GM May Sell Next Generation Opel Adam in U.S. as a Buick
Illustration by Thilophilus Chin
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.”
Fascinating that this car shares a platform with the 500L. The world is a small place!
I rented an Adam in January for a weekend and was very impressed. It is stylish (well, not with that Buick grille, maybe), fun to drive and had a lot of well thought-out features. I was at the IAA at Frankfurt today and saw an Adam with the newest generation of Opel's sliding-out-of-the-bumper bike rack, which would take care of my personal concerns since there is not that much room in the back with the rear seat folded. The other problem was that it seemed to me that GM had saddled this excellent modern design (possibly copied directly from the Audi A2!)with an old engine since fuel consumption was not very good for a car this size. The Adam offers lots of nice customization features and those really cool wheels and apparently a new engine will be introduced shortly that was developed with SAIC in China and should improve fuel consumption. Go for it, Mr. Buick! More choice is always better. Just no Cruiserliner Ventiports, please. Incidentally, the Germans were all swarming over the new Corvette at the show today.
This is absurd. Launching the Adam as a Buick in the US would equivalent to launching the Silverado as an Opel in Europe. Premium hatchbacks are highly sought after in China and this is where this model should go, if GM is being sensible about where to market the car.
My 65 yr old mother might like that. But she is sort of crazy.