Avenir’s Design-driven Global Collaboration

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Sal Collaziano

Buick: World Class Luxury
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Royal Palm Beach, Florida, United States
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Buick concept developed via collaboration of GM’s Australia, Michigan studios

DETROIT – The Buick Avenir concept announced today ahead of the North American International Auto Show represents a collaboration of General Motors’ global designers and fabricators, who worked between studios in Australia and the United States to develop the striking design statement.

More than 100 designers, sculptors and fabricators at GM’s design studio near Melbourne, in Australia, and Buick’s North American design center, in Warren, Mich., contributed to the project, which leverages Buick’s styling legacy to explore a vision for a modern flagship sedan.

“The Buick Avenir concept showcases the very best of GM’s advanced design talent and capabilities,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. “Developing a concept between studios on opposite sides of the earth is challenging and the Avenir demonstrates how Buick’s strong design heritage linked the teams with a singular vision.”

Approximately 10,000 miles and 16 time zones separated the Melbourne and Detroit-area studios. Designers shared their renderings and communicated via live conference in the middle of the day in Detroit and the beginning of the next day in Melbourne.

“As a brand with one the richest histories of design, Buick’s legacy is recognized and revered around the world,” said Welburn. “The designers in Australia understood the essence of Buick’s design language just as well as those in America, which fostered a more cohesive collaboration between teams, with seamless integration.”

Avenir’s classic rear-wheel drive proportion and exterior design theme originated at GM’s Australia design studio, while the interior theme was penned in the United States, with elements and unique cues, inside and out, shared by both creative staffs.

“Time and distance were variables, but the teams’ understanding of the project brief and the sculptural essence of Buick transcended the time zones,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations. “GM’s global design studios are very well connected and we contribute to each other’s projects all the time. There is a tremendous understanding of the brand’s design language and passion for the future of the portfolio.”

The Avenir concept’s signature sweep-spear body side motif and nod to the “boat-tail” styling of the 1971-73 Riviera are modern interpretations of classic Buick cues proposed by Lead Designer Warrack Leach and the Australia-based staff.

The designers were given the freedom to explore form language, graphic elements and interface. The interior studios proposed a variety of ideas and, in the end, rallied around the sculpture in the interior sketch by Lead Creative Designer Blake Allen in the North American design center.

Construction of the concept took place Down Under, with the support of GM’s fabrication team, which overcame the time-zone challenge with precise communications and in-house craftsmanship.

“Simply put, Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way,” said Simcoe. “It has been a wonderful opportunity for all involved.”
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