By on October 14, 2009

The Freep reports that the Opel Insignia-based Buick Regal has been officially approved for the US market. Says GM’s Susan Docherty, “the transformation of Buick began with our luxury crossover, the Buick Enclave and continued this year with the launch of the 2010 LaCrosse premium sedan. We’re thrilled to announce that the Regal will be the next member of the Buick family.” Expect GM’s 2.4 liter engine to come standard, and be prepared for it to be the only option. GM’s mid-sized sedan offerings are stacked up like hotcakes, and the Regal has two other Epsilon-based competitors in its own brand to contend with. Fanboys are being asked to keep GNX requests to themselves.

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43 Comments on “Buick Confirms Opel Insignia-Based Regal For US Market...”


  • avatar
    tonycd

    I thought the LaCrosse was based on the Insignia. Huh?

  • avatar

    So, with GM offloading Opel how is sourcing a car from them at a profit supposed to work? Or is this car’s design not a part of the sale?

  • avatar
    carguy

    You’d think that maybe GM’s 2 liter DI turbo (maybe in lesser tune) would offer a more relaxed driving experience more in keeping with the Buick image?

  • avatar
    basho

    A quick glance at the photo makes it look like a Mercury Milan. I guess Buick wants to be the new Mercury since Ford is slowing phasing out the brand.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    Opel? Again? ’cause, you know, that clearly worked soooo well with the Saturn Astra and Vectra-based L-series. Also, it’s possibly not even going to have a V6 optional? Call me pessimistic, but this could be the death knell for Buick.

  • avatar
    Billy Bobb 2

    Kizashi!

  • avatar

    The LaCrosse is based on the Chevrolet Malibu, it’s a Malibu with a fancy Buick wrapper inside and out.

  • avatar
    DearS

    It may be a good alternative to a Camry, Fusion, and Sonata….Oh and Malibu and LaCrosse. I guess the idea is similar yet different strokes for similar yet different folks. I feel its ok as long as both Buick and Chevy have a better rep then the other guys. Oh and its discernible enough from the LaCrosse, which at this point looks hard to see. Again I hope its better the others guy’s cars.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    2 facts:
    1. Buick has too many similar sedans with no real differentiation
    2. The LaCrosse with the base 3.0 liter V6 is underpowered.

    Buick’s response: Bring out a new sedan on the identical platform as the LaCrosse, but with a 2.4 liter I-4.

    I guess that’s how you define the “class of world class.”

  • avatar
    George B

    Via Nocturna :
    October 14th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Opel? Again? ’cause, you know, that clearly worked soooo well with the Saturn Astra and Vectra-based L-series. Also, it’s possibly not even going to have a V6 optional? Call me pessimistic, but this could be the death knell for Buick.

    I don’t see Buick buyers putting much value on quick acceleration. With a 6 speed automatic the I4 should do ok with enough sound absorbing material.

    The Saturn Astra was unprofitable because it was built in Europe. It was undesirable because it came with a small 1.8L engine in a market where the competition offered more power and/or displacement.

  • avatar
    spyspeed

    LaDaewoo

  • avatar
    210delray

    Wow, gonna be just like the bad old days with the Century and Regal crammed together in the same showroom.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    It’s nice to see that GM hasn’t let financial collapse, bankruptcy, and a massive public bailout change its traditional way of doing things. Could there be an Aveo-based Buick in the future? How about a pick-up? Wouldn’t be surprised.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    Isn’t the Lucerne going away? If so, then the model overlap isn’t so bad.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Huh!? We haven’t had a new Regal in the US since 2004. Then it was popular with senior citizens. And senior citizens are popular with the Grim Reaper. And senior citizens, when they do buy a car, hang onto it until the Grim Reaper pries the keys from their cold, dead hands.

    So, uh, why does GM want to bring back the Buick Regal? Is it so they can have a cheaper version of the same car? Honda sells Accords with 4-bangers and Sixes. Why can’t GM sell LaCrosses with 4-bangers and Sixes?

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Crash landing. Not anywhere NEAR the airport…..

  • avatar

    This is another Opel flop headed to US shores.

  • avatar

    So, with GM offloading Opel how is sourcing a car from them at a profit supposed to work? Or is this car’s design not a part of the sale?

    Fantastic question. Looking into it.

    Isn’t the Lucerne going away? If so, then the model overlap isn’t so bad.

    Not till 2012.

    Also, GM has strongly hinted that it’s going to offer the 2.4 in the LaCrosse. Because the situation clearly isn’t cluster-nsfw-y enough.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Does this mean Cadillac will be bringing back the Catera ? All it would need is a cross hatch grille.

    What a load of wasted effort.

    What is the purpose of this car in the Buick line up ?

