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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Turns out plenty of people really would rather drive a Buick - and they're apparently willing to wait months to do it.

For the first time in years, General Motors' down-on-its-luck Buick brand has a runaway hit on its hands with the debut of its luxe 2008 Enclave. A sleek, stylish 7-to-8 passenger crossover SUV, the $40,000 car has been drawing rave reviews since its debut last May.

More importantly for 104-year-old Buick - whose average customer is somewhere north of 65 years old - the Enclave is drawing a crowd of younger buyers away from high-end Lexus, Acura, Volvo and Mercedes brands.

"The Enclave absolutely represents the beginning of a Buick renaissance," said automotive consultant and former industry analyst Joseph Phillippi. "They've struck gold with this product."

"People see the Enclave and say, 'Wow! That's a nice looking car - and then they get emblem shock when you tell them it's a Buick," said John Liebman, owner-dealer at Douglas Buick in suburban Summit, NJ.

The problem is, customers can't get the car. Not immediately, anyway. Unexpectedly high demand - coupled with a shortage of parts and other production issues - has resulted in delivery delays of up to 16 weeks.

But car shoppers are undaunted. Despite similar crossovers offering better deals on financing and, perhaps, a bit off the price, customers are waiting four months, or longer, to pay top dollar. It doesn't make economic sense, to be sure. But try telling that to these shoppers.

Peter Wrede, of Albany, waited almost three months for his car. "Love is not strong enough a word for this car," he joked.

Linda Gill, in New Jersey. was ready to buy a Honda Pilot and had discounted the Enclave because she'd heard availability was limited and there was no discount off sticker.

But eventually went back to it because, "I loved the look."

"For years we couldn't get people to even sit in a Buick," said John Bruno, president of Potamkin Auto Group's Manhattan dealership, which has sold 100 Enclaves since they debuted - and delivered only 12.

"We're pre-sold pretty much forever, at this point," Bruno said. "We're a big dealership, and they're only giving us two Enclaves a month."

Liebman said he's had a half-dozen cancellations from folks who grew tired of waiting. But there's always another buyer lined up.

That folks are willing to wait months and to pay top dollar is music to GM's ears. From the get-go, execs at bottom-line wary GM made a conscious decision not to flood the market with the Enclave in order to keep margins as fat as the P255/60R19 tires the car sports.

Buick doesn't offer incentives on the Enclave, and there's little-to-no wheeling and dealing on the price - in fact, several New York area dealers are asking, and getting, more than the sticker price from some buyers.

Like dedicated Buick buyers of decades ago, new Enclave owners are turning out to be a loyal lot. The car's popularity has sparked an independent online forum, http://enclaveforum.net, where nearly 200 members meet to discuss their purchases, seek advice, and generally toast the Enclave.

Even those who visit the site with gripes about Buick and GM - problems they've had with the Enclave, or things they think could improve it - admit they're ultimately pleased they chose it over other high-end crossovers.

Source: http://www.nypost.com/seven/02032008/business/dude__wheres_my_car__782763.htm

1,514 Posts
Nice plug for the forum....but he got the membership number WAAAAAYY off! Sick 'em admin!

Premium Member
7,065 Posts
"HE" is a "SHE"
I had a lengthy and pleasant conversation with Jeane a few weeks ago, but most of what we discussed was edited out of her article. It turns out she lives but a few miles from me. However, one thing we did NOT discuss was the member count on the forum. I don't know where her figure came from.


Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah that was a bit weird. But still, with free publicity for the forum, I'm not gonna split hairs over member numbers ;)
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