Buick hopes to capture a new set of customers with a crossover that looks a lot like one of the least popular cars in America.
The company is right now rolling out the Buick Regal TourX to dealerships across the U.S., and while the car is marketed as a crossover, it is really a wagon. Wagons sell poorly in the United States, but Buick is wagering the car will both win over fiercely loyal wagon fans and help the brand revamp its staid image among Americans.
Buick was spared from extinction during General Motors' famous U.S. government bailout, mostly due to the brand's popularity in China, where it is highly desirable.
In the U.S., Buick has been associated with unadventurous cars for grandparents. In an attempt to overcome that image, Buick has made bets on unusual designs that differentiate it from its GM stablemates.
The TourX follows that new approach.
"We just thought it was a really good opportunity for us to revitalize the way we look at cars, at Buick," said Doug Osterhoff, marketing manager for the Buick Regal line.
"When people see the TourX, the perceptual change of Buick is even more significant because they don't expect to see that kind of vehicle from Buick," he added.