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    If they can also bring Jill Wagner over to Buick, I don’t see why that would be a problem. Except for the fact that it still won’t sell.

    basho :
    October 14th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    A quick glance at the photo makes it look like a Mercury Milan. I guess Buick wants to be the new Mercury since Ford is slowing phasing out the brand.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    DweezilSFV :Question:What is the purpose of this car in the Buick line up?

    Answer: To justify there being a Buick lineup in the U.S.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Rod Panhard: “Honda sells Accords with 4-bangers and Sixes. Why can’t GM sell LaCrosses with 4-bangers and Sixes?”

    The difference is that Honda sweats the details. They use better materials which are lighter for their strength, and make engines which are more powerful. Also, you can still get a stick with the I-4 Accord, which is never going in happen at Buick.

    The issue isn’t how many cylinders, it’s how well executed, and this is where GM tends to come up short. That said, Autoblog prefers the Equinox with the I-4 over the 3.0L six, so I guess there’s a chance that 174 hp can effectively motivate a 3,800 lb. Regal, but I’m not spending $25K to find out.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    What I really find interesting about the Insignia is that is has no more room inside than the Cruze.

    So it caters to what to me appears to be an exotic segment of the population: those who are vain and therefore buy a car mainly based on looks, but still find it OK to buy a GM car.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Martin,
    That niche is bigger than you think. Until recently 50,000 people a year bought a ‘Vette.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    George B :
    October 14th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I don’t see Buick buyers putting much value on quick acceleration. With a 6 speed automatic the I4 should do ok with enough sound absorbing material.

    The Saturn Astra was unprofitable because it was built in Europe. It was undesirable because it came with a small 1.8L engine in a market where the competition offered more power and/or displacement.

    That’s precisely the problem. GM decided it’d be fine if they just slapped a Saturn badge on an Astra and shipped it over here. As the TTAC review will attest, the car was poorly localized for the American market. I see the same thing with this Regal. Just shipping the Opel Insignia over here and throwing an LE5 2.4L in it will be just as big of a flop.

    As someone mentioned above, Buick desperately needs to shed its geriatri-cruiser image if it hopes to survive. GM is trying to play the Buick brand off as a luxury/near-luxury marque for a younger audience, fine. No one in the market for a car in this segment is even going to consider a transplanted Chinese-market Regal with a base Malibu engine.

  • avatar

    Drugged induced fantasy in play:

    Roadmaster GranSport coupe, 6 spd manual w/an LSx motor.

    Oh! I’m sorry. I forgot. It’s 2009….

  • avatar

    There are currently two wheelbase lengths for the Epsilon. This is the SWB, the LaCrosse is the LWB. They’re differented about as much as the Camry / Avalon and the Altima / Maxima. Do these brands need both cars? Arguable. But it’s not nearly as bad as the previous Regal / Century combo.

    I’m more concerned about GM’s recent powertrain strategy. They can’t both reduce displacement and increase curb weight.

    Well, they can, but they shouldn’t.

  • avatar
    Roundel

    This is confusing to say the least.
    What we need is an update to the gettin long in the tooth Lucerne, not a car that is small and premium. We know how well those do in America.
    The Lacrosse and Regal are too close in size…. why would you bring in cars that look the same and also offer the same features minus engine choices.
    Bring back the Park Ave name and affix it to the “Caprice” of the mid east, just as it is, in China. I thought GM had a semblance of plan with Buick…. now…. not so much…. at all.

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    Sweet another Buick I wouldn’t buy.

    Soon to be at a rental car counter in an airport near you.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The bottom line is that GM planned to bring the Insignia and the new Astra here for Saturn, and they are probably stuck with a contract with Opel to take so many units of these platforms. So without Saturn or Pontiac, Buick gets stuck with the cars.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Am I right that the plan here essentially is to sell a 4 cylinder VW Jetta to 75 year olds who hope for a quiet 6 cylinder car with ultrasoft suspension…?

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Okaaaaaaaay. SO a more expensive Buick mid size based on the lower cost Epsilon II Malibu is only going to be offered with a noisy 4 banger. Yet another idiot move by the genius morons at the new/old GM.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @basho:
    A quick glance at the photo makes it look like a Mercury Milan.

    Well, that Great American Road already Belongs to Buick™; viz this Lacrosse doing a very good job of looking identical to this Taurus.

    @Billy Bobb 2:
    Kizashi!

    Gesundheit.

    I’ve no doubt this car will be “Americanized” down to GM’s traditional level of mediocrity.

  • avatar
    Droid800

    Clarification for you guys:

    1) This IS NOT the same size as the LaCrosse. The Lacrosse rides on the LWB version of Epsilon II, while this rides on the SWB. The Lacrosse is 6-7 inches longer than this.

    2) The Insignia 4-door weighs a little over 3,300 lbs, nowhere near the 3,800 that some of you have erroneously stated. That’s about the same as the mid-level accord, and the 2.4 has similar hp.

