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Buick originated as an independent motor car manufacturer, the Buick Motor Company, incorporated on May 19, 1903, by the Scottish-American David Dunbar Buick (who invented the overhead valve engine on which the company's success was based) in Detroit, Michigan. Later that year, the struggling company was taken over by James H. Whiting (1842-1919), who moved it to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and brought in William C. Durant in 1904 to manage his new acquisition. Buick sold his stock for a small sum upon departure, and died in modest circumstances twenty-five years later.
Durant was a natural, and Buick soon became the largest car maker in America. Using the profits from this, Durant embarked on a series of corporate acquisitions, calling the new mega-corporation General Motors.
At first, the manufacturers comprising General Motors competed against each other, but Durant ended that. He wanted each General Motors division to target one class of buyer, and in his new scheme Buick was near the top—only the Cadillac brand had more prestige.
In 1911, Buick introduced its first closed-body car, four years ahead of Ford. In 1929, Buick Motor Division launched the Marquette sister brand, designed to bridge the price gap between Buick and Oldsmobile; however, Marquette was discontinued in 1930.
Today Buick retains that position in the GM lineup. The ideal Buick customer was comfortably off, possibly not quite rich enough to afford a Cadillac or not desiring the ostentation of one, but definitely in the market for a car above the norm. Buick is one of the oldest marques in the world, with Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Peugeot, Cadillac, Daimler and the discontinued Oldsmobile.
Speculation existed, however, as to whether GM will eliminate the Buick brand to cut costs. This followed the temporary suspension of GM's planned Zeta project to develop new rear wheel drive cars fitting the Buick market niche. GM also has started consolidating of Buick, Pontiac, and GMC trucks into single dealer franchises, which would make it simple to eliminate the Buick brand without leaving dealers devoid of product. However, with the development of the Zeta platform still ongoing (including the development of the 2006 VE Commodore and the new Chevrolet Camaro), it may be likely that Buick will survive still.
Buick began consolidating its lineup in 2005, replacing the Century and Regal with the LaCrosse (known as the Buick Allure in Canada), and the LeSabre and Park Avenue with the Lucerne in 2006. Both of its SUVs, the Rendezvous and Rainier were discontinued in 2007 to make way for the new 2008 Enclave, while the slow-selling Terraza minivan has also been dropped for '08. This leaves the marque with just three models in the United States. In 2008, Buick sales slipped from an average of four cars per dealer per month to three, in addition to two trucks. There have been rumors on Edmund's and Motor Trend that Buick will have a roadster sedan in 2010, which could mean that the marque may survive beyond 2009.
There is speculation that future Buick models will have interior and exterior designs with greatly increased influence from Buick of China. This is due to Buick's great success and high reputation in China. Motor Authority has also written that Buick will introduce the Buick Excelle in the United States in 2008. Other Chinese designed models are likely to follow either as debuts or as redesigns of existing American models.
Check out the Buick wallpapers and Buick Pictures (pics) collection below: