Buick Global Design Chief Discusses Core Principles at Dent Conference
The crux of the “That’s Not a Buick” ad campaign is the understanding that the brand’s style as evolved by leaps and bounds in a short enough time that its current vehicles are almost unrecognizable (in a good way).
Nowhere is this evolution more evident than it is with the Avenir Concept, which premiered at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year and quickly won accolades from fans and critics alike, as well as a pair of Eyes on Design Awards.
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The Avenir and Buick’s general evolution were topics of discussion at the Dent Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, where Cadillac and Buick’s executive director of global design, Andrew Smith, spoke about the brand’s future direction.
“A designer is a problem-solver trying to make a vehicle appealing to lots of people,” said Smith.
Smith said that there are four central elements in design that must be adhered to—an authentic sense of commitment, a champion around which a company can rally (Smith cites Bub Lutz and Mary Barra as GM’s current champions), a focus on psychographics (i.e. a psychological understanding of customer values exploited to make “an emotional connection”), and focus.
GM is currently said to be “looking at” bringing the Avenir (or something tantamount to it) to production.
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