Buick Is Opel. But Why?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Automotive News [sub] reports that even as GM seeks to spin Opel off to anyone who has the cash to save it, it’s raiding its German subsidiary for competitive product. Specifically, Opel’s much-vaunted Insignia sedan is set to become the 2010 Buick Regal, rather than the 2010 Saturn Aura as previously planned according to anonymous sources. Which is not completely surprising considering that Saturn as we know it has shuffled off the mortal coil, and the Insignia is, by many reports, a great car. But it’s still a horrible idea. Buick has already debuted another 2010 Epsilon II-based model, the LaCrosse, making for some instant cannibal action. “We’re looking at a bunch of stuff from a sedan standpoint,” says BPG VP Susan Docherty. “We’re going to add some more sedans, so stay tuned.” Docherty declined to comment specifically on the Buick Insignia fandango, but tells AN that “as GM works to cut Pontiac’s product offerings, the company can offer new Buick vehicles to keep the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel well-rounded.” Well-rounded? Seriously? Besides revealing that GM is light-years away from whipping its perennial cannibalism problems, this story also suggests that Opel will continue to share architecture and platforms with the corporate mothership. Whether they need them or not.

Edward Niedermeyer
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  • Droid800 Droid800 on Mar 10, 2009

    Okay, so the numbers were a bit off, but that doesn't change the fact that they're in completely different classes. I don't necessarily agree with this decision, but it isn't as counter-intuitive as its being made out to be. You have to also think of this in terms of 'new' GM; no Pontiac, no Saturn, no Saab. They're going to need a midsize car a step up from the Malibu, and below the CTS. With the La Crosse taking over for the Lucerne, Buick needs a smaller sedan that won't offer the high-po engines.

  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Mar 10, 2009

    Yes, well I happen to believe that Chevy and Cadillac have their work cut out for them on their own. Buick seems only to cloud the picture. I also think that the Insignia plan has more to do with keeping the IP out of Opel's hands.

  • Kurt. Kurt. on Mar 10, 2009
    He has said, (Clarkson) literally, that bicycles should be kept off the road because their drivers do not pay gasoline taxes. And that buses should have no special lanes because they cater to poor people who do not contribute to GNP as much as he does. I agree with him. If all road funding comes from Gasoline (and Diesel) taxes, who should have priority? Let me put it another way, where I live, they move the cows from field to field on the public roads to include the 4 lane highway. Regional government has decided to build side roads along the highway with overpasses for the cows. Now, who should pay for this? The farmers? The taxed highway users? The cows? (actually the funding came primarily from the EU). But really...all this for COWS? In other words...dress for success. Naked people have no rights.
  • Anoldbikeguy Anoldbikeguy on Mar 10, 2009

    As stated above - this is a global platform. This means various regions develop different portions. Sharing a platform is nowhere the same as badge engineering - or do you think that Honda is allowed a free ride when they make the Accord, Pilot, Odessey and various Acura's from the same platform? It is the way that global companies do things now. Deal with it! Sharing a platform does not mean that powertrains are the same, that feature content is the same or that interiors are the same. It means that you have economies of scale from utilizing engineering across different vehicles that compete in different segments. Did the Regal compete with the LeSabre? I think not. And the Regal had a younger demographic as well.