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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Buick Not Sending Avista Concept To Production

      Expecting a production version of the Buick Avista? We have some bad news...

    One of the big surprises at the Detroit Auto Show was the Buick Avista concept. The vehicle drew a lot of praise from not only the press but also from the public.

     

    “The energy around that car and the interest in it at the shows was amazing,” said Buick's chief marketer Tony DiSalle to Wards Auto.

     

    With all of this interest, you think Buick would be making plans to get the Avista into production. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen. DiSalle explained that wasn't enough enthusiasm for the concept to give Buick officials a prompt to approve it.

     

    “It was purely a concept and meant to generate some buzz. No other plans for now.”

     

    That includes none of the design cues of the Avista showing up on future Buick models.

     

    Source: Wards Auto
    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

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    As expected, GM has always thrilled the world with concepts and rarely ever delivered. They need to get some balls and realize that while not everything will be a hit, if the public and press love a product, it probably can at least break even.

     

    To quote a very popular movie:

     

    If you Build it they will come!

     

    :metal:

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    Folks I saw this car and it was a pure show car.

    While it may have had some dims similar to the Camaro much of it would have never made production. 

    Now Buick has made it clear many of the elements in the car will show up in other Buick models. 

     

    Now with the positive reaction though it is possible we may see a more production like coupe of halo car in the future just do not expect this particular car. Some of us have gotten spoiled as we had a decade of cars that were show cars but really production cars under the skin. Or they were show cars like the Camaro or SSR that were forced into production with mixed results some good some bad.

     

    The fact is we went through most of the century with show cars that very seldom make production but did help predict the future styling because of positive responses. Cars like the La Sabre and Harley Earls Y job were not production cars but were good indicators of the future because of the response the received. 

    We need to stop and look at these cars and really take a look at them with the eye of a business case and could one really be made. A car with too large wheels and brakes, No B pillar and a printed interior sitting on a chassis that could never make it over a parking lot entrance in the mid west had little chance of making production and if it did the changes would have turned most of you off all together. Being a coupe made it even less likely. 

    I loved the car but reality just sticks out every where on it. I would love to see them combine the best realistic features of both cars into a coupe like sedan as a halo car for Buick. Make it their A7 competitor. The trick is to make it and then price it so it could live up to what people expect. 

     

    The auto industry as a whole has really cut back on show cars. This year was one of the weakest yet. What few we did have were mostly based on production models with some changes and not all that exciting. I almost wonder if the end of the show car is near as cost are higher than ever and in the end so many customers are either confused and or disappointed that you can not build that 16 cylinder quad turbo coupe and price it for $50K. 

     

    I know the designers love to do them and the Avista is an example of them working on their own leads. But you can not blame GM for not building a dream here and with the many expecteds I think you all know that here. 

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    not a shocker.

     

    was at the auto show last weekend here, almost no concept cars.  I can't remember one really.  The fact that Buick did this one is amazing.  

     

    Two really old dudes with hanging guts and suspenders off the farm were standing near me by the Envision and new LaCrosse on platforms.  They were commenting on how they liked the new LaCrosse.  The new one is not as sporty as the current one.  I surmise the oldsters liking the new LaCrosse means they are ok with somewhat sedate looking Buicks.

     

    So, it might be amazing if any of Avista's lines ever make it to any Buick's models. 

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    not a shocker.

     

    was at the auto show last weekend here, almost no concept cars.  I can't remember one really.  The fact that Buick did this one is amazing.  

     

    Two really old dudes with hanging guts and suspenders off the farm were standing near me by the Envision and new LaCrosse on platforms.  They were commenting on how they liked the new LaCrosse.  The new one is not as sporty as the current one.  I surmise the oldsters liking the new LaCrosse means they are ok with somewhat sedate looking Buicks.

     

    So, it might be amazing if any of Avista's lines ever make it to any Buick's models. 

     

     

    I found the new Lacrosse more Lexus like and less Malibu like. I have never really considered the Lacrosse as sporty. 

    To be honest the new car in Photos really show no interest to me but in person I really thought it was a very nice car and at a price that it should do well. 

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    My guess is that there may have been some in-fighting at GM about how the production for three different divisions would play out on the same platform.  Chevrolet would want the Camaro 2dr and Impala 4dr.  Buick would get the Avista* coupe/sedan.  Cadillac would get the ATS coupe/sedan. The question then becomes how GM would maintain three separate drivetrains for the three separate divisions.  This could be an R&D spending problem that no one wanted to fund.

     

    *Riviera/Skylark/Avista (Whatever Buick would settle for a name.)

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    Right now I get the vibe that Buick is tired of waiting for Cadillac to move up. The changes in management at Cadillac have put them at least 5 years or more behind moving up market more. They need to move up to create the space for Buick to thrive. As for now they are almost on top each other in part of the segment and it is hurting Buick. 

     

    Also in play is the problems at Holden and Opel as they are working out their issues and Buick needs to wait on them to get sorted so they all can work together globally. 

     

    It sucks but in the auto industry and globalization you have to time all elements to work and GM is just no there and in this case Buick is the one paying the price. 

