Remember those “That’s not a Buick” ads from a few years back? They must have been a subtle foreshadowing, because reports are that Buick plans to pull name badging off of its cars starting with the 2019 model year. The move is, surprisingly, about more than getting away from the brand’s own reputation.
But before we get to Buick’s reasons for removing its own name from its cars, go ahead and get your jokes out of the way. Surely, they’re along the lines of “something, something, old people, Buicks, something, something.”
Ha! Good one. Very original.
Anyway, GM Authority noticed that photos of the 2019 Envision were missing a seemingly important word on the back of the vehicle, Buick’s own name, and asked General Motors about it. Representatives told the website that the Buick badge would be gone on the back of its vehicles starting in the 2019 model year.
It’s an odd idea, especially when it’s not some kind of one-click move to give off a luxurious vibe—while various expensive, envy-creating vehicles have their manufacturers wiped from the back just because they can, plenty of Porsches, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and the like spell out their company’s names.
That means there had to be another reason, and there was. Somehow, that other reason wasn’t to further distance Buick from its reputation as an old folks’ car company, which some of its new cars are already doing a decent job of.
CNET reports that Buick spokesperson Stu Fowle said the removal of the badge is for “global consistency.” Buick doesn’t put its name on vehicles in China, Fowle said, and research showed that people recognize the brand’s shield badge on its own anyway. (Buick didn’t show CNET the research that it said backs this.)
Fowle also said dropping the Buick name from the back of the car leaves a spot open for a different badge, which the company could use to write out its higher-end “Avenir” trim name. Everyone loves a good “more expensive” badge to let others know just how much money they had to spend on their vehicle, after all.
Whether those are the only reasons behind it or just the only ones Buick wants us to know, get used to a gaping badge hole on the back of Buicks from 2019 on. Just don’t trip on the hole, because that recent hip replacement wasn’t cheap.