GM Files For “Riviera” Trademark: Will We See a Comeback?

By Joseph Mandour on May 14, 2012

automobile-thumb-200x134-32336 Orange County – On May 3rd General Motors filed a trademark application to secure the rights to the Riviera nameplate, which was used by Buick for almost forty years.

The move to register the Riviera trademark was possibly sparked by the favorable reception it received as a concept car at both the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show and the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The front-wheel drive concept car featured gull-wing doors and a two-plus-two seating configuration.

General Motors is not the only automaker to try to cash in on the nostalgia of old nameplates for a new model. In addition to a possible comeback for the Riviera, GM also brought back the Pontiac GTO in 2004 and recently, the Buick Regal. Chrysler has also looked to its lineup of oldies while attempting to appeal to a younger demographic. For some of its rear-drive full-size sedans, the company re-introduced the popular 300 and Dodge Charger nameplates.

The fact that General Motors has filed to register the Riviera trademark may not mean we will be seeing the production of the vehicle in the near future or even at all. A spokesperson for Buick commented on the recent trademark filing by stating, “I wouldn’t read too much into this,” adding that the car maker hasn’t made any decisions on whether or not to revive the Riviera. General Motors regularly registers trademarks for possible vehicles that come from both new names and historic models.

However, there is also the possibility that General Motors may use the Riviera nameplate to introduce a sporty coupe, vastly different from the flagship Buick models that have widely appealed to older drivers. Now that Saturn and Pontiac are no longer in the business of making coupes and convertibles, it might be a good move for the company to produce a Buick coupe to attract a younger demographic.

As one of General Motors premium brands, Buick manufactured the Riviera from 1963 to 1999, with over 1.1 million models sold in the United States.

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