Go Higher: Buick Appends Its Avenir Sub-brand to the LaCrosse
Being good at something doesn’t necessarily make you popular. Witness the New York Yankees of the late ‘90s, for example. The current Buick LaCrosse falls in that same unfortunate boat. Given its mission, I think it’s a great car. Sadly, that’s its problem — it’s a car, not a crossover, and the market is demanding the latter.
Buick is attempting to push a few more of the large sedans through the showroom by adding the Avenir sub-brand to the LaCrosse lineup. Will it work? Well, let’s see what one gets with the addition.
You know the Avenir project at Buick, right? Seeing the cubic yards of cash being hoovered out of customer wallets across the showroom by GMC’s Denali sub-brand, the tri-shield division decided to get a piece of that high-profit action for themselves. A couple of years and one gorgeous show car later, the Avenir badge was born.
Billed as “a way to experience the highest expression of Buick luxury,” the Avenir name first showed up on the brand’s 2018 Enclave SUV. Externally, the Avenir sub-brand doesn’t hold the same visual punch as an in-yer-face Denali, but that’s likely a calculated move on GM’s part given Buick’s targeted demographic.
According to Duncan Aldred, VP of Global Buick and GMC, nine out of 10 LaCrosse buyers are opting for one of the top two trim levels, making the case for a more expensive trim. On the LaCrosse, checking the Avenir box will add different upper and lower grilles, the former sprouting a pair of winglets underneath the existing chrome strip. Badging appears on the front doors, natch, as do a choice of unique rims.
Inside the big sedan, partakers of the Avenir lifestyle will find a natty chestnut-colored interior, with the sub-brand advertised on the headrests and sill plates. Every option box is already checked, meaning a panoramic sunroof and Bose stereo are standard equipment. Don’t like brown seats? Buick will graciously let you choose black ones instead. The LaCrosse Avenir will be available in all-wheel drive.
In a crossover- and SUV-hungry marketplace, Buick managed to shift 1,408 LaCrosse sedans in the month of October. Year-to-date, just over 17,000 of them have been sold, compared to 27,582 in the entirely of 2016. Inventory gluts are well documented and the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the sedan is built is operating under a reduced production schedule.
Despite these challenges, Buick promises shoppers they’ll be able find an Avenir-grade LaCrosse early next year.
[Images: General Motors]
Blackcloud_9 on Nov 09, 2017
I recently test-drove a Buick Lacrosse. It was the mid-level trim - Essence. It drove extremely well. Smooth, quiet, did not wallow around like a barge and the V-6 was definitely powerful enough to get the car out of its own way. It is exactly the car I'm looking for. The sticker was 43k which is outside of my financial means at the moment. I'll probably be looking to get this car (or one like it) within a year. I for one am ecstatic that Lacrosse's don't hold their resale values. This means by this time next year I can probably get into a lightly used Lacrosse with Avenir trim for the mid to low 30s.
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