Industry News

What's Happening With Buick These Days Aside From Rebadging Opels?

Could something be coming to Detroit next month?

Perhaps it all started with the Enclave, a full-size luxury crossover that literally, overnight, became the trendiest thing for well-to-do soccer moms. Even today people still have no problem shelling out at least $39,065 in order to look good while searching for a parking spot at Costco. Consider its 2008 launch the start of Buick’s design renaissance. It was time to ditch the old man’s car image for good. Newly minted Buick chief designer, Bryan Nesbitt, has played a big role in Buick’s new beginning for the past several years.

He worked as the head of design for GM China, which also happens to be, for some reason, Buick’s biggest market. In a recent interview with Automotive News, Nesbitt admitted that Buick, though considered by GM to be a regional brand, is really becoming something global. For example, he stated that, with the exception of Brazil, GM has "designers sketching Buicks in every single studio in the world…we have connections with our Opel peers, like the Cascada. We have a lot of collaboration with China itself...Korea does a lot of work on our compact SUVs. And Australia ended up theming the Avenir." Speaking of which, it was almost exactly one year ago at Detroit where the gorgeous Avenir Concept was first unveiled.

It definitely previewed a sportier and more dynamic Buick, but what’s the follow up? The second-gen LaCrosse looks good, but it’s still not a real performance sedan. What we want is either a coupe or sedan based on the same RWD platform as the new Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac ATS. Call it a reborn Grand National if you’d like, but it needs to have the Avenir’s styling influence and, if possible, a V8. Heck, even a twin-turbo V6 would be suitable. It’d be anything but an old’s man car. Call it reborn American muscle.

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