Badge Engineered 2018 Buick Gets Makeover

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GM’s thrice-sold full-sized crossover SUV (first as the Chevy Traverse, then as the GMC Acadia and thirdly as the Buick Enclave) will be “sleeker and more muscular than the current version,” according to GM marketing flapdoodlers.

Why does GM continue to sell the same car three different ways, under three different labels?

Whoops – make that four!

There is also the Cadillac XT5.

All basically the same, with the same basic mechanicals, but different (slightly) body panels and press kits to hawk them.

Maybe this made sense back in 1970, when Chevy had a bigger share of the U.S. market than GM has today.

But today, the entire conglomerate only has 18 percent-ish of the U.S. market.

Someone pass me the bottle…


Meanwhile, U.S. sales of the Enclave in 2016 declined 16 percent from a year earlier to 52,028 units. In January, deliveries dropped 27 percent from a year earlier to 2,692.


  1. It’s a throwback to the Seventies, when all the GM divisions had to be in on a platform. Remember the badge-engineered clones of the Chevy Nova, the Buick Apollo, the Oldsmobile Omega, and the Pontiac Ventura? Ugh. For that matter, the Buick Skyhawk (a Chevy Monza clone) and the Pontiac T-1000 (a clone of the Chevette, which was a squat abomination in its own right, why DUPLICATE it?). And don’t get me started on the GM J-car and X-car cloning in the 80s!

    Not that this hadn’t gone on for some time. In the 1960s, a Pontiac Tempest or a Buick Skylark was the same platform as the Chevy Chevelle, albeit with somewhat DIFFERENT sheetmetal and front and rear end treatments! And, if you got a Pontiac, it came with a Pontiac MILL! Even when Pontiac had to have a six-banger, and at first they were just going to drop a Chevy Six and call it good, the engineers at Pontiac, looking to put either a two or four barrel on it for for ‘zip’, came up with a new OHC head, and, revolutionary for its time, a cogged rubber timing belt with a non-interference design. The “Tempest Six” was a remarkable development for its day.

    It was when the “suits” decided to have GM share the various engines among divisions that the consumer finally wised up to the idea that these makes were all the same vehicle under the skin, and hence why Olds, then Pontiac fell by the way side. Same happened to Plymouth and Mercury. A sad end, but the consumer can only be ‘conned’ for a short while!

  2. It’s the old Sears catalog “good, better, best” marketing. Except instead of tires, it’s car brands. Also the inevitable outcome of vertically integrated business. Instead of brands competing against each other for business, create artificial differentiation through branding.

    • Hi Eric,

      I know GM sells a lot of these in China…. but here?

      And GMC?

      A brand that has a 17 percent market share shouldn’t have four full-line marketing arms.


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