Buick to launch IntelliLink on 2012 modelsTue, 19 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Buick is launching a connectivity feature on its 2012 models as the brand looks to attract younger and tech-savvy customers--and to shed its sometime stodgy image.
Called IntelliLink, the connectivity technology arrives as standard equipment on the 2012 Verano sedan, before being added to the Regal and the LaCrosse. The Enclave SUV gets it in 2013. It will be standard on the Verano, the brand's entry-level car, and execs are still considering whether it will be a cost-added feature on their other vehicles.
IntelliLink is the Buick equivalent of Chevrolet's MyLink, and it employs the same technology presented in a slightly different manner. IntelliLink uses Bluetooth or USB capability to connect smartphones to the car.
There's enhanced voice activation, a seven- or eight-inch touch screen laid out in the same fashion as a smartphone and steering wheel controls. The system also adds streaming audio with Pandora and Stitcher.
Buick says the idea is to allow drivers to focus on the road, rather than be distracted by their phones.
"It adds to our portfolio of personal technology," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick marketing.
GMC's version of IntelliLink will also be added in 2012.
The technology is a key part of Buick's attempt to remake its image by launching younger-oriented vehicles with more technology and performance. While many people know of the Buick brand, they're often thinking of cars from the 1980s or '90s, rather than the current portfolio.
"People have a sense of false familiarity with Buick," DiSalle said.
The brand launched an advertising blitz during the NCAA Tournament to support new models and plans to continue that into the college football season in a bid to lure attention.
Buick says it's measuring itself against luxury makers, including Lexus and Acura, though it's attempting to be more accessible, and its products are priced accordingly.
"Traditional luxury is like an exclusive club," DiSalle said. That's the "antithesis of Buick."
By Greg Migliore