Interesting Chat w/ Buick Rep at Auto Show

Pacer69

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Took my sis to KC Auto Show yesterday. Made sure to stop in at Buick area to show her the Encore as she's interested (TourX too big for her taste). Also got her to look at Regal Sportback which she also liked. I'm very interested to see what kind of deals can be had on Regal GS and Avenir...wondering if they're anything like on 2018 TourX.

Buick rep came over and asked if we had any questions. We did, and she was able to answer them, and looked up something she didn't know the answer to, tracked us down in a different part of the exhibit and gave us the answer. I told her I have a TourX and love it, it's the first new GM I've ever purchased. And then said, "Watch this, I'm going to go sell some TourX's for you." She didn't quite know what to think about that.

I went over to Tourx about 3 different times while we were there and spoke with 4 families. Asked them what they thought about it. Told them I own one. They of course asked about my experience with it. No one had heard of it or knew about it 'til the show yesterday. I answered questions about utility, dogs ("Will large dogs fit/ Why yes they will), pricing, engine, where it's made, etc. Three out of the four said they were going to go test drive it. BOOM. :p

Rep came over to me afterward with another rep and said, "You weren't kidding, were you?!" I think they got a kick out of my enthusiasm. I asked her if she thought they'd be selling it in MY20 and she said yeah, I do think we will, so that was good to hear.

I vented a bit on GM's lack of marketing support for TourX and she seemed to be listening. We also talked about the Regal GS and I mentioned that a lot of us wish we had a GS option in TourX...after which she got out her notepad and started writing all this down. I also showed her the GS project in the other thread here by @RoRi and she also took note of that. Good to see Buick cares about what we care about!
 

1612202

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Speaking as a past past owner of Chevy Volts I can tell you that they know we are saying something ( they hear the sounds and see the lips move) about the cars we love but it just does not register with GM.
 

Rhetoric

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This may be a regional thing, but I’ve been told by someone who works in the biz that the folks at the auto shows don’t work for the manufacturer... they’re just contractors that become experts in all of the vehicles.

Hoping you actually spoke with a GM rep in this case as you did great!
 

DoUSail2

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Correct all the reps at the shows work for marketing companies. A friend from the G8 Board Forum travels from show to show and is in charge of the Cadillac exhibits, setting things up, hiring the spokespersons and doing the show circuit. I have run into him at Holden events and meet up with him every year at the Chicago Auto show. All of them go through pretty extensive training with the company they are representing and even speak to engineers about the internals of those engine cutaway exhibits you see. They are not just there for their good looks they have to have the smarts to back it up. From what my friend tells me it is an interesting job if you have the ability to spend a lot of time in training and on the road. They actually use these marketing companies to do other training such as salesmen and service writers.
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Rhetoric

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^ Great insight!

The Raleigh auto show had a TourX pretty prominently placed... but people would buzz past to see the latest and greatest 1/2 ton pickup truck.

I'll have to swing by the MPLS show to see how one is placed there. If I remember to dress the part, I'll take a cue from Pacer69 and 'market' the car for a couple hours.
 

Pacer69

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That is all very interesting and makes perfect sense about these reps being third-party vendors.
 

BahamaTodd

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Yes, they are from marketing companies. My sister works for one of those companies and she does events for Chevrolet. She usually does events like college sports games where Chevy will setup a display outside the venue. I'll have to ask her how they handle customer feedback.

I'm an engineer in the auto aftermarket so I'm much more knowledgeable about GM vehicles and I like to quiz her to make sure she's keeping up with her studying. lol
 

4wheelforay

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I work as a product specialist for a brand that isn't Buick, we are all private contractors. I have friends that work for Buick and they are really, really knowledgable. The larger shows have product specialists and from time to time there will be regional people there from the manufacturer, the smaller shows might only be worked by local dealers.

The training that most product specialists receive is above and beyond that of your average car salesperson, and for the most part we do have people at the manufacturer we can engage to get questions answered or to pass along comments. We are trained as product specialists, not salespeople, and the shows provide an opportunity for people who are averse to a sales environment to spend time with the car and get questions answered without pressure, they can also walk around the show to cross shop with ease.

No disrespect intended BUT before everyone on here goes to the local auto show and posts up next to a TourX... please be respectful to those who's job it is to share information about the car. Certain things are not allowed to be discussed by those working the show and when a person comes to a dealer with "the guy working the auto show told me these are $11k off" doesn't really give a good experience for everyone involved. Again, I mean no disrespect AND Buick has done an absolutely terrible job marketing the TourX but we all have different perspective with regards to overstepping and I want to make sure that those who do visit the shows do have the experience they expect, a stress free opportunity to see the cars and have questions answered.
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mike69440

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"the guy working the auto show told me these are $11k off" Is that all?
I'm sure Buick cringes giving these discounts. Rub salt in the wounds.
"Buick has done an absolutely terrible job marketing the TourX"
 

mitchflorida

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"the guy working the auto show told me these are $11k off" Is that all?
I'm sure Buick cringes giving these discounts. Rub salt in the wounds.
"Buick has done an absolutely terrible job marketing the TourX"
Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.


Unfortunately, Buick didn't quite build a better mousetrap this time. Marketing can only do so much. I am sure Regal is also getting hurt on lease deals because of its high depreciation, compared to its upscale foreign competitors.
 

Pacer69

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I work as a product specialist for a brand that isn't Buick, we are all private contractors. I have friends that work for Buick and they are really, really knowledgable. The larger shows have product specialists and from time to time there will be regional people there from the manufacturer, the smaller shows might only be worked by local dealers.

