A Buick Is in Danger

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a buick is in danger

The Buick Cascada, known to Europeans as the Opel Cascada, appeared on North American shores for the 2016 model year, offering buyers (and renters) a pleasant, four-seat replacement for the discontinued Chrysler 200 drop-top.

Now wholly owned by France’s PSA Group, not General Motors, Opel plans to ditch the model once 2019 is up, meaning America stands to lose its last non-sports car convertible. It would also knock the Buick brand down to five models.

Opel announced Tuesday it would stop building the Cascada, introduced in Europe for 2014, after 2019. The Polish-built convertible and two other small cars “will not be replaced after the end of their life cycles,” the company said.

That seems to kibosh the idea that Opel could continue funnelling Cascadas to Buick, even after dropping the model from its own lineup. The newly Frenchified brand plans to go deeper into crossovers and electrification while dropping slower-selling cars, a strategy that seems to be a template followed by every automaker under the sun.

A Buick spokesman contacted by Motor Authority said the brand has nothing to announce about the model’s American future, but did mention that the Cascada remains an important part of the Buick family. The model draws a higher percentage of new customers to the Buick brand than any other model, the spokesman claimed. Still, the model doesn’t bring in a huge volume of buyers.

By far the slowest selling model in Buick’s lineup, Cascada volume fell 25 percent over the first nine months of 2018. A niche car, the Cascada amounted to 2.2 percent of Buick’s 2018 sales, and that’s after rounding up. The first three quarters of 2017 shows a Cascada take rate of 2.8 percent.

While the model was seldom talked about (it offered a single powertrain consisting of a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 200 hp and 207 lb-ft, or 221 lb-ft in overboost mode), it did provide the Buick brand with a point of interest. Something GM’s other divisions — and indeed, those of other Detroit Three automakers — couldn’t claim. Should the model disappear, the brand becomes less interesting than it already is.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Oct 10, 2018

    A hodgepodge of old Astra bits with old Insignia/Regal style rear lights. The car the new Saab 9-3 cabrio could've been (and rumour has it that it started off as, before GM got rid of Saab) PSA Peugeot-Citroen are looking to axe all GM platform models and replace the profitable ones with home-grown platformed models. They're also axing the Viva (aka Spark) and Adam small cars, the former likely to be replaced with something on the same line as the 108/C1/Toyota Aygo. As someone who saw Chrysler Europe get snapped up, badge engineered then wound down, it is scarily like history repeating. At least it worked out well for Peugeot, the Horizon (of which the Plymouth / Dodge Omni were similar in the same way as European and US Ford Escorts were vaguely similar...) replacement Arizona became the 309 and gave Peugeot a foothold in the compact family hatchback market, where they are popular to this day - stopping the numbering increment with the last few generations of 308. Keep an eye on the Regal, US and Australia sales aren't living up to expectations (thanks to crossovers and the Kia Stinger...), PSA would be happy enough to either axe the GM platformed Insignia or replace it with a 508-based model.

  • DEVILLE88 DEVILLE88 on Oct 10, 2018

    it's a really nice car.......but that is the stupidest name ever put on an american car.

    • See 1 previous
    • Roberto Esponja Roberto Esponja on Oct 11, 2018

      At least cascada means waterfall or cascade in Spanish. Alero (remember Olds?) meant overhang. Pajero, a Mitsubishi model name, has a "special" meaning in some Hispanic countries. I truly do wonder if companies spend any money anymore on research prior to choosing their model names.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?
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