Super Bowl

Buick Super Bowl Ad Criticized for Vehicles Not Made in U.S.

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Buick's Super Bowl commercial has drawn the ire of the UAW.

Cindy Estrada, the director of the UAW's General Motors department, signaled her displeasure with the commercial on Twitter Sunday night. The ad showcased the 2017 Encore crossover, assembled in South Korea, and the Cascada convertible, built in Poland.

"Can't believe GM would feature foreign made vehicles on all-American Super Bowl," Ms. Estrada tweeted Sunday night.

The 60-second Buick spot, which ran during the first quarter of the game, featured Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and supermodel Miranda Kerr. The ad was handled by Publicis Groupe's EngageM-1.

A Buick spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Monday afternoon.

The ad came as President Donald Trump has repeatedly called on U.S. automakers to build more of their vehicles domestically, threatening to slap tariffs on vehicles built outside the U.S.

Like Trump, the UAW has criticized U.S. trade policy over the past several decades, calling free trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement unfair to American workers who have seen high-paying jobs shifted to Mexico and other lower-wage nations.

Automakers have responded to the pressure put on them by announcing new investments and jobs at U.S. plants. Automakers have framed the investments as reflections of the strength of the U.S. economy and confidence in the Trump administration's economic policies, though many of the investments have been in the works for years.

Buick chose to showcase the Cascada and Encore in its ad this year because they are the brand's leading conquest models, Buick marketing director Molly Peck told Automotive News last week.

"We'll connect with people who like sports, who like Cam Newton," Ms. Peck said. "We'll connect with people who just like advertising during the game."

Buick sold 5,258 Encores in the U.S. in January, up 6.9% from a year earlier, according to the Automotive News Data Center. It sold 312 Cascadas, up from 88 in 2016.

John Irwin is reporter at Automotive News. His colleague Vince Bond contributed to this report.

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