Opel Chairman Karl-Thomas Neumann told reporters gathered at the Frankfurt Motor Show that General Motors is considering selling the Opel Adam subcompact in the United States as a Buick. ”We are looking at it,” Neumann told Automotive News. “Nothing is decided. But it’s an example of some of the Opel product being used elsewhere in the world.”
Opel and Buick already share some product. The Opel Insignia is sold as the Buick Regal and the small Opel Mokka crossover is marketed as the Buick Encore. The Encore has been selling at about double the rate that GM expected, proving that GM’s near-luxury brand Buick can sell small cars.
The Adam, a sporty hatchback, competes with cars like the Fiat 500 and the Mini on the continent. If GM does bring the car to the States, it won’t be until the next generation Adam arrives. When asked, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said that the current Adam “cannot” be federalized, so if the car is sold in America it will be after the Adam is redesigned for its second generation, 2015 or 2016 at the earliest. Neumann concurred, saying, ”We have to work on the car. “That’s one of the issues that we have to look at.”
In June, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that he thought the Adam would be a good fit for Buick’s U.S. lineup. Neumann confirmed that GM’s ultimate goal is to develop Opel and Buick products together so they can sold in both Europe and North America with equal ease. ”Maybe that can be done better in the future, if we design the product so that it would fit into other markets,” Nuemann said. “That’s exactly what we’re aiming at.”