Buick, of all the brands that GM could have let go, they kept this one. Why? A lot of people seem to be asking that question, and with the upcoming LaCrosse, Buick says it has the answer. It runs deeper than that though, and the answer as to “Why keep Buick?” can be summed up in one word.
China is why General Motors has decided to keep the Buick brand alive, and let Pontiac, a marque that was more respected here in the U.S., go the way of Oldsmobile. For reasons that no one has ever fully explained to me, Buick is a HUGE seller for GM in China. One industry annalist said something along the lines of ‘GM sells more Buicks per month in China than it sells Pontiacs in a year in America.’
Well that will just about settle it for a company that’s run by bean counters like GM is. GM will look at the overall bottom line, and Buick was making more money overseas than Pontiac was making, so adios Pontiac.
Now, as far as what Buick has to offer, say hello to the 2010 LaCrosse.
GM says the LaCrosse “is the newest example of the globally influenced product renaissance at Buick.” OK, nice use of corporate speak, to be sure, but also of note is that the LaCrosse looks to be a serious contender. It will come with all-wheel drive, what The General refers to as “a suite of advanced intelligent personal technologies” and three efficient, powerful engine options.
The new for 2010 LaCrosse comes in three models: the CX, CXL and CXS.
The CX is essentially the base model. It comes with a new 3.0L direct injection V-6, cloth seats and 17-inch wheels. That V6 generates 255 horsepower and 217 lb.-ft. of torque and power gets to the ground via a six-speed automatic transmission. Later this year, a new, 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder will replace the 3.0L as the standard engine.
The mid-range CXL also has the new 3.0L direct injection V-6, but give you heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, outside rearview mirror with LED turn indicators and puddle lamps, and 18-inch alloy wheels. All wheel drive will be available.
The range topping CXS comes with a larger 3.6L direct injection V-6, and also features optional real-time active-dampening suspension, perforated, heated AND ventilated leather seats, chrome-plated 18-inch alloy wheels with 19-inchers as an option. The 3.6L mill is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and cranks out 280 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque.
\”There is great harmony in everything offered by LaCrosse – a beautifully crafted exterior, a premium interior and a satisfying driving experience to please the senses and complement any lifestyle. It\’s a seamless package that incorporates the very best of GM\’s global resources to make this Buick an industry benchmark,\” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president.