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Buick Ups its Premium Factor with New Avenir Sub-Brand

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Buick, the industry’s fastest-growing international brand, is looking to attract a new breed of luxury buyer and fuel its growth momentum with a sub-brand called ‘Avenir’.

If the name ‘Avenir’, which is French for ‘future’, sounds familiar, that’s because it was sourced from the stunning, critically-acclaimed Buick Avenir Concept that bowed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. You know, the one that will never see the light of day.

Buick aims to replicate the success of GMC’s Denali sub-brand, which actually makes more money than several of the world’s most prestigious full-line luxury automakers despite being a mere trim level. As such, Avenir will become the high-end trim level of the tri-shield brand’s models.

Similar to Denali, the exterior of Avenir models will be distinguished by such cosmetic upgrades as a three-dimensional mesh grille borrowed from the Avista coupe concept, larger wheels, and unique trim finishes, while their interiors will be enhanced with unique seat details, modern trim materials, and Avenir script identification.

So what you’re essentially getting is more or a less a fancy name for Buick’s upper-crust trim … but, hey, if GM marketers can make hay with GMC’s 17-year-old Denali line while most mainstream automakers haven’t had as much success with their top-of-the-line trims, why wouldn’t they be able to do the same with Avenir?

That said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of the same people who helped build Denali into something more than just a trim level with a fancy name — Helen Emsley and Tony DiSalle, specifically — have been tasked with getting Avenir off the ground.

With Avenir, Buick is looking to up its premium factor by building upon its reputation for value, quality and safety by adding a sprinkling of unique deco to appeal to the next generation of luxury car shoppers. Only time will tell if it will gain the same traction as GMC’s Denali brand.

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2020 Buick Enclave Brings New Sport Touring Package

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Buick’s big SUV also gets a new infotainment system and optional surround-view camera system.

The Buick Enclave has received a few updates for its 2020 model year, most notable of which is a new Sport Touring package that gives it a sportier appearance.

Available on the Essence trim level, the ST package adds a unique body-color grille and 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with contrasting Satin Graphite pockets.

The 2020 Enclave also benefits from Buick’s next-gen infotainment system that’s standard on all models, complete with an 8-inch touchscreen. It can also be equipped with a new HD Rear Vision Camera, an HD Surround Vision systems, and a new, four-way power lumbar seat adjuster with a driver and front passenger massage feature that comes standard on Premium and Avenir editions.

The 2020 model year introduces three new exterior colors: Champagne Gold Metallic, Rich Garnet Metallic (Avenir only) and Dark Moon Blue Metallic.

Sales of the 2020 Buick Enclave begin in late summer 2019, with prices starting at $41,195 (including freight).

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New, 2020 Buick Encore GX Grows Buick’s Crossover Lineup

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The new Buick crossover slots between the smaller Encore and larger Envision in the United States and Canada.

General Motors has expanded the Encore lineup with the addition of the Buick Encore GX.

With its extended wheelbase, the Encore GX slots between the regular Encore and larger Envision and Enclave crossovers, measuring 5.0 cubic feet larger than its twin and 3.0 cubes smaller than the Envision.

Designers applied Buick’s latest styling language to both the exterior and interior. A chrome surround follows the curvature of the side glass and blends into the rear hatch, while a large grille with chrome decor cuts into the headlights. The modern interior offers typical infotainment tech, including a large dash-mounted touchscreen, sizable instrument cluster screen, and even a head-up display system.

The Encore GX comes standard with a bevvy of safety features, notably forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and automatic emergency braking. A rear camera mirror and surround camera system are optional extras.

According to GM, almost 90 percent of Buick’s U.S. and Canadian sales come from SUVs and crossovers. The Encore GX, as redundant as it might seem, gives the brand four models in the highly lucrative segment. Sales begin in early 2020.

In related news, Buick may stop selling cars to focus only on crossovers.

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Buick Cascada Convertible Is Dead After 2019, And It Likely Won’t Return

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It was virtually invisible, so no one is going to miss it.

Buick has confirmed that the Cascada convertible will be discontinued after the 2019 model year, so act fast if you still want one.

Rumors of the Cascada’s demise began popping up in late 2018 when Opel — which was formerly owned by General Motors — announced plans to stop building its version of the car in Poland. The model had reached the end of its product life cycle, so many questioned its fate.

“The Cascada has played its role in the portfolio perfectly, outselling many other premium convertibles while bringing in [six of every 10] buyers from outside GM,” a Buick spokesperson told Automotive News. Buick sold about 17,000 examples of the Cascada since adding the model to its portfolio for the 2016 model year, a measly figure that isn’t surprising considering the little advertising its received.

Production ends in the summer of 2019, and with Opel now owned by Peugeot and the convertible segment experiencing a perceptible decline all over the world, the odds of the Cascada being replaced in North America are slim to none.

The Cascada won’t be the only Buick to get the ax in 2019 — the LaCrosse full-size sedan will join it.

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