non-sensical – as for instance when charging the battery and then ‘turning the car on’, where, if the numbers are to be believed, the car instantly stops charging, then over a period of half a minute gradually starts charging again, when the display on the chargepoint says the car is taking a constant 6 kw, recalculated every 10 seconds. This is one thing that TESLA did get basically right from day one.

    And then if you ask questions, you’re just the dope who put up the money which basically, with millions of others like you, make GM’s existence possible, yet they’re too arrogant to field questions on the phone.

    They just tell you they’re forcing you to change your ‘charging cord’ to ‘increase your customer experience’ (whatever that means), and if you don’t they won’t further honor the warranty.

    item: Running out of Gas in a Gen 1 volt will burn out the expensive gasoline fuel pump, since although the car has 27 computer systems (which will drain the 12 volt battery if left on – so running the radio in the car uses more juice than running the inverter-driven radio in a 1930 model ‘A’ Ford. – and GM radios take longer to turn on than the 1930 FORD’s radio did to boot!), apparently a few of those 27 puters don’t chat with each other since you’ll get all kinds of messages the car is dry but the silly thing keeps trying to run the fuel pump until it melts. You would think they would have the puter that realized its out of gas to turn the juice off to the fuel pump.

    And the BOLT and VOLT are relatively simple, straightforward cars, at least in GM SPEAK.

    I can just imagine what doozies await the unsuspecting Cadillac CT6 PHEV buyer – if their idea of simplicity and efficiency is to have THREE planetary gear sets, and a 3 HP (!!!!!) oil pump (same size motor I use on my home-made CASE Dual auger, dual stage snow blower – which actually gets some useful work done out of its 3 hp motor – in the CT6’s case the thing is so ‘efficient’ no one can get an all-electric-range of anything approaching 22 miles, yet in the basically same VOLT, people get 70.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Ok, 1/2 apologies to GM here – the Defog ‘on’ option was on (all it apparently does is prevent the driver LATER from turning it off – kinda like Windows settings are both once dumb and infuriating since I can never remember how to make the thing do something differently) – anyways, now the thing is behaving as I rather would like it to. But add this item to the dumb useless options list.

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