A few weeks ago, we posted an article about some Pontiac websites that were not Pontiac.com. Instead, Pontiac decided to go with custom domains for some of its cars.
Today, we’re looking at the same concept for a different division of General Motors: Buick.
First up is this old two-page spread from a June 1997 magazine for the Buick Regal:
If you can look past the super-cool roller-blading family with their super-cool supercharged Buick Regal, you’ll see that, off in the bottom left-hand corner, there’s this cute little drawing of a computer mouse with wheels that references www.regal.com:
What? Was the concept of listing a website in an ad so new in 1997 that Buick felt the need to include a little mouse to help people understand that the reference was a computer thing?
What we do know is where www.regal.com leads us today:
That’s not good. The Regal is still in the Buick lineup (in fact, as of this writing, it’s the only conventional sedan Buick sells amid a sea of SUVs). And a quick check of whois.com shows that GM still owns the regal.com domain. They could easily point it to the current Regal information on Buick.com.
Too bad. Such a missed opportunity.
Okay! Let’s move on to a car name that Buick no longer sells: the LeSabre.
This ad from October 1999 offers a free CD-ROM if you go to www.lesabre.com. Oooh!
Once again, I like how Buick registered domains with simply their model name. Very clever.
Now that the LeSabre is gone from the Buick lineup, how does the website hold up?
Ugh. Once again, it’s dead. No more lesabre.com. No more CD-ROMs. Sad.
And, once again, checking whois.com shows that General Motors still owns lesabre.com. I can give GM a bit of a pass on this once since Buick no longer makes the LeSabre. But come on! Surely you could direct the URL to the Buick homepage or something! This is just looking sloppy.
Okay! Surely we’ll have better luck with the Buick Rendezvous, yes?
You remember the Rendezvous, right? It shared its platform with the Pontiac Aztec, but was spared the ridicule of the Pontiac’s ungainly design.
The ad from March 2001 touts the Rendezvous as the sparkling achievement of automotive evolution. I’ve never driven a Rendezvous (or even sat in one) so I can’t speak to that claim. But if you wanted to know more about the car, the ad mentions www.buickrendezvous.com twice.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who intentionally mispronounces Rendezvous in my head every time I see the word? I mean, I know how it’s supposed to be pronounced (I’m not that stupid) but I can’t help but think of it as ren-des-voos. Maybe it’s just me.
Enough of that. Let’s see what buickrendezvous.com looks like today:
Oh come on! Again?
Indeed, www.buickrendezvous.com is dead, just like the other two sites featured today. And, yes, GM still owns this domain, too.
If Buick (and GM) dropped the ball on one of these URLs, I could maybe forgive them. But to fail on all three so miserably shows a blatant lack of web management. Come on GM! You can do better!