By on February 16, 2019

2016 Buick Cascada

Everyone knew this was coming, but now it’s official. The current model year will be the Buick Cascada’s last.

Hitting dealer (and rental) lots in the U.S. at the dawn of 2016, the Opel-built drop top motivated its two-ton weight with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder — an engine that gave away the model’s European heritage. With Opel no longer in the hands of General Motors, Americans stand to lose another model that, while perhaps not hugely desirable, is at least interesting and different.

Word of the Cascada’s discontinuation date comes via Automotive News, which cites GM’s plan to end production over the summer. Dealers have been told to make their final order. Thus, the 2019 Cascada will be the last Cascada.

Now owned by France’s PSA Group, Opel announced plans last fall to cease production of three car models, including the Cascada. The convertible-only model calls Poland home and is sold by various marques, depending on market. Britain’s Vauxhall has its own Cascada, as does Australia’s Holden brand.

Buick, soon to be left with only a single passenger car, touted the Cascada’s ability to draw new buyers into the brand.

2018 Buick Cascada Dark Moon Blue - Image: General Motors

“The Cascada has played its role in the portfolio perfectly, outselling many other premium convertibles while bringing in [six of every 10] buyers from outside GM,” the brand said in a statement to Automotive News. “However, it has reached the end of its originally-planned lifecycle and 2019 will be the last model year offered. Dealers have been notified and many will have stock through the rest of this year.”

While debate raged smoldered over the past few years as to the Cascada’s attributes, the car did fill a role in sunny climes, what with the demise of the Chrysler Sebring/200 convertible. The car’s sales told the story, however. Its first year on the U.S. market proved to be its best, with volume falling off in each subsequent year. Only one month saw the Cascada top 1,000 units (April 2016). The Cascada’s fourth-quarter 2018 sales totalled just 743 vehicles — a 26.1 percent decline from Q4 2017.

With the Cascada’s death, America loses not only its last two-door Buick, but also its last “domestic” non-sports car convertible (of the car variety, that is). Those seeking a roomy whip for sedate boulevard cruising had best call up the Germans.

[Images: General Motors]

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80 Comments on “Bye, Bye, Buick: A German-American Convertible Prepares to Exit the Stage...”


  • avatar
    hpycamper

    Was so happy when I first heard Buick was coming out with a convertible. Thought it would be something like an adult version of the Camaro. But the Cascada was a disappointment in both styling and specs. Maybe Buick can still do something with Camaro underpinnings.

  • avatar

    it never was anything more than a way to distribute excess production. it was dead on arrival. I sold three in total and won’t miss it. on the other hand, still have my 1990 Reatta convertible 80,000 trouble free miles.

  • avatar
    quickson

    Once my mom didn’t buy one, I knew it was doomed.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    That side profile always looked ungainly.

    (QA inspector at the end of the assembly line) “Another Monday morning and they forgot the roof again. Screw it, they’ll fix it during dealer prep.”

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I saw ONE last summer in the real world, cute car, but it had “Orlando Rental (Disneyworld)” written all over it. If I really wanted a convertible (I don’t) I would head right for Mustang or Camaro

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Were you around in 2016?

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/11/buick-cascada-not-chrysler-200-convertible-rental-queen-thought-itd/

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Well, it may not have been a “rental queen”, but it sure looked the part. It just shows how much tastes change, here in rural Wisconsin where pick-ups and crossover/SUVs are king that little convertible just looked so out of place and pointless other then the type of car we all rent when vacationing some place warm and sunny

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Lie2me

      Really? With rental fleets bursting full of Toyotas, Hyundais and Toyotas* you’re really going to bring up one Cascada you may or may not have seen in Florida. Total dick move..

      *the completly outdated Corolla all of a sudden is outselling the Civic. At a time when everyone else is cutting back on fleet sales. I think that deserves a double mention.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “you’re really going to bring up one Cascada you may or may not have seen in Florida. Total dick move..”

        In an article about the Cascada, he brought up the one Cascada that he ever saw. You think he’s a dick? What are you talking about quality cars for in an article about a GM vehicle? You also said he may or may not have seen the car, which is an accusation on your part. I know who has the character flaws here.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Thanks ToddAtlasF1, it appears what I wrote was terribly misunderstood by Peter Gazis, which makes ME the dick??

