GM Has Something Different in Buick
DETROIT (TheStreet) -- In the auto industry, where brands constantly seek to differentiate themselves from competitors, few brands are more different than Buick.
Primarily, Buick survived at GM (GM) while Mercury, its mid-market counterpart at Ford (F) , didn't. One reason is that, uniquely, Buick is a U.S. brand that is more popular in China, where it sold 645,537 vehicles in 2011, than it is in the U.S., where it sold 177,633 vehicles. Moreover, a recent study by Polk found another unique Buick attribute: Its buyers are getting younger, while everybody else's buyers are getting older.
Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing, said Buick "is a luxury brand, but it is different.
"Traditional luxury has been an exclusive club," DiSalle said, in an interview at the New York Auto Show. "At Buick, it is much more approachable." He said Buick does things "with a smile" and finds that its buyers are more "community-minded" than buyers of other brands.
Then there is this: On Thursday, a Buick press release noted that Verano buyers are much more likely to buy red cars than are buyers of other brands and other models.
"Verano buyers are more expressive and progressive," explained a Buick spokesman. While red is only the fifth most popular color in the industry, a quarter of all Verano buyers select a crystal red paint job, Buick said.