    Its debatable whether they need this. However, don’t let bias and misinformation cloud the REAL reasons why this may be a bad idea.

  • avatar
    th009

    @TriShield: “So, with GM offloading Opel how is sourcing a car from them at a profit supposed to work?”

    The Regal will not be manufactured by Opel, but at the GM plant in Oshawa, derived from the original Insignia design.

    GM is retaining the intellectual property rights for the Opel designs to date — the “new Opel” will actually have to pay GM a royalty on those.

  • avatar

    I’m trying to understand Buick’s product lineup.

    Buick will have a lineup consisting of the Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, and the Lucerne. The Enclave and LaCrosse have been well received but you need more than two cars to fill a showroom. The LaCrosse starts at $27K so it makes sense for the dealers to have a cheaper product in the Regal. In an Alfred Sloan kind of way, it probably doesn’t hurt for GM to have an an upscale option between the Malibu and the LaCrosse in the Regal. With their market share so low GM can’t afford to lose Buick’s geriatric customers, which explains letting the Lucerne hang around for a few more years.

    Now it comes down to execution. The first step is getting the product right.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @Martin Schwoerer :
    What I really find interesting about the Insignia is that is has no more room inside than the Cruze.

    Which really only means that the Cruze is the largest “small car” ever.
    The Insignia has a much smaller interior than the Vectra, weighs 300-400 pounds more, gets worse fuel economy and accelerates slower. If that’s GM’s idea of progress, I’m not getting it.

    It’s still selling better than the Vectra was. I guess styling is important.

    @tonycd :
    I thought the LaCrosse was based on the Insignia. Huh?

    The Lacrosse shares suspension components of the Insignia, but has a longer wheelbase, a completely different interior, different electronics and no common drivetrains.

    The Regal is the Insignia. With a different grille.

  • avatar
    JJ

    The Insignia is actually quite a nice car, probably better than the crap Buick is currently selling (I don’t actually know those products, but well, just keepin’ it real).

    Here in Europe we don’t get the 2.4 mill though. It’s available with the usual wide range of engines, amongst others the 1.8 you ‘Mericans get in the Saturn Astra I believe.

    It’s also available as the Insignia OPC with a 2.8 Turbocharged V6 and AWD, but I guess that won’t be available in the US…Considering it’s a Buick and all.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’m gonna agree with JJ….

    The new Insignia I’ve seen quite a bit here in Germany, checked one out last weekend, sat in it, etc. I thought it was a VERY nice car. Reviews of the drive seem to be quite positive as well. Though again, don’t think it was the 2.4L engine.

    But Insignia here is nice. I was impressed.

    As mentioned, the Equinox doesn’t seem to do too bad with the I4. Plus, it seems GM is banking on higher fuel costs coming again (not to mention CAFE standards….that old horse that just won’t die). 4 cyl with 6 speed autos seem to be fine for everyone here on the Hyundai Sonata, but a comparable car it isn’t acceptable?

    My biggest gripe is more with the transmission programming. Heading for fuel economy land at any chance and not downshifting quickly really kills me. GM’s old 4 speeds, my opinion, were excellent. Kicked down quickly, and didn’t drop to highest gear at the first chance. Wish they’d program these new 6 speeds like this…but that would cost 1mpg right? Jeez.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    To those who want to compare this decision to choices and products offered by Honda and Toyota – this would be a valid comparison if GM consisted of Chevy and Cadillac. But that is not what GM is. GM wants to have the Buick brand.

    Buick should be a natural Acura competitor. Leave Lexus to Cadillac. Any 4 cylinder Acuras out there? When we had them, they were sports cars. If GM wants Buick to be a player in the near-luxury field, leave the 4s to Chevrolet, and dont tramp on the Malibu’s yard.

    Jeeeezzzzee

  • avatar

    Hmmmm…. Good point, jpc.
    Chevies> four bangers
    Buicks> 6 cylinders
    Caddies> V/8’s…

    Why didn’t I think of that?

  • avatar

    I’m glad they came to their senses and are bringing that car here. At the same time, I don’t know how the size compares to the LaCrosse or how it fits into the segment since I’ve never seen a lot of details on size, equipment, etc. I do however like the idea of a GNX version based on the AWD/turbo Insignia OPC model from Europe. That might even make me take a look at a Buick. I sometimes am still in shock that I bought a G8 GT when my only direct exposure to Pontiac was the Pontiac Phoenix my dad had.

  • avatar
    Droid800

    The Lacrosse shares suspension components of the Insignia, but has a longer wheelbase, a completely different interior, different electronics and no common drivetrains.

    No, that’s not correct. The electronics in the Insignia are identical to the LaCrosse. That is the whole point of Ep. II. Whereas Ep. I had too many differences as far as electronics, build processes, etc. (resulting in two Ep. I vehicles like the 9-3 and Vectra being unable to be built in the same plant), Ep. II remedies all of that.

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