Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tiger rolls out Enclave at L.A. bash

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tiger rolls out Enclave at L.A. bash
Golf great helps GM introduce new crossover in L.A.; vehicle is set to hit showrooms in June.
Sharon Terlep / The Detroit News

PASADENA, Calif. -- With Tiger Woods behind the wheel and General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner riding shotgun, the vehicle that's supposed to revive Buick made a much-anticipated debut Tuesday night in advance of the L.A. Auto Show.

The Buick Enclave is one of the first tangible returns of $3 billion GM committed to new products two years ago.

The automaker is counting on the crossover vehicle to revive a brand that has been losing customers for years.

"This is a revitalization of the Buick brand," Wagoner said at a media event to introduce the Enclave.

Wagoner said the Enclave is part of Buick's overall strategy to cut back the number of models it sells and the number of vehicles it sells to high-volume fleets, in favor of a smaller, more profitable and higher-priced inventory.

Buick pitchman Woods said he knew GM was developing a vehicle like the Enclave and that played into his decision to pitch the brand.

Wednesday's bash was all about symbolism. Playing host was the Art Center of College of Design, just outside of Los Angeles, one of many design schools that help make the L.A. area a hotbed of trendy vehicle design.

L.A. is one of the coast cities where GM is looking to gain ground from foreign rivals.

In the cavernous auditorium where the event was held, floor-to-ceiling images of the Enclave's gear shift, serpentlike mirrors and bold grille surrounded the room. Woods drove the Enclave through a video wall emblazoned with the Buick emblem.

It was Woods' first showing at a vehicle debut.

"This was part of the reason I wanted to sign on to Buick," Woods said.

GM has not yet set a price for the Enclave. Production starts in April at the new $1 billion Delta Township plant near Lansing. Buick General Manager Steve Shannon said the vehicle will likely hit showrooms by June 1.

You can reach Sharon Terlep at (313) 223-4686 or

© Copyright 2006 The Detroit News. All rights reserved.


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