Thursday, December 24, 2009
Buick Considering Opel Models for its U.S. Range, Including the Insignia
For those that know a thing or two about the auto industry, GM's decision to get rid of Saturn automatically meant that there was a strong possibility that the brand's current and future planned Opel-based portfolio could pass onto Buick which will remain along with Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and most likely, Pontiac, under the umbrella of General Motors. Apparently, the same thought has crossed the minds of GM's people.
Citing inside sources from the company who asked not to be named, Bloomberg reported that General Motors officials are considering the option of expanding Buick's U.S. range which now consists of just three vehicles, the Enclave SUV, the 2010 LaCrosse and 2009 Lucerne sedans, with the Saturn Vue compact SUV (Opel Antara) and other Opel based models including the Insignia. The latter is already sold in China as the Buick Regal.
If GM goes ahead with this plan, the Insignia would find a place right under the 2010 LaCrosse in Buick's range, and yes, this could mean that we might see the Insignia OPC with its AWD system and 325HP V6 engine heading towards our way.
Another model that could make it here would be the next-generation Opel Astra that's due to be revealed at the Frankfurt Show in the fall of 2009. The subcompact model will be available in various body styles, including a five-door hatchback, a sporty, coupe-like three-door hatch, a hardtop-convertible coupe and a minivan in the form of the Zafira.
However, as good as this may sound when you read about it on blogs and news websites, we reckon that in order for this move to have a chance at success, General Motors will have to revaluate Buick's position in the group and more importantly, pour some serious cash into the marketing department so as to convince / inform buyers of the reshaping of the brand. Badge-replacing and a new waterfall grille simply won't do the trick.