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When you’re selling a classic brand like Buick, facts about the company’s history, products, and awards can help pique customer interest
If you’re in the business of selling Buicks, you’re not blind to the public’s perception that the brand is a bunch of giant, boat-like, “grandpa” cars. You know the truth, though; you’re just trying to figure out a way to share that enthusiasm and show customers that Buick is back and better than ever.
Buick is the oldest active automobile brand in America, but it’s undergoing a resurgence of sorts, especially overseas. The brand is reinventing itself, and as one of the public faces of the company, it’s up to you to spread the word. One way to do that? By having a host of Buick facts in your sales arsenal to get buyers interested in this great American business again.
As you take prospective customers out on test drives and field questions from window shoppers, keep these Buick facts in your back pocket—they’re a great way to show enthusiasm for the automaker that you’re so passionate about and to get a new generation of car buyers interested.
12 Essential Buick facts to use as sales tools
1. The company’s official founding date is a little murky.
Some say Buick was founded in 1899 by David Dunbar Buick as the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company, an internal combustion engine manufacturer. Others say it was when Buick’s engineer, Walter L. Marr, built the first Buick automobile, between 1899 and 1900. Buick, however, says that its official beginning was May 19, 1903, when the company was incorporated as the Buick Motor Company and moved from Detroit to Flint, Michigan.
2. Buick nearly went the way of the Dodo.
In 1904, Buick brought in controlling investor William C. Durant when he was in danger of running out of capital. Durant promoted the brand heavily and used the profits to make a series of corporate acquisitions to found General Motors.
3. Buick was a leader in powerful engines.
Buick was the first automaker in the world to equip its vehicles with overhead valve engines (also known as valve-in-head engines). Walter Marr developed a prototype for a cylinder head with integrated overhead valves, which was much more complex than the traditional flat head and sleeve-valve designs. Overhead valve engines traded simplicity for huge power gains.
4. Buick quickly became an industry leader.
In the 1908 model year, Buick surpassed Ford and Cadillac as the number one producer of vehicles when it sold 8,820 units.
5. Buick made speedway history.
Racing for Buick, Louis Chevrolet won the second of four races at the August 19, 1909 debut of auto racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
6. Buick grew quickly.
Buick built its one-millionth vehicle just before the company turned 20 in 1923.
7. Buicks can destroy tanks.
During World War II, Buick built more than 2,500 M18 Hellcat tank destroyers for the United States military.
8. The Buick emblem has an inspiration.
Buick has had several different emblems over the years, but most have been based on the tri-shield insignia. The triple-shield is based on the coat of arms of the Buick (Buik) family in Scotland, and when the three shields first appeared in 1960, they represented the company’s three models: LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra.
9. Buick has some famous designs
The sweep spear is one of the distinguishing features of Buick cars in the 1950s. Starting with the 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera hardtop, the sweep spear was a stainless steel strip that ran along the side of the Buick; it started at the front wheel fender and wrapped itself around the back wheel. The line separated the two different colors, which were popular during that era.
10. Buick is big in China.
80% of worldwide Buick sales can be attributed to one country—China. Buick was one of the first brands the GM’s Chinese joint venture launched in the late 1990s, and it’s been extremely popular ever since.
11. People love Buicks.
Buick was named “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Mass Market Brands” in J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Customer Service Index Study. It was also named “Highest in Sales Satisfaction Among Mass Market Brands” in J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study.
12. Critics love Buicks, too.
Vincentric gave the 2017 Buick Encore the “Best Value in America” award, which was supported by the lowest insurance and lowest repair costs in its class.
Chances are, you sell other makes and models at your used car dealership. After you’ve committed these Buick facts to memory, read up on other brands to boost your industry knowledge: Honda, Ford, Toyota, Jeep, BMW, Nissan, Tesla, Subaru, Volkswagen, Dodge, Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, and Chrysler.