Lou Ann Hammond, the CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, talked to Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing about the 2013 Buick Enclave. Why has the Enclave done better than expected? What about Intellilink?
“The 2013 Enclave advances the award-winning design, craftsmanship, and technology that reintroduced Buick to a new generation of customers”, said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and engineered purposeful technologies that will make the Enclave continue to resonate with luxury crossover owners.
Enclave saw record sales in 2011, making it more popular than the three-row crossovers from Acura, Audi, and Lincoln. More than 58,000 were sold last year “ with nearly 50 percent sold to customers switching from non-General Motors vehicles.
The Enclave is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models and is powered by a direct-injected 3.6L V-6 and an updated six-speed automatic transmission that contributes to the more refined driving experience. Buicks QuietTuning engineering process reduces, blocks, and absorbs unwanted noise from the Enclaves cabin, making it quieter than a Lexus RX350.
Tony DiSalle: Buick Enclave is in the fifth year of its life cycle set an all-time sales record for us last year. So this is a vehicle that consumers are still discovering. And so the design guys did a phenomenal job of evolving what was already a successful customer proposition.
Lou Ann Hammond Drivingthenation: Now what have you done differently on this vehicle than the past generation?
Tony DiSalle Buick: Yeah, again it’s an evolution of our design, so Enclave was really the first Buick that was part of the Renaissance, design Renaissance, of the Buick brand. It really set the tone for what Buick is, which is really all about beautiful, quiet, and comfortable, and so this lives up to that. This vehicle features a new front-end sheet metal design, nineteen and twenty-inch beautiful chrome wheels, a monochromatic look on the side now; single color as opposed to being broken up with a different color on the bottom panel, on the rocker panels.
And then also a beautiful new exterior design with dual integrated exhausts and a wonderful new interior which you just have to see, I mean in order to appreciate it. With accent stitching, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel, the most room in its category versus its competitive set, rear legroom in the third seat is outstanding and continues to live up to that.
Lou Ann Hammond Drivingthenation: What’s new with the Intellilink?
Tony DiSalle Buick: Intellilink now is going to be available on Enclave for the first time, as part of this changeover to the new vehicle in thirteen. And then so also consumers in thirteen will be able to not only be able to stream Pandora and Stitcher off of their smartphone via Intellilink but will also have the ability to have screen-based navigation in their Enclave.
Lou Ann Hammond Drivingthenation: Because that wasn’t available in the first generation of Intellilink.
Tony DiSalle Buick: That’s correct. They weren’t available together, but now they will be.
Lou Ann Hammond Drivingthenation: Now, Buick Verano is your quietest Buick?
Tony DiSalle Buick: Buick Verano is quiet in its competitive set, for sure.
Lou Ann Hammond Drivingthenation: Now is the Enclave as quiet as the Verano?
Tony DiSalle Buick: You know I don’t know I haven’t seen that comparison, but today’s Enclave, the 2012 Enclave, is actually quieter than a Lexus RX 350.