By on June 3, 2010

The new Buick Regal is aimed straight at Acura’s TSX… could this forthcoming Opel Astra Coupe be Buick’s answer to the late Acura Integra/RSX? GM has thus far refused to confirm any Astra-based Buicks besides a sedan that’s already being caught without camo in China. But if Buick is going compact, where should it draw the line? After all, the brand is anxious to attract young buyers… but does a compact coupe take Buick’s youth movement too far? And what do you call a Buick coupe that could fit under the hood of a classic Riviera? Rebadged Opels and younger buyers are a solid basis for a Buick revival, but cars like this one prove that Buick needs more than just a direction to head in: it needs a vision.

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21 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Buick’s Brand Integra-ty Edition...”

  • avatar

    The only way this makes sense – in the US – is if Cadillac goes much further up market. The most expensive Chevy should be the price of the cheapest Buick and the most expensive Buick should be the price of the cheapest Cadillac.

  • avatar

    Compact Buicks I don’t have a problem with. If the division wants to shed their bluehair image they need to have the products to back it up. What I do have a problem with is this car’s Male Pattern Baldness windshield treatment…

    • 0 avatar

      Holy crap! I didn’t notice it till you pointed it out. That’s hideous! And have fun keeping the sun out of your eyes… Maybe this is their way of getting around having to offer a sunroof?

  • avatar

    The Astra coupe is one step too far down market. The Buick compact sedan actually looks more like a Buick than the new Regal. A compact Buick is fine – look at all the compact luxury cars coming in the next couple of years – A3, FWD BMWs, Mercedes A/B class, etc..

    To jmo’s point, there needs to be clear differentiation between the pricing of the brands, at least between similarly sized vehicles. The top priced Malibu should be below where the bottom Regal is, the top Buick compact should start where the Cruze stops, etc..

    I sell Hyundais, and they have an excellent stairstep pricing as you go up the model line. The Accent sedan tops out at about $16,500, the Elantra GLS starts at $17,700 and tops out with the Touring Se auto at about $21k. The Sonata GLS auto starts at $21k and goes to $28k, which is where the Azera really starts. The Azera tops out at $33k which is where the Genesis sedan starts. Almost no price overlap at all as you move up. GM needs to keep this in mind as you move up between brands.

  • avatar

    Having a version of the Astra worked out so well for Saturn.

  • avatar

    This segment is starting to get crowded in the US, and I think it’s great! The premium compact hatch/wagon is great for many people, urbanites with little kiddos, single folks, young couples, retirees, etc… You’ve got the Golf/GTI/A3, 3 wagon, C30, Elantra wagon, Impreza, and probably a few others I’m leaving out. Plus, some psuedo-crossovers like the Rogue or CX-7 (really not much bigger than 3), and the sport models like the Speed3, WRX, GTI.

    Amazing considering there was practically nothing 10-15 years ago!

  • avatar

    Sedan/Wagon/MPV Opels seem fine as Buicks.

    Coupe/Hatchback versions would make better Chevrolets instead. So the new Aveo and eventual 2 door version of Cruze should fill that niche.

  • avatar

    A few thoughts:

    1. I would love to see someone bring an Integra/RSX to market. I wish it would be Honda, but if Buick can do it, I hope they sell a buttload.

    2. There is nothing wrong with Buick selling a small car. There is something wrong with selling a cheaply made, poorly outfitted small car. A stylish A3 that is fun to drive would be lovely.

    3. The male pattern baldness line is hilarious. Thanks, Boff. But the extended windshiled is a great idea; probably cheaper than a sunroof, with most of the benefit (except freah air).

    4. There is a chicken-and-egg problem with this car, just like the G8. It needs to sell in large quantities to make it worthwhile for GM to set up a US factory to sell it, but it will be too expensive to sell in large quantities if imported from Europe. What to do, what to do.

    • 0 avatar

      The plan, up to this point is to import from Germany,untill the Flex plant in Oshawa can afford Camaro downtime to retool. The latest plan is for a second shift to be added in the fall. The Regals will be mixed in,as will the Camaro convertible.

      Here in Canada,s “Motor City” we are all keeping our fingers crossed. A sucessfull Regal brings everybody back to work.

  • avatar

    Do it. If Audi can do it with an A3 and Acura with its RSX (no idea why they ever dropped such a seemingly successful car), why not Buick. Especially considering more of these entries are on their way from the competition, why can’t Buick lead the way until waiting for the water to warm up.

    If nothing else, sell it as a Chevy. GM desperately needs SOMETHING that’s neither a sedan or a crossover. Their current line up provides little in the way of choice.

  • avatar

    Brand confusion (and dead brands like Saturn) aside, GM’s only hatchbacks for sale in America are the outgoing HHR, the Aveo5, and the Corvette. As I’ve said before, Gm does itself no favors by simply forfeiting segments to competitors. Even if the next Aveo is as good as the concept hints, if someone wants something bigger (but not a crossover) where should they turn? Why, to a Buick Skylark 3-or 5-door. Don’t see why not.

  • avatar

    While the words “hot hatch” and “Buick” may not be the stuff of word association games, a reinvention of the brand is highly overdue. If they want to be entry level luxury brand then focusing on younger buyers is a reasonable strategy.

    But they may want to reconsider the hideous “receding hairline” windscreen before bringing this to the US.

  • avatar

    That would be the “Panoramic Roof” that is available on the current Astra in Europe. Looks neat from the inside…

  • avatar

    Lets make it official and declare Hyundai a superior carmaker to GM.

    • 0 avatar

      Lets not!

    • 0 avatar

      That’s an easy one. Government Motors is a leader of nothing.

      Saying Hyundai is superior to Government Motors in the auto segment isn’t that far of a stretch. Take away the Corvette and there is nothing in the GM car stable that isn’t being seriously challenged by Hyundai Motor Co.

  • avatar

    Where are the portholes?

  • avatar

    The average age of the drivers for this vehicle in North America will be?
    I thought so.

  • avatar

    Why so much negativity? In other posts, commentors lament the lack of the Integra and other such cars, and are constantly bemoaning the fact that GM “never changes, it’s business as usual”. Yet, let Buick dare to suggest that it could supply such a car, and all the GM Haters launch onto cries of “How dare they!”

    What if the Buick-ized Astra is a good car, and GM actually makes a better Integra? What are you going to complain about then?

    Honestly, the GM Haters are as tiresome as the GM Fanbois.

  • avatar

    Well, they can’t have a young, sporty image with big Lucernes.

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