          I said the Cascada LOOKED like a rental and I’ve seen ONE here in Wisconsin (not Florida) where I live. I didn’t think that was a difficult concept. Sorry to confuse you, Peter

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          ToddAtlasF1

          1st Insinuating the Cascada is a fleet queen after only seeing 1 is a Dick move!

          2nd TTAC can ban me anytime they want. For any reason they want. They don’t even need a reason, but while I’m here I will state my opinion.

          3rd American workers are being laid off while the Asian brands are allowed to import any hunk of crap they want from anywhere they want.(see CH-R) Don’t expect me to be nice.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            So, when I voice a personal opinion it’s a “Dick move!” When you voice a personal opinion it’s an acceptable act of defiance?

            Ok, Peter, you and your issues have a nice day :)

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Mr.Gazis,
            those “Asian Brands”; mind quickly thinks of Archie Bunker, consistently out rank GM in reliability and customer satisfaction. The Honda CH-R is built in Europe with an engine built in Wales. Kinda of ironic when the article is about a Buick, made in Germany, by the company formerly known as Opel. Our southern foreign-owned auto plants are hiring. They’re just not hiring UAW labor. “The Asians”, especially now that North Wales is a part of Asia built vehicles that challenged the Big 3’s sales superiority. “The Asians” didn’t beat you; well they did. Who you work/cheerlead for failed you by not answering “The Asian” competition.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “now that North Wales is a part of Asia”

            *nyuk*

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            el scotto

            GM has lots of U.S. factories. U.S. design, engineering and testing facilities.
            The imports have very few.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            Lie2me

            You opened yourself up to criticism the moment you comented.

            Perpetuating myths you know are false = Dick move.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Peter, I think we’ve all got you figured out, you take care

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            Lie2me, you’ve graciously handled that gratuitous splooge of assholity.

            +10 Internet Cool Guy points.

      • 0 avatar
        Trucky McTruckface

        Toyota, Hyundai and especially Nissan have been blatantly fleet dumping in recent years to prop up sales numbers and (probably) utilize excess capacity. The flip side of this is that GM made a show of reducing their fleet dependency as a means of increasing unit profit and protecting the market value of their nameplates…a couple of years later, GM announces the discontinuation of most of those former fleet queens and the closure of the plants that built them. Surprise, surprise.

        The fact that GM brought a friggin’ convertible to market – a segment that is the poster child for fleets – and didn’t absolutely flood the rental lots with them, shows that they’re even dumber than I thought. Convertibles don’t sell well, especially non-sporty, non-premium convertibles. If bringing the Cascada here was purely a capacity utilization move, as some suggest, why on earth wouldn’t you dump as many as you could in warm weather rental fleets?

        Of course this is the same GM that used that excess capacity excuse with the Chevrolet SS and seemingly went out of their way to not sell any. Their incompetence continues to defy explanation.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    One less interesting car probably means one more SUV or crossover.

  • avatar

    GMs lineup is basically now a trash heap.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s been a trash heap since before GM died in 2009, but at least NOW Ms. Barra is concentrating on what sells, and culling what doesn’t.

      The reality is that with today’s excellent vehicles on the market a buyer can choose from, GM NEEDS to focus on what is going to carry GM forward.

      I believe that in today’s pickup truck and SUV/CUV environment GM needs to put better value into whatever they decide to move forward with.

      For instance, pickup trucks like Silverado and Canyon/Colorado are competing against each other, before they compete against the other manufacturers. In many cases it is cheaper to buy a full-pop half-ton Silverado than it is to buy Colorado. That just doesn’t make sense, when Ford has all that innovation and engine choices out there.

      CUVs Enclave/Acadia/Traverse pricing is too similar and should be Traverse in the $35K range, Acadia in the $45K range and Enclave in the $65K range.

      That’s what I’m hearing from people who recently shopped. Ironically, none of them bought GM.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Highdesertcat

        You drive a Camry that you bought used. The peanuts in my sh’t are worth more than your opinion.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Thanks Peter, that means a great deal to me, since you probably also know that I was quite the GM fan in my younger years. Bought a few brand new ones over the years.

          Before the death of GM in 2009 there were quite a few raging fanbois like you, and then….

          Well, the rest is history, and I’m waiting for someone to declare the next death watch.

          No matter though, there aren’t enough people on this planet to buy GM products to make GM a viable and ongoing concern. Although China would help, at least delay the inevitable.

