Buick has a plan to make a better luxury car

Buick says it wants to capitalize on a recent uptick in growth, and in order to do so, it has set about creating a new top-of-the-line luxury sub-brand. Taking cues from the Avenir sedan concept first revealed at the Detroit Auto Show last year, the sub-brand looks poised for release on a global scale starting with the 2018 model year.

Essentially, the Avenir sub-brand will be akin to the Denali trim level currently in place for GMC’s range-topping truck models. Buick hopes the inclusion of Avenir-branded offerings will cement gains made with its changing customer base, which according to a recent press release, includes more female buyers and former customers of competing brands. If all goes according to plan, Avenir will also expand Buick’s reach overseas.

So then – what’ll make the Avenir sub-brand stand out amongst the competition? Buick says the exterior will include “a three-dimensional mesh grille, large-diameter wheels, and unique trim finishes,” while the cabin space will incorporate a “quiet, inviting environment with unique seat details, modern trim materials and Avenir script identification.”

Simply put – a sharp exterior styling with plus-sized rollers and a fancy fascia, as well as upscale materials and lots of badges in the interior. Sounds about right.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

In case you don’t remember, the car world went gaga when Buick dropped the Avenir concept last year, and although I’m sure more than a few of you are a little disappointed that thing won’t see the green light for full-production status, we can at least look forward to seeing elements of its gorgeous design incorporated in future Buick models.

In fact, we already have – the 2017 LaCrosse is a good example. Debuting at the 2015 Los Angeles Motor Show, this third-gen model offers sharp styling on the outside, plus a very slick interior layout, all of which are obviously drawn from the concept that came before. Sure, it’s definitely tamer than the Avenir, but the inspiration is still more than obvious.

But what else can we expect? Well, earlier this year, Buick dropped the Avista concept, a 2+2 coupe that’s every inch the equal of the Avenir. Long story short – something sporty is in the works.

Also of note is the name itself – Avenir means “future” in French, and considering Buick’s competition, it’s plain to see the U.S. brand is setting up for a full-fledged assault on the Europeans.

Personally, I’m excited to see what’s in store, especially if it’s an elegant two-door with the appropriate level of motivation under the hood. Next stop: the Nurburgring.

Read our full review on the Buick Avenir Concept here.

Press Release

Concept car-inspired models will join global portfolio in 2018 model year

DETROIT – Across continents, a growing set of new customers are discovering unexpected and attainable luxury experiences from Buick. Soon, those customers will be introduced to a new Avenir sub-brand designed to grow with the needs of future luxury buyers.

The Avenir sub-brand is inspired by Buick’s evolving customer base. The brand has grown quickly with female buyers, and one in two Buick customers today are coming from competitive brands. They’re expecting a high-end experience and premium quality. For example, 90 percent of Enclave buyers purchase one of the top two trim levels.

This year, an unprecedented number of new global products such as the Envision compact SUV and the 2017 LaCrosse sedan offer an elevated luxury experience that’s encouraging new car buyers to reassess what they know about Buick.

“Through the first half of 2016, Buick has been the industry’s fastest-growing major international brand, and Avenir is key to future growth and delivering on the high expectations of new customers coming to our showrooms,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “Avenir will be Buick’s signature. The highest expression of the luxury experiences we’re delivering now and in the future.”

Avenir vehicles will add distinct touches to Buick’s timeless, sculpted designs, including a three-dimensional mesh grille, large-diameter wheels, and unique trim finishes. Inside, Avenir models will enhance the brand’s quiet, inviting environment with unique seat details, modern trim materials and Avenir script identification.

The name “Avenir,” French for “future,” is taken from the award-winning concept sedan from 2015. That concept and this year’s Avista coupe concept — from which the new sub-brand borrows its grille pattern — have served as guideposts for designers sketching and modeling Buick’s future.

“Stretching the Buick brand’s international appeal and potential has been a major focus of exploration in our design studios,” said Helen Emsley, executive director of Buick Global Design. “Concept cars stretch the boundaries of what is possible and every new Buick is benefitting from this vision work. As the Avenir concept expressed the prestige vision for the portfolio, the addition of an Avenir sub-brand illustrates an important piece of future direction.”

Additional Avenir details and product specifics will be announced later.

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instagram, or at www.facebook.com/buick

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