By on July 20, 2009

As Old GM’s satellite divisions fly out of orbit, sending the company’s “world car” development plans spinning off into chaos, GM NA is trying to defy gravity with a new, limited product portfolio. Or something like that. Bottom line: Buick is planning to sell the rejigged Opel Insignia—formerly destined to replace the Saturn Aura—as the new Buick Regal. Automotive News [AN, sub] wants readers to clock the fact that the new Regal will slot below the new LaCrosse—because otherwise they might not wonder . . .

“The Insignia, Regal and the 2010 LaCrosse are based on a new mid-sized global vehicle platform.” Never mind Cadillac; the LaCrosse’s product marketing manager claims the car will be positioned “as GM’s most premium large car.” Which makes the Regal their “next most premium not-so-large car?”

Dave McIntyre says the LaCrosse will sticker from “just under” $28,000 (four cylinder) to the low $40s (larger of two V-6 engines). So who’s up for a four-cylinder Buick Regal? Hatch perhaps?

Elsewhere on AN, we learn that “In 2008, 1% of Lexus buyers considered buying a Buick. That figure has stayed at 1 or 2% for 5 years.” Kinda makes Buick’s resurrection look less likely than the Pet Rock, but you can’t blame Government Motors for trying. Can you?

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33 Comments on “New Buick Regal (née Opel Insignia) Slots Beneath New Buick LaCrosse...”


  • avatar
    Billy Bobb 2

    Nice lookin’ Kizashi ya got there.

  • avatar
    menno

    Maybe GM can talk Suzuki into assembling them in Ingersoll Ontario from Chinese kits. Or is that the plan?

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “In 2008, 1% of Lexus buyers considered buying a Buick. That figure has stayed at 1 or 2% for 5 years.”

    So, what else did they tell ya? 29% of Buick buyers are actually considering a Lexus for their next buy, 2% of all Buick owners are pedophiles, 52% of all known serial killers drove american domestics, and 25% of Lexus buyers vowed never to buy a GM product again.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    This decision is a head-scratcher. Or maybe not, given the fact that the “Old GM” management is the same as the “New GM” management.

    I suppose we can expect more of the “Throw-Everything Against The Wall & See What Sticks” strategy going forward…

  • avatar
    menno

    This is not only going to replace the Saturn Aura in the line-up but also the Pontiac G6.

    One of my (female, young) colleagues has enjoyed buying several Pontiacs and just got another G6, and the sales guys told her that yeah, by next year, a smaller Buick would take the place of the Pontiac line.

    She knew (probably from listening to me or some of the other car guys/gals in the office) that Pontiac is toast.

    Or is it? Any word on that Genesee valley dealer who wanted to buy the Pontiac “brand”?

  • avatar
    tom

    So after slapping two different badges on the same car didn’t work, they now slap the same badge on the same car, they only call it differently and slot in one above the other? Makes perfect sense if you ask me…?!?

  • avatar
    NickR

    It looks pretty decent. I will keep my fingers crossed for a nice interior.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    This is extremely frustrating. If there was any hope that GM would make it out of this mess and pay back our tax money, that has got to be gone now.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    IMHO, the interior is nicer than the LaCrosse’s. It’s strange that the Chinese version’s buttons are labeled with English abbreviations. Cost measure or assumption that Buick’s Chinese buyers understand “Tone”, “Del” and “Dest”?

  • avatar

    Looks like a winner if they put the Lucerne Super motor under the bonnet and sell it for around 30k. :)

  • avatar

    Sorry, Jeff, but after sitting in both cars it’s clear to me that, while the Regal’s interior is nice–think a bit better than the Malibu’s–the LaCrosse’s is quite a bit nicer.

    For better or worse, this is far from the first time Buick has offered two sedans off of the same platform. The last Century and Regal even shared all major exterior and interior panels.

    Offering the Regal will enable them to price the LaCrosse a bit higher. There’s a big weakness in the Buick line, but it’s not either of these cars.

  • avatar
    Bank of China

    I live in China and see these Buick Regals everywhere. I’m no fan of GM or Buick but I have to say it’s a nice looking vehicle inside and out. If Chris Bangle were working for Lexus and decided to design a Buick this would be it.

    GM’s terrible reputation and Buick’s irrelevance aside it could be a successful vehicle for them if China is any indication

  • avatar

    Looks like a Malibu to me.

    And so it will to many others. Badge engineering hasn’t worked for GM in 40 years.

    What’s this I hear about a “New GM”? Bullshit. Lip service for Washington is all it is.

    With products like this, I’m beginning to become very annoyed by GM. And as a taxpayer and partial owner, I say we wipe the board clean and start again. With new management. And I mean really new, not the current definition of new the bureaucrats are using.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    You don’t come out of bankruptcy with the cars that you want… you come out of bankruptcy with the cars that you have.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    Did Buick seriously just copy the Fusion/Milan?

