David Dunbar Buick, an inventor of plumbing parts, incorporates Buick Motor Co. in Detroit. He intends to develop his innovative engine with valves in head, but he lacks capital. James Whitney, a carriage maker, purchases Buick Motor and moves it to Flint, Mich.
Durant takes charge
Billy Durant, another Flint wagon maker, takes charge of Buick. He raises money and builds assembly plant. First Flint Buick, Model B, is assembled.
24 days - a record
A Buick races from New York to San Francisco in record time - 24 days.
Durant founds General Motors. Buick and Oldsmobile are first brands.
Walter Chrysler quits as president of Buick and goes on to start Chrysler Corp. Durant loses control of GM for second and final time.
We're No. 3
Sales reach 232,594, behind only Ford and Chevrolet.
Depression hits premium brand Buick hard. Sales fall to 43,809.
General manager Harlow Curtice and designer Harley Earl revive Buick with new designs and nameplates, such as the Roadmaster, Super, Century and Limited. Sales reach 160,687.
Earl creates the Y-Job, a long, low concept. It is the first of a series of GM dream cars that will flower in the 1950s.
Portholes, Buick's famous styling signature, appear on the Roadmaster.
Buick revives the Special, a compact with a V-8, to fight imports and other small-car competitors.
Riviera is introduced, bringing sporty elegance to Buick.
Buick offers its first front-drive model, the 1979 Riviera S type, equipped with a turbocharged V-6.
Pushing 1 million
Buick sales reach 941,611, an all-time high.
GM merges Buick manufacturing and other operations into the company's B-O-C Group. Buick loses its status as an autonomous manufacturer within GM.
A GM joint venture with a Chinese company starts production of Buicks in Shanghai. Buick headquarters moves from Flint to GM headquarters in Detroit, and Buick is absorbed into GM's marketing organization.
First truck in 80 years
The Rendezvous, a crossover vehicle, is introduced. It is the first Buick based on a truck platform in nearly 80 years. Another truck, the Rainier, is due in 2004. GM hires Robert Lutz as vice chairman to improve its products, including Buick.