Commentary: I thought Buick already had a great nameplate

Commentary: I thought Buick already had a great nameplate

I'm told that Avenir is the French word for “future.”

Buick selects Avenir as its new and highest expression of luxury sub-brand | Buick photo

Buick selects Avenir as its new and highest expression of luxury sub-brand | Buick photo

I’m told that Avenir is the French word for “future.” So, how long into the future will it be before we see an Avenir at a collector car auction?

Oh, in case you had not heard, Avenir is a new General Motors’ sub-brand, the “highest expression of Buick luxury.”

Once upon a time, back in the days when you bought a Chevy but aspired to a Buick, the highest expression of David Dunbar Buick’s brand wasn’t a Buick at all, but a Cadillac.

But there’s a new world order at GM, which pointed out a few things in announcing Buick’s new Avenir trim level: The brand has become popular with women buyers, half of Buick buyers are newcomers to the brand, and 90 percent of people buying the Buick Enclave are opting for 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,” the GM news release proclaimed.

1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe | RM Sotheby's photo

1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe | RM Sotheby’s photo

“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,” Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing, was quoted in that release.

Basically, it sounds like Buick wants Avenir, the name of a Buick concept car that dazzled the auto show circuit last year, to do for it what the Denali model designation has done for GMC.

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Roadmaster, a Buick badge with heritage | RM Sotheby’s photo

“Avenir will be Buick’s signature,” he added. “The highest expression of the luxury experiences we’re delivering now and in the future.”

Focusing here as we do on classic cars, we wonder if Buick suffers from a lack of institutional memory, if it considered or simply overlooked a name that for many years stood as the highest expression of the brand (and some of us still think it does)?

That name that said so much, and still does, was and still is Roadmaster.siglarry

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