Buick Is Bringing Its Flashy Avenir Sub-Brand To Life For 2018

Revitalized by a new lineup and riding the popularity of its cutting-edge Avista coupe concept, Buick will launch a bolder sub-brand for the 2018 model year.

The Avenir luxury trim will be applied to existing and future Buick models, the company said Friday. Buick has not indicated which models it will build.

A freshened identity for the staid brand is expected to fuel Buick’s comeback attempts by poaching a younger, broader audience as well as luxury car buyers who are dissatisfied with other brands. The sub-brand gets its name from the premium, four-door Avenir concept Buick unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show last year. It borrows design elements from the sporty, 400-horsepower Avista concept revealed at this year’s show.

Avenir (French for “future”) will help Buick compete with German luxury automakers like BMW and be “priced accordingly,” said Duncan Aldred, Buick global vice president. “We already think we compete head on with a lot of Japanese brands.”

 

The brand has shared only vague details of the Avenir trim’s design but said that it will include a three-dimensional mesh grille, large-diameter wheels, and trim finishes. The cabin will feature “unique seat details, modern trim materials and Avenir script identification,” according to a statement.

Buick, whose sales fell 2.6% last year, is already starting to see traction among new buyers with its new, more premium Envision compact SUV and LaCrosse sedan.

Analysts say developing Avenir as a sub-brand is a wise move, given the buzz over the Avista’s reveal at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Data show that 53% of Buick’s online mentions during the show related directly to the Avista, according to Amobee, a global digital marketing technology company.

“Even if the model never goes into production, our data suggests the debut of the Avista successfully reset Buick's brand,” said Jonathan Cohen, a principal analyst at Amobee. The concept “has reoriented the conversation around Buick, ensuring that they're more associated with concepts such as style and innovation.”