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Buick Avenir Makes Jump To Production... In Trim Level Form
After debuting nearly two years ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Buick has announced that the Avenir nameplate has made the jump into formal production, but it comes with an intriguing twist.
Whereas many in the industry thought that it would make production as a formal automobile, Buick will instead use the moniker as the name of an all new luxury trim level. While that effectively pops the bubble of expectations that many buyers had for the former, it does open a new field of opportunities when used as a trim level. Buick claims that the Avenir trim will largely be equivalent to GMC's popular Denali trim. It was partially inspired by Lincoln's Black Label as well as the other special trims that exist in the automotive marketplace. Those that were fans of the Avenir concept can feel pleased knowing that some of the lines that adorned that concept are being transplanted into many current and upcoming Buick offerings, including the recently launched Buick Lacrosse, as well as possibly leading the styling direction for the next generation Buick Enclave and Regal.
Look for the Avenir to largely follow the Denali trim's path when it comes to what it has to offer with equipped models: Features such as a 3D mesh grille that was inspired by the Avista concept, larger wheels, as well as several unique exterior appointments, though with GM's track record of coming up short in this key area, we will have to wait until we see one of these cars in person before we can make a final judgment. Meanwhile, the interior will come equipped with nicer materials, "unique seat details", and "modern trim details." Finally, strategically placed Avenir badges round out the package and will be applied accordingly to the exterior and interior of an Avenir spec car.
While we are still trying to digest what Buick's form of "unique seat detailing" is, this trim level does bring more prestige to the brand, and Buick can load some of its models with high-profit option packages. However, it is Buick's alleged inspiration for this trim level that has us scratching our heads with the brand claiming that "it was inspired by Buick's evolving customer base" which includes women and owners of rival products. Apparently, according to Buick, both of these types of customers are buying Buick offerings in greater numbers with many of them opting for the most expensive trim levels available.
It will be interesting to see what the Avenir trim does for Buick sales, but look for the trim level to possibly make its initial debut on the Buick Lacrosse before trickling down to other models in the lineup, including the Enclave and Envision, as well as the Encore. Look for the Regal to possibly be excluded from Avenir status since its positioning as a more performance-oriented model may clash with the more exclusive and comfort-oriented mission of the Avenir trim level.
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