          Deja vu, all over again, just like in 2008.

          Still, I admire Ms Barra for what she is trying to do with the cards she was dealt by her predecessors.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            More like GM birth in 2009. Most everything has been redesigned since and is on par or above the competition. When you factor in the 20-30% off MSRP, no Honda or Toyota residuals can match that discount ever. It is a no brainer.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      “GMs lineup is basically now a trash heap.”

      You are to discourse what crows are to birdsong.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Jatz

        GM builds fantastic vehicles that are both fun and practical. From the ultimate in sports cars to the ultimate trucks & SUVs.
        A website specializing in: Ace of base and Junk yard finds is not the ideal place to show off its wares.

        • 0 avatar
          jatz

          You and akear make me think of the TOS Star Trek episode with the half-black/half-white guys.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Damn, you made me spit my coffee!

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            Careful with yourself, man. There aren’t a lot of people still around who will catch a TOS reference :-)

            BTW, have you watched any of the new Discovery series?

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            Jatz

            Not to worry, if I’m the rightside black guy, I have no intention of chasing akear halfway across the Galaxy.
            If I’m the leftside black guy I would make sure to steal something better than a federation shuttle.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Mr. Gazis,
          A Porsche salesperson would like a word with you. Porsche has product that matches Corvette at every price point and how fast do you want to go capability. A Panamerica or a Guila 4C from Alfa might interest those who want to carry more than one passenger. The Land Rover/Range Rover still has some serious 4WD chops, The Germany military still uses a G Wagen and Toyota seems to have a 4wd for just about any 3rd world country you wish to visit. I will give GM the Escalade and Suburban well, for being large. Oh wait, Ford and FCA have some skin in the BOF SUV game. Fantastic? I think not. Highly competitive in a few categories? Just a few, because the GM brass left them alone; witness Suburban and Corvette.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “A Porsche salesperson would like a word with you. Porsche has product that matches Corvette at every price point and how fast do you want to go capability.”

            What you talking about Willis? Base Corvettes and base Caymans cost about the same, but the base Cayman is not comparable in performance. Whenever the shill-mags perform a comparison test, they give both brands an out by comparing a Corvette to a Porsche that costs something like twice as much. That way, they can appease GM by saying how close the Corvette LT1 came to the Carrera 4S GTS LeMans GT3 RS R Lapis Blue Edition while appeasing Porsche by saying that their car was worth the extra $100K because it is better to be seen in. Match them up on price, and it starts to look pretty good for the Corvette. A Cayman S, which isn’t that much slower than a base, $55K Corvette, starts at $70K and typically is optioned into the ZO6 price range. From there on up, Porsches cost silly money for the performance they deliver. Now excuse me while I go take a shower to wash having defended a GM product off of me.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Peter ^^^^POST OF THE DAY^^^^^ Lol!
          You forget drive, burn….

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Bad news for “foreign” car manufacturers in China:

    “Nevertheless, staking Buick’s future on China may not be a smart bet over the long term. Government policy in China has increasingly favored the development of a local automotive industry, and trade tensions with the United States could make business more difficult for foreign automakers in the region.”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/07/why-china-is-so-important-to-buicks-survival.html

    The whole plan was to get tech on the cheap and then produce their own. Throwing billions into China is foolish, hopefully Ford won’t make GM’s mistake.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The new Chinese-made Acura RDX will be produced by Guangzhou Automobile Group and Dongfeng Motor Group located southeastern China.

      Production of the new RDX started late summer at the Guangzhou Automobile plant. Previous versions of the car sold in China were imported from the US, a blow to Acura’s manufacturing facilities stateside that could experience a tremendous slowdown in production.  Zerohedge

  • avatar
    David Loving

    Too ugly to sell.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Good. That A-pillar is a paragon of prickishness.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I guess there was not enough of the “I need to replace my aging Saab 9-3 convertible with something similar””It’s European and GM” customer. More of the might as well look for a last edition VW Eos.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Mr. T-Bird,
      empty-Nester suburban housewife wants a “sporty to her” convertible. Gets on Autotrader and searches for convertibles. A red Toyota Soalara pops up. Used, low miles; Toyota dependability. GM loses another sale.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I don’t know why TTAC keeps up this trope that the Cascada was flooding rental lots. Do a search on TTAC about Cascada rental numbers (at least through 2017 when you were writing about it) and the rental presence was non-existent. GM basically refused to sell them to rental lots.

