Well this is just fascinating! Now almost all new cars come with a touch screen “infotainment” system but Buick has been doing that stuff since the 80’s! It’s amazing to learn that technology we think of as “new” has actually been around for WAY longer than we thought! Buick for the win!
Check it out, and tell us what you think! Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.
From General Motors:
SPRING HILL, Tenn. – General Motors today increased to $350 million planned spending for new vehicles to be produced at its Spring Hill assembly plant. The new investment adds $167 million to a previously announced $183 million pledge and is expected to create or retain about 1,800 jobs.
The new investment is for two projects:
An additional $40 million added to the earlier announced $183 million investment to support a future mid-size vehicle program, bringing the new total investment to $223 million. This program is expected to create or retain approximately 1,000 jobs.
A second mid-size vehicle program with an investment of $127 million that will create or retain approximately 800 jobs.
Timing and product specifications for both programs will be shared closer to start-of-production.
The new programs will add to existing manufacturing operations at the site that include vehicle assembly, stamping, engine and component parts production.
“Today’s announcement recognizes the commitment of Spring Hill employees and leadership,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “As a team, they draw upon the plant’s unique heritage and dedicated work force to deliver top quality for our customers.”
Located 40 miles south of Nashville, GM Spring Hill Manufacturing operates as a flexible-assembly plant, capable of building a variety of products on a range of platforms. The facility is designed to supplement production for plants being retooled for new products or add production to meet sales spikes in real time.
Chevrolet Equinox production began at the site in the third quarter of 2012 to meet growing consumer demand and support GM’s Canada operations. GM Spring Hill Manufacturing, home to the former Saturn brand from 1990 to 2007, operates as a fully integrated complex.
“I would like to thank General Motors for its confidence that the highly skilled members of UAW Local 1853 can successfully build mid-size vehicles with high quality here at Spring Hill,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union’s GM Department. “The hard work and dedication of our members once again proves that we can competitively manufacture vehicles for the future right here in Tennessee.”
DETROIT – Remaining in business for 11 decades requires constant innovation, so choosing one model to represent a decade of significance can be a catalyst for debate. Among the hundreds of models designed and engineered for Buick, the 11 below stand out as the most significant for their respective decades since May 17, 1903. Let the debate begin.
The first Buick ever is quite significant, so Buick’s first decade honor goes to the 1904 Model B. The first one of the line was sold to doctor Herbert H. Hills of Flint, Mich., decades before the brand developed its reputation as a “doctor’s car.”
The 1916 D-45 Touring was the top-selling model in 1916, a year when Buick switched its lineup from four- to six-cylinder engines. Sales tripled that year and reached six digits for the first time. Buick became the top-selling brand in the industry a few years later, with five-passenger touring models remaining most popular.
The 1931 Series 50 was the best-selling model in the year of another upsizing of powertrains – from six- to eight-cylinder engines. The more powerful engines, paired with a major design overhaul the year before, helped boost Buick’s image during the Great Depression.
Harlow Curtice became Buick’s president in 1933, and three years later, a model range including the 1936 Century showed his revolutionary vision for the brand. Its streamlined designs were a dramatic change and Buick’s engines grew more powerful, making the Century the first Buick to reach 100 mph. Sales grew from 53,249 in 1935 to 168,596 in 1936 and continued to rise in the years to come.
Buick’s most iconic design features, including signature waterfall grilles and portholes, date to the 1949 Roadmaster. One of the most collectible Buicks of all time, the Roadmaster even became a Hollywood star in the 1988 film Rain Man.
Buick celebrated its 50th birthday with the 1953 Skylark, an opulent, limited-production convertible with advanced design and technology. Each had Italian wire wheels and the owner’s name engraved on the steering wheel. The same year also marked the first year of Buick V-8 engines and a new twin-turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission.
Buick’s most famous production design is the 1963 Riviera, a powerful sport coupe said to be inspired by a Rolls-Royce that Buick design boss Bill Mitchell saw through a fog in London. It energized a brand emerging from a period of design criticism.
Amid an oil crisis, the 1975 Regal offered a standard V-6 engine at a time when other mid-size sedans offered only gas-thirstier V-8s. Buick still leads the way in the downsizing trend, offering four-cylinder engines on four of its five 2013 models.
Buick’s lightweight, high-tech V-6 engines, mixed with the brand’s success in NASCAR, resulted in the brand’s most iconic performance car, the 1987 GNX. Its 276-hp turbocharged and intercooled V-6 delivered 0-60 mph acceleration in just 4.6 seconds, according to Car and Driver magazine.
A 1999 Century was Buick’s first model built in China for the local market. Although Buick has a long reputation as a prestigious brand in China (one in six cars on Shanghai roads in 1930 were Buicks, according to the city’s government,) production there has driven the brand’s success over the past decade. China is now Buick’s largest market, with 700,007 vehicles sold in 2012.
The 2008 Enclave luxury crossover ushered in Buick’s current design language and brand focus. Along with the LaCrosse luxury sedan, which went on sale as a 2010 model, the Enclave introduced buyers to a new era of Buicks with leading design, quietness, quality and safety.
