Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Opel City Car Coming To The US

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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According to Auto Motor und Sport, this Opel “Junior” city car (A-Segment) could be sold in the US if Opel isn’t sold first and if union boss Klaus Franz gets his way. Though GM has ruled out selling the Opel brand in the US, Franz tells AM und S that

I can see strong demand for this car in the cities of the East and West coasts.

But if the Opel brand is off the table, what will this car be sold as? There’s been no rumor yet of a Buick-branded microcar, but Cadillac did recently show an A-Segment concept, called the ULC, that could tip the strategy for this car’s US-market design and branding. It’s just too bad TTAC’s Best and Brightest answered the question “Does Cadillac Need A MINI-Fighter?” with a resounding “NO”. But would a ULC-style micro-Caddy be any less appealing than a baby Buick? This car will be a tough sell coming from any of GM’s remaining brands, but with CAFE increases in the cards (and as prices rising anyway) this may an unavoidable conundrum.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Benzaholic Benzaholic on Jun 16, 2011

    Arrgh. That short back window on the sides looks several kinds of wrong. It seems too close to the Sonic/Aveo to add it to a Chevy lot. Is the chassis qualified to sell it as a premium vehicle? GM often has that problem selling Euro models to Americans. After getting the cars here, they have to charge higher prices for them, so they try to dress them up as premium ("Catera"), which fails, or they try to leave the car relatively simple, and it's still too expensive for US expectations (Saturn Astra? or did that die because they never advertised it?).

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Jun 16, 2011

      A friend of mine needed a new car after the death of her Altima in 2008. It was the middle of the gas price spike, and obvious choices like the Civic were sold out or priced beyond her range. There was a Saturn dealer(which is now a failed Jaguar dealer) on the same street as the Honda, Nissan, and Carmax stores, so we went for a look. I was curious to get a good look at an Astra, but my friend eliminated it as soon as she touched it, saying it was a tin can. Her Altima was a piece of garbage, but she thought the Astra was unacceptably cheap. The Aura was more her speed, but the dealer insisted on pushing a fully loaded left over 2006 Aura V6 for less than the price on the 2008 Aura I4 with light equipment that she'd have been interested in. We were told that GM had suspended hybrid production for the rest of the year, just what you should do in a fuel crunch if you work in Detroit.

  • Zackman Zackman on Jun 16, 2011

    Maybe it's just me, but it appears that every micro-car or whatchacallit coming out recently looks suspiciously like a Fiat 500! That rear quarter window also looks like one of those aftermarket windows van owners bought and tacked on in the 70's to dress up their bedroom-on-wheels!

  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on Jun 16, 2011

    Lacking the retro pedigree of the Mini or the 500, trying to market an A segment car outside of Chevy has no future. It can't tap into any nostalgia at Buick or Cadillac, and it would only diminish the luxury bona fides of either brand.

    • See 2 previous
    • SVX pearlie SVX pearlie on Jun 16, 2011

      @SVX pearlie Saturn was it's own disaster, and Opel merely prolonged the death. Saturn was an anachronism from when each division made it's own cars with their own unique engines and chassis and bodies, in a time when efficiency was the watchword. Saturn tried to sell Opel/Buick-cost cars to women on a Chevy/Pontiac budget. Buick is at higher price point than Saturn. Buick, OTOH, is doing just fine selling lightly-massaged Opels at an appropriate price point which actually recovers the development costs, so they're making money for GM, hand over fist. Volvo & Benz try to sell the C30 at roughly $30k. Buick would be pricing the Astra at or near the same $20k that Mini charges.

  • Mjz Mjz on Jun 16, 2011