SAN ANTONIO, TX - It will be 30 to 60 days before there is an adequate inventory of '04 Buick Rainier SUVs at dealerships, a company executive says.
“The next few months are going to be really exciting for us as we watch what happens with sales and dealer attitudes,” says Christine Mazglad, marketing director-Buick Trucks‥ “Dealers are holding onto (Rainiers) right now. I've called them and said, ‘I know you've got one.’ And they've said, ‘And I'm not delivering it, either.’
“They're using it as their demo vehicle. Until they have the second one coming in behind it, they're not willing to let go of the first one.”
General Motors Corp.'s Moraine, OH, assembly plant is building the Rainier. But it also is the sole source for the Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Olds Bravada. Operating three crews who regularly work daily and weekend overtime, capacity is at a premium at Moraine.
But Mazglad says GM's other divisions are accommodating Rainier's launch schedule. “General Motors is taking (Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner's) advice very seriously,” Mazglad tells Ward's here during test drives of some '04 models.
“And that advice is act as one company. So when you're in a launch mode for a vehicle, Chevy and GMC have been sharing their capacity so that we can get out as fast as we can. With all of our suppliers right now for Rainier, we are running a ‘max’ capacity trying to get as many out as possible.”
Buick wants to sell 30,000 Rainiers annually. The first two deliveries were made to a 22-year-old (well under Buick's typical age demographic) and a former Lexus owner.
Marketing efforts under way include an effort called “Tiger Trap,” involving Buick spokesman and golf superstar Tiger Woods. More than 250,000 people registered for a chance to play in closest-to-the-pin competitions in front of him.