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    "Right now I get the vibe that Buick is tired of waiting for Cadillac to move up. The changes in management at Cadillac have put them at least 5 years or more behind moving up market more. They need to move up to create the space for Buick to thrive. As for now they are almost on top each other in part of the segment and it is hurting Buick.

    Also in play is the problems at Holden and Opel as they are working out their issues and Buick needs to wait on them to get sorted so they all can work together globally.

    It sucks but in the auto industry and globalization you have to time all elements to work and GM is just no there and in this case Buick is the one paying the price."

     

    That is right on the money, hyperv6!

    This coupe had a lot of Jaguar in its design. I'll bet Cadillac got scared of it, too.

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    not a shocker.

     

    was at the auto show last weekend here, almost no concept cars.  I can't remember one really.  The fact that Buick did this one is amazing.  

     

    Two really old dudes with hanging guts and suspenders off the farm were standing near me by the Envision and new LaCrosse on platforms.  They were commenting on how they liked the new LaCrosse.  The new one is not as sporty as the current one.  I surmise the oldsters liking the new LaCrosse means they are ok with somewhat sedate looking Buicks.

     

    So, it might be amazing if any of Avista's lines ever make it to any Buick's models. 

     

     

    I found the new Lacrosse more Lexus like and less Malibu like. I have never really considered the Lacrosse as sporty. 

    To be honest the new car in Photos really show no interest to me but in person I really thought it was a very nice car and at a price that it should do well. 

     

    it was really interesting how one of the guys said the 'fender swish' (or whatever term he used for it) was different on the new LaCrosse than on the whole preceding Buick history.

     

    Guess they notice when someone screws with the SWEEP SPEAR

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    I know some of you guys were excited for the Avista, I just can't see how it made sense for the Buick brand. If they refused to greenlight an IDEAL Buick in the form of the full-size Avenir boulevard cruiser with a design brimming with heritage cues, why would they pursue a compact RWD sport coupe/sedan whose only Buick trademark was the badge?

     

    Not only was the Avista out of sync with the rest of the brand, but it created a direct competitor to GM's own alpha chassis vehicles under Chevy and Cadillac.

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    I guess that if you made an Avenir coupe it might get cross-shopped with the ATS and Camaro. But they already had a Plan B: a four-door coupe that would be a layout unique to Buick. It would use an existing chassis and drivelines, and it could go down the Lansing Grand River assembly line like any other Alpha.

    For me, this decision is a forehead-slapper.

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    People need to learn the difference between production ready and engineered show cars and pure styling show cars. In years past show cars were pure styling and little production or even engineered. Case in point most of the cars at Motorama over the years. Few of those cars made production but elements used on many were applied to the production cars. 

    Later in the 90's and later many cars were basically production cars that were customized to become show cars that later were relieved to be production cars. The intent was clear as so many of them were drivers that did not have to be babied. Case in point the Intimdator Monte Carlo from 2000. I was in that car and while it featured many costume things and a built up engine it really was based on the coming production car and could really be drive. I know because I have been in that one as well several other GM show cars of that era. 

     

    The case here is the Avista was a car that a styling group did and just plopped it on a Camaro platform as it was close to what they needed. There is no real world engineering here. It would not do anything in a crash test, It would high side on some drive entrances.  It has brakes that cost a ton of money in wheels that would never work on the street properly. It has an interior that was printed. I would wager the car is very limited in mobility and a large hole in the road would crack the body that is molded. 

     

    The work and time to make this car into production would be a investment. Then the other issue is the sales of coupes today. As much as we here like them they account for a very small amount of sales to justify investment outside of a Camaro. At least with the ATS the higher price can help cover some of the cost but lets face it how many ATS coupes do you see in a week? 

     

    Sure they could put it on a Alpha. But how many would you have to sell to make it profitable. Could or would Opel want it or not. As of now the Alpha is not RHD so Australia the natural choice is out. You may sell 50K units at a price around the ATS but then you can't go there till Cadillac get the revamp on the ATS to move it up as soon as they can move the CTS up. 

     

    The bottom line here is the Styling department has shown what they can do. GM saw the reaction and is not forgetting it but they are just not going to fling a car out there till all the ducks are in a row here. They do not want another SSR on their hands or another XLR. Even the last Camaro had compromises because of the show car things they carried over and did not fix till now. 

     

    We will see some cool Buicks once they get the global thing sorted with the new product. As of now China is supporting them and other things that are much more important and profitable need to be done and other brands and models need to be moved to create space to work. GM no longer is a house that will work against it's self like in the past. Changes slowing the Cadillac transition and the Opel Buick and now Holden melding has changed their plans and they are now being attended to. 

     

    If only say just build it was the only thing needed to be be considered that would be grand but building cars and positioning models is not that easy or fast. Especially with GM coming off an era where they had a lot to fix and deal with. 

     

    When I saw the Avisa I slapped my forehead and said there is no way in hell they could build this as it is and I can already hear the bitching that they changed the car from what the show car was. 

    Again you have to look a these cars with a a reality of was this a show car or a custom production car? 

     

    Even the 53 Vette really kind of sucked being a show car that went production. If they had not made the changes they would have had a short run with no crank up windows and the inline six automatic. 

    Edited by hyperv6
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