    Ugh.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Except for the grille, which looks awfully busy, I happen to like the look.

    But putting a Buick badge on it is the kiss of death. The old folks won’t like it, while the middle-aged buyers who might like it will be turned off by the brand. This three-channel “strategy” is not going to turn out well.

  • avatar
    Ralph SS

    Yea! A small, 4 cyl. Buick! It can take it’s rightful place next to the Skyhawk!

  • avatar
    CommanderFish

    Hm, I have no problem driving a senior citizen cruiser as long as it doesn’t handle like one.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    All you have to know about Buick is who the people in charge are. Nothing is being done to change the course of Buick’s North American glide path to oblivion.

    GM has tried repeatedly to sell Opels in the US. Every effort has been a dismal failure. Cadillac Catera, Saturn L, Saturn Astra … all complete and abysmal failures.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    “You don’t come out of bankruptcy with the cars that you want… you come out of bankruptcy with the cars that you have.”

    Sadly, that may include whatever Daewoo can dish up. This at least has better looks than the Daewoo derivatives.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Having reviewed the Insignia, I can reiterate that it and its brethren are probably too tight for (American) comfort.

    Opel Insignia review here:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-2010-opel-insignia-20-diesel/

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    Dave McIntyre says the LaCrosse will sticker from “just under” $28,000 (four cylinder) to the low $40s (larger of two V-6 engines). So who’s up for a four-cylinder Buick Regal?

    I don’t know why this is surprising. The Regal was offered with a four banger in the late 80s up to the late 90s.

    Can’t be any worse than a three cylinder Benz.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    low $40s (larger of two V-6 engines)

    With $10,000 rebate from Mercedes Benz, you can get a E-class with the larger of two V-6 engines (only 1 of which is offered in the USA) for about the same. My parents drove home in a new E350 last week with a total cost (including taxes and registration) of $46k. Get ‘em while 2009 supplies last!

  • avatar
    NickR

    My parents drove home in a new E350 last week with a total cost (including taxes and registration) of $46k. Get ‘em while 2009 supplies last!

    Or better yet, don’t, unless you want to hire legal counsel to interpret the warranty and live within walking distance of the dealership.

  • avatar
    njoneer

    Next year the study will say:
    99% of Buick Regal buyers considered buying a LaCrosse. And vice-versa.

    What is the point of designing two “different” cars that are the same size and the same price?

    This is as dumb as the Jeep Compass and Patriot.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    Looks like a Malibu to me.

    Pretty much is. All Global Epsilon Platform.

    Does GM really plan to sell 3 Buick-badged Epsilon Platform vehicles in the US?

    I thought the idea of selling 2 Chevy-badged Epsilons was bad.

    Only at GM.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    This is not only going to replace the Saturn Aura in the line-up but also the Pontiac G6.

    You would think that the G6 replacement would be Chevy-badged – the G6 was pretty close to entry level and, if I recall correctly, built on a shorter wheelbase version of the Epsilon.

    Chevrolet is moving back towards their early-90s line up – Cavalier, Celebrity, Corsica/Beretta, Lumina. Granted, at least now all the crappy cars will share a common platform.

    I guess that’s progress.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @paris-dakar: Pontiac G6 also rides on a 112″ wheelbase. I’m guessing that the Insignia/Regal is the size of the 1st gen Mazda6. How GM is going to sell something that small in the $20-25K range beats me.

    The last time Lexus (Buick’s new target?) sold something in that price range was about 10-15 years ago, without factoring inflation. BTW, the Lexus HS250 is starting at $35K.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    “I thought the idea of selling 2 Chevy-badged Epsilons was bad.

    Only at GM.”

    You got it right. Buick is toast.

  • avatar
    akear

    The 1986 Riveria is a more distinctive looking Buick than this. This has flop city written all over it.

  • avatar
    Blastman

    I generally like the styling of this vehicle — except the chrome grill. I think a black grill would give the car a better overall appearance.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    This thread is a bit confusing (no surprise since it involves GM’s so-called Product ‘Planning’). From my understanding GM has 1) The Epsilon LaCrosse, designed for the NA Market from the start, 2) The Epsilon Opel Insignia, which is also the Chinese Buick Regal, which was also going to be Saturn Aura, which is now going to be the NA Buick Regal.

    Now, are they thinking of adding a 3rd Buick Epsilon to fill the spot of the G6 or are they planning on using the Insignia/Regal/Aura to do that (Which seems a bad idea since the old Aura was much more upscale than the old G6. Seemed bigger, too)?

    What a mess.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @Menno:
    Pontiac is toast. Or is it? Any word on that Genesee valley dealer who wanted to buy the Pontiac “brand”?

    Shhhh! Malcolm Bricklin might hear you and get another one of his special little ideas.


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