From General Motors:
DETROIT – Buick vehicles today are built in state-of-the-art facilities around the world. The Enclave luxury crossover’s Lansing Delta Township plant was the industry’s first LEED Gold-certified manufacturing facility. The brand has evolved in many ways since 1903, when the first Buick was hand-built in a small barn behind David Dunbar Buick’s Detroit home. Here are 11 top highlights from Buick’s first 11 decades:
• Through the end of 2012, Buick has sold more than 43 million vehicles. That’s the equivalent of every vehicle sold in the United States over the past three years.
• The 1938 Buick Y-Job, credited to famed designer Harley Earl, is regarded as the first concept car ever built. Its waterfall grille is still used on Buicks today, and it featured futuristic technologies like power windows. Earl drove the car himself for more than a decade.
• The 1963 Riviera, often regarded as one of history’s most beautiful cars, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The powerful sport coupe was said to be inspired by a Rolls-Royce that Buick design boss Bill Mitchell saw through a fog in London.
• Buick has a deep motorsports history, proving its performance on race tracks as early as 1908. A Buick has served as Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 six times, and the brand also won two NASCAR Manufacturer Championships, in 1981 and 1982.
• After just over three decades of engineering progress, the first production Buick topped 100 mph. It was the appropriately named 1936 Buick Century.
• The fastest production Buick in history is today’s Buick Regal GS luxury sport sedan. At the 2012 Nevada Open Road Challenge, it recorded a top speed of 162 mph.
• Buick’s quickest car was also one of the brands rarest. Car and Driver magazine recorded 0-60 mph acceleration for the 1987 Buick GNX at just 4.6 seconds. Just 547 were built.
• Powertrain innovation is a Buick hallmark. Today, the company’s turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0L delivers 259 hp, but displacement was king in the 1960s and ‘70s. Buick’s largest engine, a 455-cubic-inch (7.5L) V-8, was introduced in 1970.
• The Buick Electra 225 nameplate was introduced in 1959, with the “225” referencing the model’s overall length in inches. By 1975, the Electra grew to become the longest vehicle ever produced by Buick. It measured 233.7 inches from bumper to bumper.
• Buick’s first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, was also the shortest, riding on an 83-inch wheelbase. The 2013 Encore luxury small crossover isn’t quite as small, but it does have the shortest wheelbase (100.6 inches) since the 1912 Model 34 (90.7 inches.)
• Buick has made many models with seating for two, four, five or six passengers. But only twice in 110 years has the brand produced vehicles with seating for up to eight: the 2008-2013 Enclave and the 1991-1996 Roadmaster Estate.
This 1987 Buick Grand National has an SBC V8 and 106mm single turbo that runs on E85. According to the video poster, the car dyno’ed at 1464 horsepower, and since this was a challenge, no torque numbers were shown.
We don’t know the circumstances or conditions behind the jump performed by this Buick LeSabre, but we don’t recommend trying this.
Wanna know more about Buicks? Head on over to PowerBlock TV’s newest edition to The PowerBlock Network, Year Make Model! Check it out by clicking here: www.powerblocktv.com/ymm
Buick and GMC told dealers today that it will introduce nine new or significantly updated models in the next 12 months, starting with the new Buick Enclave luxury crossover SUV and GMC Acadia crossover SUV this fall.
The new Buick Encore small luxury crossover, which will be priced at $24,950 including a $750 destination charge, arrives in early 2013. A Buick Regal luxury sport sedan, Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan, GMC Sierra and Sierra HD full-size pickups, as well as GMC Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs will arrive next year.
In addition to these nine models, GMC will offer luxury-appointed Denali versions of its four upcoming vehicles and a new 2.0L turbocharged powertrain will be available in the Buick Verano this year.
By the end of 2013, the oldest non-commercial models in a Buick/GMC showroom will be the Buick Verano luxury sedan and GMC Terrain small SUV. Verano has been in dealer showrooms for less than a year and has gained sales volume every month since launch. Terrain arrived as a 2010 model and is on pace for its best sales year ever in 2012. A new Denali luxury trim level recently was added.
GMC also announced the return of the GMC Canyon midsize pickup as an all-new model to be built in Wentzville, Mo. Arrival timing will be announced later.
“While we continue to make strong progress in fuel economy gains on our full-size trucks, we know that there is a group of customers who want the functionality of a truck but may not need full-size pickup,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick and GMC Marketing. “We believe that introducing a new, agile and efficient mid-size Canyon will meet the needs of many pickup buyers.”
Buick and GMC have grown together as distinctly different but complementary brands. Together, they have sold more than 400,000 vehicles so far this year, a pace that should allow each brand to achieve a third consecutive year of sales gains.
“We’re not only selling more vehicles, we’re bringing new customers to the Buick and GMC showroom,” said Brian Sweeney, vice president of Buick and GMC Sales and Service. “Both brands report more than 40 percent conquest sales. Buick was the only automotive brand in the United States to reduce the average age of its buyer during the past five years, and GMC continues to attract more female buyers and – with Denali vehicles – more import and luxury owners.
Overall, General Motors will have 70 percent all-new or significantly refreshed products across its four U.S. brands in 2012-2013.
-Photo and story from a General Motors Press Release
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