Buick is the oldest continuously running brand of American automobiles. In 1899, Buick started making combustion engines, and in 1903, the company became Buick Motor Corporation. The Michigan-based company is under the control of General Motors, which has gradually been cutting back on Buick’s model lineup since 2005. However, Buick cars, including Buick sport utility vehicles, are still an important component in General Motors’ strategy. Small and performance cars have been mostly removed from the lineup, so the focus is currently on Buick SUVs and sedans. Buick’s vehicles are sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as in China and Israel. The brand’s popularity in China helped Buick hold on to its spot in the General Motors lineup when the parent company was reorganizing in 2009, and Buick’s distribution network was combined with GMC’s, ensuring that, for the most part, the two brands’ vehicles did not directly compete with each other in the Buick-GMC dealer showrooms.
The first Buick sport utility vehicle was a crossover, the Rendezvous, which was introduced in 2001. The Buick Rendezvous got a lot of attention, thanks to its advertising campaign featuring the golf professional Tiger Woods, a move designed younger buyers to the brand. Although this strategy wasn’t as successful as Buick had hoped, the brand eventually attracted enough younger buyers so that in 2010, Buick was the fastest growing brand of passenger cars, although the Rendezvous was discontinued in 2007.
The Rainier, a mid size Buick sport utility vehicle, was introduced in 2004 as a replacement for the Oldsmobile Bravada, and it was Buick’s first traditional SUV model (as compared to the car-based Rendezvous). However, the Rainier was discontinued after just a few years, ending production in 2007. Other Buick sport utility vehicles include the Centieme, which was a crossover concept vehicle built for Buick’s 100th anniversary and unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2003. Although the Buick Centieme never saw production, the vehicle was influential in the design and execution of future Buick SUVs, particularly the Enclave. When the Buick Enclave full size crossover was released in 2008, it quickly became one of Buick’s best selling models, and its sales performance has ensured a spot in the tightly edited Buick lineup. The Enclave was redesigned for the 2013 model year. A new Buick SUV, the Encore mini crossover, was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in 2012. It is one of the two Buick sport utility vehicles in the 2014 model year lineup, alongside the Buick Enclave.