Buick introduces luxury nameplate Avenir

buick-avenir-sub-brand-1200x0Steve’s breakdown: Quick hint, the Avenir strategy is likely to mirror the highly successful Denali nameplate of the automaker’s GMC truck brand which has enabled its pickups and SUVs to expand deep into the luxury market.

DETROIT, MI: General Motors’ Buick brand is introducing a luxury sub-brand called Avenir, the automaker announces today.

Avenir is French for “future,” and is taken from the much-lauded concept car Buick showed off in 2015. That concept and this year’s Avista coupe concept are guideposts for designers sketching and modeling Buick’s future, officials say.

The Avenir strategy is likely to mirror the highly successful Denali nameplate of the automaker’s GMC truck brand which has enabled its pickups and SUVs to expand deep into the luxury market.

First introduced in 1999, Denali now is used by GMC on all its top-of-line trucks. They feature unique grille and wheel designs and interiors laden with luxurious materials and the latest electronic features. Vehicles with Denali trim levels are popular and reportedly command prices as much as 50% higher than base GMC models.

While Denali is a hit with affluent truck buyers in the U.S, Buick is aiming Avenir branding at its growing base of female and international customers. About 80% of all Buicks are sold in China, where it has been a highly valued brand for decades.

“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,” says Duncan Aldred, vice president-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.”

Stretching the Buick brand’s international appeal has been a major focus of designers, says Helen Emsley, executive director-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.”

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