That’s a Buick? GM Deleting Name Badge on All Buick Models

2018 Buick Encore

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Buick will delete its badge nameplate from all models starting with the 2019 Envision, a marketing ploy that may actually cause people outside the brand’s TV commercials to wonder, “That’s a Buick?”

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The news, first reported by GM Authority and confirmed by Buick to Car and Driver, comes as a tacit admission that the Buick nameplate doesn’t appeal to customers looking at foreign competition—or even the blingy GMCs sold at the same dealerships. The change will only affect the “Buick” badge from the decklid, which is the only exterior marking spelling out David Dunbar Buick’s last name—one that has had a 115-year history in American car culture. Buick badging on doorsills, infotainment screens, and other parts won’t change. Buick may opt to fill the blank space with an Avenir badge, the top trim that Buick has started labeling as its most expensive models, similar to how Denali wears the crown at GMC.

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2018 Buick Regal Sportback

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“The decision was made for global consistency, but is also backed by research that indicates the Buick tri-shield logo is very recognizable on its own,” said spokesman Stuart Fowle.

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The last Buick without a name badge was the flashy, avant-garde Riviera coupe from 1995 to 1999. Oldsmobile tried something similar with the 1995 Aurora, which didn’t say “Oldsmobile” anywhere and instead sported a stylized A logo that confused customers looking for the car at rival dealerships. But despite an image built by elderly Americans buying their last Park Avenue—in the late 2000s, the brand’s average buyer was more than 70 years old—should the name disappear from the cars? Will Buick emulate Prince and change its name to an unpronounceable symbol? Focus groups might answer every which way, but to us, a Buick will always be a Buick.

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