General Motors made a host of headlines yesterday during its keynote address at the virtual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Buried in the litany of new information is a subtle mention about the Buick brand. Specifically, it sounds like a new strategy is afoot for Buick.
Speaking in front of several upcoming GM electric vehicles, GM design chief Mike Simcoe had a simple one-liner about Buick. Simcoe stated, “There will also be new vehicles from Buick, with a refreshed strategy based on electrification, connectivity and intelligent driving.”
He went on to say that Buick has three new Ultium-based EV’s in the pipeline and that two of them were behind him. Simcoe even pointed in the direction of one of them, pictured above.
Given GM’s broader corporate strategy shift toward electrification, Buick’s new strategy is hardly surprising. However, this is the first mention on-the-record of a new, coherent strategy for Buick. It’s also a confirmation that the electrification efforts surrounding the Buick Velite portfolio in China will eventually find its way to North America. The Buick Velite 7 EV from China is pictured above.
Simcoe’s background also sheds enough light to confirm Buick’s design strategy is changing. The crossover he points to in the video is quite clearly wearing a design unlike any current Buick product in the U.S. or China. There’s a very low-positioned grille design, flanked with very slim horizontal headlights. Its overall body appears very simple and sleek compared to the EV’s from other GM brands.
Buick’s future design direction is something to watch. Now that Buick is unleashed from following Opel’s design theme (since GM sold Opel), Buick now has the freedom to establish its own design DNA again. It appears from Simcoe’s comments and the preview behind him that they are doing just that.