By on July 24, 2014

Opel_Cascada_Innovation_2.0_BiTurbo_CDTI-550x366

Automotive News is reporting that the Opel Cascada will make it Stateside in 2016. Aside from giving Buick a fresh new product that isn’t a crossover, the Cascada arrives at an opportune time to capitalize on a small but important niche: the rental market.

With the demise of the Chrysler 200 convertible and VW Eos, rental fleets now have an alternative to the pony car twins for their convertible car class. Believe it or not, not all rental car clients want a Mustang or a Camaro, and the front-drive packaging of the Cascada allows for some packaging efficiencies that aren’t there in a rear drive setup (luggage space, anyone?).

Normally, fleet sales, and daily rental specifically, is treated as a last resort for undesirable product. But in this case, The Cascada is in a position to corner a market that, while declining, is currently wide open – something that GM is familiar with.

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43 Comments on “Buick Prepares For Rental Fleet Dominance...”


  • avatar
    mjz

    I think Chrysler made a big mistake not making a convertible version of the new 200. It would have been a real looker. I think there is a definite niche for a non-pony car convertible with front wheel drive, a usable back seat and trunk at a reasonable price. This could be a good seller for Buick if they don’t go crazy with the pricing. Hope they DON’T call it the Cascada though. How about Calibra (old Opel name) or Wildcat instead?

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I’m pro topless Cascada:

    http://www.lyrics007.com/images/covers/6/33/28

  • avatar
    SCfanboy

    Buick,
    Please restore order to the universe and call this thing a Riviera.
    Best Regards

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Even Consumer Reports is showing some love for Buick:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/07/22/bmw-buick-consumer-reports-score-regal/12988137/?post_id=1112041610_10202596485369306#_=_

  • avatar
    Fred

    Seems like a lot of expense just to sell a few thousand cars to the rental market. I’m assuming they still have to be certified for USA.

    • 0 avatar
      pbxtech

      A pleasant rental experience can sell cars. We rented a the previous generation Hyundai Elantra and hated it, we got newer one the last time we rented and I was impressed. A decent car in a rental fleet is a huge opportunity for a manufacture, I would have never included the Elantra on my shopping list before.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Exactly this. If I had never had a FIAT 500 for a rental, I probably never would have bought one.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          Amen. I’m in a rental Altima right now, and although not enamored with the “S”” level seats, I’m very impressed with the car.

          Plus 41 mpg driving from VA to CT with 2 kids and their debris as well as luggage.

          I’m actually most impressed with the CVT – it’s highly responsive.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    My question: will they call it a Riviera?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Is it luxurious enough to revive that name? How about Wildcat – just make sure the 2.0 turbo is the only available engine and it should be peppy enough.

      OR make it the “Special” because so many will be sold to rental fleets.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Is it luxurious enough to revive that name?

        No. The Riv needs to be a Buick CTS/XTS coupe. A Riviera should not be Delta based.

      • 0 avatar
        JEFFSHADOW

        I drive a 2008 Buick Wildcat with the 4.6 Northstar V8. It was once a Lucerne Super but has graduated to reality with original metal Wildcat emblems from 1964.
        The new WILDCAT convertible would be fine with me. I’ll sell my 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible to get this new Buick!

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          we need pictures jeffshadow

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Huh, I was thinking of doing the same thing if I ever buy a Chrysler 300.

          Off with the 300 emblems, on with New Yorker emblems.

        • 0 avatar
          snakebit

          JEFFSHADOW-If you’re a Wildcat fan, let me direct your attention to the October 2006 issue of Hemmings Classic Car magazine wherein they road test a 1963 coupe, and to their June 2014 issue that includes a road test of a 1963 Wildcat convertible. You may think twice about an Opel Wildcat after reading those.

          • 0 avatar
            JEFFSHADOW

            Buick Wildcat fan, yes. But not as much for the early 1960s. Same reason I prefer the Oldsmobile Starfire from 1965 and 1966 only. The Wildcat at the top of my list is the last one, 1970. The Centurion from 1971 to 1973 was the replacement for the Wildcat. I emailed Buick re the Wildcat name and the requirement for portholes/ventiports. Some things (like a Buick waterfall grille) never go out of style. Photo of my 2008 Wildcat soon as I can figure out howzitdone!

          • 0 avatar
            snakebit

            First,JEFFSHADOW, the June 2014 issue of Classic Car touches on all of the Wildcats from 1962 up to and including your favorite, the 1970, with color photos of each year. You may still be able to check Hemmings for a back copy.

