GM trademarks

Could General Motors be planning to dust off another moniker from its heyday and reintroduce a Buick Electra? The General filed an application to protect the trademark on June 5, which might hint at a future, full-size Buick model.

Once Buick's top-of-the-line sedan, the Electra did the same slow fade in the '80s as so many classic GM names, with the final 1990 Electra being supplanted by the Park Avenue. While those last Electras were examples GM badge-engineering at its worst, Electra 225 models of the 1960's were among Buick's best. With fender skirts and monstrous V8 engines, the Bill Mitchell-designed Electras were trumped in the GM pantheon only by full-size Cadillac models.

But as much as we might like to see GM reintroduce a Buick land yacht, we find that notion unlikely. If the Electra name returns – which this trademark application certainly doesn't guarantee – it is more likely to be attached to a vehicle that's 180-degrees different from the traditional Buick model.

We say this because the last time we heard rumors of GM reviving the name, it was because Electra sounds a lot like "electric." Back in 2008 GM was considering badging the Opel and Vauxhall version of the Volt as "Electra," but of course decided to go with Ampera instead. We'd be more likely to believe that this new trademark filing was prompted by similar motives than any return to form for a Buick Electra flagship.