The training that most product specialists receive is above and beyond that of your average car salesperson, and for the most part we do have people at the manufacturer we can engage to get questions answered or to pass along comments. We are trained as product specialists, not salespeople, and the shows provide an opportunity for people who are averse to a sales environment to spend time with the car and get questions answered without pressure, they can also walk around the show to cross shop with ease.

No disrespect intended BUT before everyone on here goes to the local auto show and posts up next to a TourX... please be respectful to those who's job it is to share information about the car. Certain things are not allowed to be discussed by those working the show and when a person comes to a dealer with "the guy working the auto show told me these are $11k off" doesn't really give a good experience for everyone involved. Again, I mean no disrespect AND Buick has done an absolutely terrible job marketing the TourX but we all have different perspective with regards to overstepping and I want to make sure that those who do visit the shows do have the experience they expect, a stress free opportunity to see the cars and have questions answered.
I agree with all that, we should all be cognizant of it. And I was very respectful to the Buick people, and also my fellow attendees. I was not selling, just sharing info. One guy was an artist with a wife and 3 kids and was asking me if I thought there was room enough in the back end for large canvases. We talked about that and how he'd never seen a wagon before. Oh yeah, and he took my phone number b/c he and his wife are writing a children's book and they wanted to ask me about that, and maybe some other TourX q's they might have. (I mentioned to them that I'm also an author after they mentioned their book.)

Another guy asked his enthused young son to quiet down so he could hear my answers to his questions.

The people I spoke with there knew I was an attendee (I wore blue jeans and a casual shirt), the Buick people were all in smart/same attire with badges, etc. As far as pricing goes, I told them they were doing major incentives in Jan-Feb, and that I thought some of the incentives were still in play. I don't see anything wrong with anyone mentioning that, it's a plus for getting people into thinking about a test drive or at least some online shopping; any autotrader search will reveal the same or much more.

Buick reps were only around for one of those "at the TourX" convos btw. I assume they were standing at other Buicks answering other q's as they seemed very attentive. I mentioned to the Buick rep (and the Buick rep only), and in a neutral tone, that "It seems like GM hasn't done much to market TourX." And that I was concerned that a great car was going to leave us far too early. (I hope she takes those comments back to GM.) That's when she said she thought it would be around at least through '20.
 

gmejia324

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Not a College Basketball game goes by where there's not a Buick Commercial on...

View attachment 14402

Surfer Girls get my attention... They're tying to " Youth " the Brand...
Yes, seen that one many times. They never do say what the car is though...just some comment about the roof rack...Then there's the whole "Is that a Buick?" thing which doesn't really help in my opinion..
 

Pacer69

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Glad they're putting out some heavier media scheduling, I had seen the earlier ones with the big/little people and the surfer girls, but had only seen one in passive viewing, the rest b/c I sought them out. None of the people I talked to (about 8 total) at the show had heard of TourX though. GM probably needs to vary their media buy to include outdoor, radio, more diverse video channels, etc.
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4wheelforay

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I agree with all that, we should all be cognizant of it. And I was very respectful to the Buick people, and also my fellow attendees. I was not selling, just sharing info. One guy was an artist with a wife and 3 kids and was asking me if I thought there was room enough in the back end for large canvases. We talked about that and how he'd never seen a wagon before. Oh yeah, and he took my phone number b/c he and his wife are writing a children's book and they wanted to ask me about that, and maybe some other TourX q's they might have. (I mentioned to them that I'm also an author after they mentioned their book.)

Another guy asked his enthused young son to quiet down so he could hear my answers to his questions.

The people I spoke with there knew I was an attendee (I wore blue jeans and a casual shirt), the Buick people were all in smart/same attire with badges, etc. As far as pricing goes, I told them they were doing major incentives in Jan-Feb, and that I thought some of the incentives were still in play. I don't see anything wrong with anyone mentioning that, it's a plus for getting people into thinking about a test drive or at least some online shopping; any autotrader search will reveal the same or much more.

Buick reps were only around for one of those "at the TourX" convos btw. I assume they were standing at other Buicks answering other q's as they seemed very attentive. I mentioned to the Buick rep (and the Buick rep only), and in a neutral tone, that "It seems like GM hasn't done much to market TourX." And that I was concerned that a great car was going to leave us far too early. (I hope she takes those comments back to GM.) That's when she said she thought it would be around at least through '20.

I hear you, but "I'm going to sell some cars for you" is the last thing people working as product specialists want to hear.

I am glad you had a great interaction with the guests at the Buick display.
 

Pacer69

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I hear you, but "I'm going to sell some cars for you" is the last thing people working as product specialists want to hear.

I am glad you had a great interaction with the guests at the Buick display.
I said it in a joking manner, and the specialist I was speaking with came up and thanked me very sincerely after she saw my interactions. Chillax.
 

Pacer69

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Very chillaxed, I wanted to share the perspective of the person whose job you were doing for them.
She shared her perspective with me after she thanked me (as I mentioned, maybe you did not read that?) and spoke with me for another 10 minutes, asking me about this forum, etc. Your concerns were noted, acknowledged as valid, and addressed more than once in a cordial manner. I'm guessing you've had some bad experiences at that job. That must've been hard for you, I do get it, that would annoy me too. But I don't appreciate your insinuations. If I get an opportunity to talk to someone about a car, any car, anywhere, I'll do it if I feel like it. I only shared this here because it's an appropriate venue for it.

But if you want to conflate good, positive interactions with bad, I guess that is up to you.
 
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