It’s been a week since the press days at the Detroit Auto Show in the snowy north and those of us in the automotive press have had enough time to come down with the Cobo Croup, and assess the barage of vehicles we saw while walking the floor of the biggest auto show in North America.
If I told you that the thing that still sticks with me, a week later as I head back across the pond for an auto launch, was a Buick, you’d likely think I’ve lost my marbles. First–it’s no secret that there is no love lost between me and American cars. I’ve never been a huge fan unless you are talking about the beautifully designed cars of the 60s. Don’t believe me, check out my story for The Drive about my feelings about Corvettes.
That being said I am not one to look down my nose at a beautiful object even if it comes from an American brand. A brand, that has been struggling to Benjamin Button its demographic back toward something that resembles a living, breathing, human being. At last year’s show Buick surprised everyone with the gorgeous Avenir concept, and we’ve all been waiting with relatively bated breath to see if it will become an actual production car for the ailing brand. This year, with the unveiling of the Avista–a svelte and curvaceous coupe built on GM’s Alpha platform (that’s the same platform as the Chevy Camaro), Buick has bee the talk of the town once again.
Of course, the ultimate question about the Avista and the Avenir–is will they build them. Over at Automotive News, the jury says no way. Their reasoning? Buick’s biggest market right now is in China–and the Chinese dont buy coupes. Author, Mark Colias says that because of this it’s not likely we’ll see the Avista….ever.
According to a story over at The Verge, by friend and colleague, Tamara Warren, the Avista was really a pure design challenge, more than anything. Todd Lassa over at Automobile seconds that emotion in his great in-depth story. Both say that this was more of a blue sky project–and in Lassa’s reporting, he even gets GMC/Buick chief, Duncan Aldred to say that the much buzzed about Avenir from last year’s show won’t see production.
In my book, that’s the wrong decision for Buick as an American brand. If GM really wants to revitalize the brand then they need to start making cars like the Avenir and Avista. If they don’t their demo is going to simply turn to dust very, very, soon.