Buick's Avista Concept Seriously Pissed Off Some People at GM: Report

buicks avista concept seriously pissed off some people at gm report

You remember the Avista — the sexy concept coupe unveiled by Buick at the North American International Auto Show in January (before being spirited away forever)?

Apparently, several people at General Motors weren’t happy that the concept’s shapely flanks and lithe profile saw the light of day, despite favorable reaction from the media. According to an uncorroborated source at GM Inside News, the Avista’s arrival was a blow to the team behind the Chevrolet Camaro.

GMI‘s source appeared on the website’s forum, and won’t reveal the actual source of their information. It’s known that the tipster wasn’t involved with the project. (Though his/her forum moniker — “Z284ever” — implies plenty of Camaro enthusiasm.)

The source claims the Avista was never supposed to happen, and “upper management” types were steamed after its release into the wild. Why the acrimony? It could be because public enthusiasm centered on a concept with no production plans, and not on another vehicle, the source implied.

Other forum posters rightfully point out that unloved concepts don’t just show up on a stand in the Cobo Center without the automaker’s approval. Clearly, there’s more to the story — if indeed there was backlash to the Avista, those voices were overruled. Rumors claim that recently retired GM design head Ed Welburn (who introduced the concept at NAIAS) could have something to do with the concept’s brief public fling.

If the backlash originated from the Camaro camp, it’s easy to understand. A restyled Camaro bowed for 2016, and a concept with no plans for production would take away its spotlight (and possibly humble its designers). If built, the Camaro and Avista would exist in the same segment, competing against each other.

But enough speculation. GM is staying tight-lipped on the claims, so the true story likely won’t be told until someone writes a tell-all book about their career. As for the Avista, most reasonably people gave up hope of seeing it go into production long ago.

Buick communication manager Stuart Fowle told GMI, “We don’t comment on future products as you know, but we’ve never suggested that the car does or does not have future plans.”

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Aug 07, 2016

    If they built this, and the trunk was usable for anything, and it was priced sanely, it would get me into a Buick dealership for the first time since the Grand National was cancelled. The Camaro design team should be forced to look at this car daily to see what a good looking version of their car could look like.

  • 415s30 415s30 on Aug 07, 2016

    I would never want an ugly redneck Camaro, that is the first modern Buick I have looked upon favorably.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.