Buick Sheds Nearly Half Its Dealers Nationally, Brand Down To Three Stores In CT

DETROIT – Buick will end 2023 with only around 1,000 dealerships nationwide after nearly half of its stores opted to take voluntary buyouts from parent company General Motors rather than invest in selling and servicing electric models.

Buick has committed to having an all-electric lineup by 2030. The “Detroit Free Press” newspaper reports that beginning late last year, GM began asking dealers to commit to invest a minimum of $300,000 to $400,000 to be ready for EVs. The alternative was to accept a buyout.

The website “Carscoops” reports Buick had 1,958 franchises across the nation at the start of the year, but will be down 47 percent when the new year arrives. The Buick website today lists only three dealers in Connecticut – Stephen Buick GMC in Hartford, Wallingford Buick GMC, and Buick GMC of Watertown.

2024 Buick Enclave

Among the dealerships in the state that have apparently shed Buick are D’Addario Cadillac in Shelton, Gallagher GMC in New Britain, Vachon GMC in Putnam, Brustolon GMC in Old Saybrook, Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, and Northwest Hills in Torrington. Some of the stores’ websites still display the Buick brand name.

2024 Buick Encore

CNBC reports that the buyouts have already cost GM about $1 billion and are still being offered. Despite the dramatic loss of stores, Buick says 89 percent of the population remain with 25 miles of a dealership. Sales for November were up 58 percent over November 2022, the company said, suggesting greater volume at the remaining outlets.

Most of the dealers that accepted buyouts were smaller stores, which no doubt found the cost of switching to EVs onerous. They only accounted for 20 percent of Buick’s sales.

Buick Wildcat EV concept model

(Photos courtesy of Buick)

About Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" classic car feature in the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. He also hosts the weekday chat show "Talk of the Town" from 10 a.m. to noon on WATR (AM 1320, FM 97.7) in Waterbury. A graduate of Vermont Academy, he holds a B.A. degree journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1975. He is the recipient of a Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 1992 and a 1991-92 regional Emmy Award for commentary. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville and drives a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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