GM Shows Updated LaCrosse to Set Buick Apart in New YorkTim Higgins
General Motors Co. today revealed an updated version of the Buick LaCrosse as it works to refresh the brand’s lineup in the U.S., where it sells fewer vehicles than in China, within a 20-month period.
GM, based in Detroit, showed the 2014 LaCrosse, which was last redesigned in 2009, in an e-mailed statement in advance of the New York auto show where the car will be displayed this week along with an updated version of the Regal sedan. The automaker will also reveal a redesigned Cadillac CTS sedan and updated version of the Chevrolet Camaro as GM brings about 20 new vehicles to the U.S. after last year’s 88-year-low market share.
The Buick and Cadillac cars are among a number of luxury models set to be featured this week in New York. Hyundai Motor Co. is showing a refreshed Equus sedan, while the Land Rover Range Rover Sport and Infiniti QX60 hybrid will be among the new sport-utility vehicles shown. Buick is going after car-buyers who want a sculpted look and quiet, comfortable cabin.
“We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and enhanced the safety and personal technologies to give customers more reasons than ever to rediscover Buick,” Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick marketing, said in a statement.
The 2014 LaCrosse will have an updated exterior that includes wing-shape LED lighting and new interior that includes a luxury package with semi-aniline leather seats and Tamo Ash trim, the company said in the statement.
The automaker needs the updates to the LaCrosse as it also brings out a similar-sized Chevy Impala, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with TrueCar Inc., which tracks auto sales.
“The market, especially in that segment, demands fresh product, especially for Buick, which is trying to lower the average age of their buyers,” he said in an interview.
Buick brand U.S. sales rose 1.6 percent to 180,408 last year compared with 2011, failing to keep pace with GM’s total increase of 3.7 percent and the entire market’s 13 percent gain. LaCrosse sales declined 2.4 percent while Regal sales plunged 39 percent. The brand delivered almost four times as many vehicles in China last year: 700,007.
The updated versions join new offerings by Buick including the Encore sport-utility vehicle and Verano compact car.
The 2014 LaCrosse has front headlights with a more angular appearance that share a similar look to the 2013 Buick Enclave crossover. Inside, designers gave the car a new center console with a standard eight-inch, color touch-screen, a sleeker look, more comfortable seats. Options include blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound system.