Imagine: You’re working at your desk one morning in the office and suddenly get attacked by a Buick. How many times have we read that story? Some old fart hits the gas instead of the brake and roars into your space, like a predatory tank. Here’s another instance from Michigan, and somehow they always seem to involve Buicks.
The reason is that, as we all know, many old people drive Buicks, and they do so because they feel safe in them. With 4,000-plus pounds of steel wrapped around you, a person can barge in almost anywhere in full safety and comfort. Buicks have had the safety/comfort/older buyer segment locked up for as long as I can remember—and that’s a long time. They’re like Volvos used to be, only more so. Note how long it took Volvo to change its image.
Now Buick is making a misguided attempt to attract younger buyers, as my ol’ buddy tgriffith reported. There are three things wrong with his post. One, he endorses GM’s dumb strategy of sucking up to the “youth crowd,” when in fact the company should be actively pursuing the “elderly crowd,” both because they are already well-positioned there and because the elders/boomers are growing rapidly in numbers. GM will spend lots of our tax dollars in a futile effort to achieve this market shift.
Two, with the insolence of youth, he puts down Buick drivers as “old people with blue hair and a pair of knuckles poking up over the steering wheel.” Or “Florida retirees driving with their left turn signals flashing on the way to a 3 p.m. dinner at the buffet.” In my next post look for an image of a drunken 32-year-old, weaving down a major artery at 3:00 a.m. with music blaring as he talks on his cell phone. Hah-hah-hah.
Three, my blogging buddy seems to think that the giant-clam Enclave or the tiny Aveo or the MINI Crossman (yes, the MINI Crossman) may be a path to crossover success for Buick. Down this road madness lies: See point one, above.
The fact that old people are sometimes dangerous drivers is a problem everyone needs to face, and that’s the real issue behind all this Buick BS. There should be mandatory re-licensing for drivers age 70 and over in all states, not just in the relatively few that now require it. Some of these people are indeed a menace, and I’ll bet most of them know it. Get them off the road, and stop stereotyping old people.
Tell us your Buick story: Did your father have one? Did your mother crash one? Anything else?