While Mr. Wert attends some manner of press event at the Buick Home for the Aged, the Detroit News maps the crossroads at which the GM brand finds itself. How will the Buick brass navigate the "damaged" brand (said Bob Lutz) to a more prosperous future? One way is by resurrecting the "Super" tag that once denoted early postwar high-performance. Super models, built between 1940 and 1958, included the Buick Super, the Buick Super Riviera, and the Buick Super Convertible. They were a favorite of city chicks in hunter's caps and the turtlenecked, cardigan-wearing accountants who once took them ice skating in the Catskills (see above).
Of course, Buick could have reached for the later-day GS designation of the 1960s and 1970s. Those were the days when the Skylark GS-X was a drag-strip halo car and the Rivera GS was a favorite of dentists and other male social climbers. But by going back to Super, Buick can still emphasize luxury and avoid a semblance of muscle-car fogginess (thus avoid impinging on Pontiac's supposed brand slot), while giving a hint of performance pedigree. It can also glom onto the underground VIP-car movement, just now reaching critical mass in Japan and the West Coast of the US. Will it save the company? Who knows. But it might reduce the age of its average buyer by a few critical years. Sixty would be nice.
GM's Buick brand reaches crossroads [Detroit News]
Skylark, Have You Anything to Sing to Me? The Joy and Pain of Buick's A-Body; Sweet Peet Has A Woodsy For GM's Buick Brand; DUB Pimps a Buick; Jalopnik Interview: Richard Earl on Harley Earl [internal]