Buick is America's oldest active car manufacturer, and lately the marque has really been showing its age. Outside of China, none of Buick's Opel-based crossovers and SUVs are available in hybrid form - let alone as EVs. They're also considerably dated inside and out, with small infotainment screens and a severe lack of autonomous tech (despite being a GM brand, no Buick comes with SuperCruise).
So, undoubtedly Buick needs to act fast to avoid becoming the next Mercury or Pontiac. And GM is determined to keep the iconic brand alive and prepared for electrification. Earlier this week, a spokeswoman confirmed buyouts would be offered to Buick dealers who are unwilling to invest in the charging infrastructure and showroom upgrades required.
"Not everyone necessarily wants to make that journey, depending on where they're located or the level of expenditure that the transition will demand. So if they want to exit the Buick franchise, then we will give them monetary assistance to do so."
Buick currently has 1,963 dealers in the US, however only 13 of those are standalone dealerships. The rest are paired with at least one other GM brand. Back in 2020, GM made a similar move with Cadillac and bought out around 300 dealerships that were unwilling to invest around $200,000 to prepare for the electric age.
Buick does sell two EVs in China, the Velite 6 station wagon and Velite 7 crossover. That said, Buick has no plans to offer either in the US. Instead, the US will get its first Buick EV in 2024. Beyond that date, Buick will no longer launch ICE vehicles as the firm aims for a full EV lineup by 2030.