            A couple of days ago, I went to a car show where an owner had brought his 1961 Impala coupe. It was loaded with all of the correct SS emblems on the body and on the wheel covers, but it had a bench seat. Assuming that I don’t know everything there was to know about ordering an SS, but expecting the owner to tell me he just liked the emblems and installed them on a standard Impala, I began talking to the owner. Turns out you could order an SS without the bucket seats and small console, and a handful of original buyers did just that. I’m thinking, what is the difference between an Impala SS and a regular Impala coupe?. It’s solely the buckets and console, every other option was available in either model. Why go to the added expense of an SS, otherwise?

            I won’t enter into a design debate about the 1970, but what does the Wildcat model have that year that doesn’t come on a comparable Buick coupe that year without the Wildcat name? I know what the difference is on the older, let’s say, 1962-1964 Wildcats. Believe me, I’m not daring you to justify your choice, I just would like to know.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed3

        If they were to revive an old nameplate, I’d pick Skylark. As for the Riviera, I think it would be a nice name for a Regal coupe (and bring over the wagon and call it the…Roadmaster). It’s not like Buick is going to get a rwd coupe anyway.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Nice looking, now make a coupe also and make sure you put the 2.0t in it as well as awd. Skylark GS please.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Why would they only sell to rental companies? It’s not a huge market, but there are certainly plenty of Chrysler 200 convertibles around, mostly driven by “women of a certain age”.

    I’d rock one of these as a rental in a place like San Francisco.

    And I vote for calling it a Riviera too!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      They aren’t going to sell it just to rental fleets.

      They’ll sell at least a couple a month to consumers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Yes, but the rental convertible market is the prize. As the article notes, GM is familiar with capturing shrinking markets. Riviera is too storied a name to waste. I’d resurrect another Buick name that’s perfect for a convertible: Skylark.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Can’t call it Riviera, GM hates its heritage. They’ll come up with something new agey.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        Buick Engage
        Buick Encounter
        Buick Enamor
        Buick Enchant
        Buick Enlighten

        Researching names which convey a sense of inclusiveness, connecting people and places in a holistic manner while embracing the social nature of humanity.

        Or 90 seconds on scrabblefinder.com looking for words beginning with -en. Both work.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The will certainly sell them at retail too. They are just looking at the rental companies knowing that they will order a certain number of them and adding it to the amount they project will sell at retail to get to the number they need to justify the cost to tool up to produce it.

  • avatar
    mjz

    No, no, no! The Riviera name should be reserved for a FLAGSHIP coupe. The Cascada is a convertible version of the Verano (Opel Astra) and by no means a flagship. I still think Calibra, Wildcat or Skylark would be good name choices.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Anything but Skyhawk.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I am totally Buick-ed out! I can understand how Buicks and Chryslers are on every rental space, but not for me. Renting a car is the perfect occasion to drive, potentially, fun cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      For several years, every car I rented was an Impala, whether I wanted one or not. I ordered smaller and smaller cars and kept getting “upgraded” to a white Impala. The last three times, though, Hertz was stuffed with Nissans, mostly Altimas. It was all I could do to get a Ford Taurus, and the Impalas were gone.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    I like it as a rental, or even as a retail car, but:

    No on the Riviera name – I agree, it’s not flagship material, as that model name implies to many of us.

    Yes, perhaps, on the Skylark model name.

    Yes on retaining the Opel grille, I can’t stand the recent Buick ‘waterfall’, ‘perana(sp) tooth’ look – that alone repels me from thinking about buying a Buick.

    For those of us who remember having to rent the terrible Toyota Solara convertibles(terrible compared to the Solara coupes) when they were out of Mustang ragtops, make sure the rear window is large enough to see out of, and dump the rear seat headrests if so equipped. Crazy as this sounds, some days, you have to drive convertibles with the top up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That waterfall grille has been a Buick trademark since 1946. How long have you had this aversion to it?

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        Lorenzo,

        I think you mean it was used in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. The Buicks that I have in mind that I prefer to see emulated are the 1960’s Rivieras, Wildcats, intermediate Specials and Skylarks and Electra’s.

        Yes, I’m old enough to remember seeing 40’s and 50’s Buicks on the road, just not daft enough to think that the 40’s Buick was the highpoint of Buick or anyones design. I know good design is in the eyes of the beholder, but look at the Opel grille in the photo, and tell me with a straight face you’d rather replace it with one from a new Buick.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Got it!

    The Reatta 2.0!

    Kidding. Just jokes.

    Seriously, maybe dust off Velite?

  • avatar

    Somerset.

  • avatar
    formula m

    Buick Park Ave

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Roadmaster.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    City names are an option. For places where the convertible will be a popular rental, Southern California, Florida and Hawaii, there are lots of candidates, like Oxnard, Torrance, and Cucamonga; Ocala, Naples, and Sarasota; and Waipahu, Kailua, and Waimea.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    If you can’t sell them you got to dump them somewhere.


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