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Buick began in 1899 as the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company building engines and motorcars. When David Dunbar Buick incorporate it into the Buick Motor Company in 1903, he soon sold it to James H. Whiting, who brought in William C. Durant in 1904 to oversee operations. Many American classic cars are associated with Buick, including the Skylark and Riviera. Today, Buick produces only five vehicles for the North American market, ranging from a compact sedan to a full-sized crossover.
Buick's vehicles are instantly recognized by their signature waterfall grille, trishield Buick symbol in a circle. VentiPorts, a series of three or four rounded or squared holes in the upper fender behind the front wheel, are another signature appearing on all Buick models today. Although they had previously denoted engine displacement and size, the VentiPorts today they are arbitrary with the exception of those on the Regal, which has two to denote the four-cylinder engine under its hood.
Interestingly, Buick is the top-selling brand in China and the marque sells more cars there than it does in the United States. It is, however, the fastest-growing American brand in the U.S., now gaining popularity thanks to popular models receiving accolades from several automotive journals. Kelley Blue Book awarded three models the 2014 5-Year Cost to Own award while these and other models have also received the Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award. Other awards include the J.D. Power Initial Quality Award, Strategic Vision Total Quality Award, and more.
The Buick nameplate is now the fastest-growing brand in the GM lineup and one of the few that has weathered the political storm around the company relatively well, gaining in Brand acceptance and awareness in consumer surveys since the 2008-09 restructuring.