    I can’t comment on EOL inventory in 2018. It’s like feckin’ Huckabee is writing this story. Bigly.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      better yet, BO lying about healthcare and then his Gruber blaming the American public who were “so stupid” to believe BO’s lies

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        While “BO” as you put it may have had some whoppers (you can keep your own doc) but nobody, NOBODY lies with the frequency of DJT (Finish the wall – really? Not a single item constructed yet). And the lies are so easily exposed. Thousands of lies spewed since he pushed for polices that have accelerated the disassembly of the American Dream.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenn

        “…BO lying about healthcare” – I seem to remember someone promising he had a great plan for healthcare that would cover everyone, with much better coverage than “Obamacare,” and, at a fraction of the cost. And then… nada. He never had a plan at all. The only response: “Who knew healthcare was so complicated!”

      • 0 avatar
        vehic1

        You have to really work at it – to dig below the mountain of garbage that BoneSpurs – he of the 40% – emits daily.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/11/buick-cascada-not-chrysler-200-convertible-rental-queen-thought-itd/

    …On sale since January, the Buick Cascada has attracted 6,154 individual U.S. buyers over the last ten months.

    According to Buick, General Motors has only seen three Cascadas make their way into fleet use, for a total of 6,157 Cascada sales through the end of October….

    • 0 avatar

      cheap trick.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I pity the fleet manager called to explain why he just bought a bunch of two ton cars with 1.6 liter turbo engines that even Germans don’t consider to be quality products. No thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’ve found a good way to figure out whether a car’s a fleet queen or not is to look up used ones on cars.com/autotrader and pull up the carfax.

      I did a search for them within 500 miles of Denver, and haven’t found one so far that’s an ex-renter. If you try the same kind of search on, say, a Camry, you’ll get a very different result.

      Anecdotal, to be sure, but I think this car wasn’t actually a fleet queen – it was just a lousy seller.

  • avatar
    GM JUNK

    So long Volkswagen Eos, err Buick Cascada. We hardly knew ye.

  • avatar

    PSA will be getting a lot of Opel talent, which basically means PSA will easily surpass GM in car design and manufacturing in the near future. In fact nearly all the major car manufacturers are surpassing GM in car production. Is GM either willing or capable of producing something as nice as the Maxima?

    Barra is the new captain of the titanic.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      GM never successfully competed w/ the Japanese in the subcompact, then compact and then midsize market.
      Full size sedans aren’t much of a market.

      Maxima? Do people even consider Maxima’s? The current gen is as poorly rendered as anything out there and I’d bet sales reflect that.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        lol the only time I think of Maxima is when I see that the nearest CarMax is flooded with them and I could pick one up for pennies on the dollar.

        I don’t think the Impala (as an example) would somehow be better if it had a CVT.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Meanwhile the Verano mostly doubled Acura ILX in sales until SUV crazy took over and the Encore is doing what Acura CD-X should be.

        ILX…who?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yeah, they REALLY need a Maxima, because those are just flying off the lots.

      (Maxima volume fell *70%* a month after Nissan curtailed rental sales.)

      Jatz had it right above. I think we’d be better off discussing cars with a 7 year old.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        that product currently called Maxima is hideous but distinctive

        I have to guess they were desperate for distinctive

        • 0 avatar

          Let’s be honest GM produces nothing competitive with the current Maxima. My point is GM no longer can compete with any of the Japanese family sedans. Barra has turned GM into a second tier car company unable to produce anything other than SUVs and a few cars. What she has done to GM is criminal.

          • 0 avatar
            Bill Wade

            What a long line of management and employees did to GM is criminal, not just the latest leader.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Maxima? Really? What did become to the 4DSC? Well, turning it into something that looks like an Altima that was fattened and then had a stint in an Iron Maiden did noting for the cause. And you beat up on the Impala? Wow. I don’t share the “Nissan-is-a-rolling-500-credit-score” meme bleated here all time but the Max is a ghost of its former glory.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Yes, something competitive with the current Maxima. A fleet queen premium car (admittedly one of my favorites to get the keys to) that depreciates faster than almost anything you can buy. A fullsize, ehem, “sports sedan,” with a CVT transmission with a reputation for self-destruction.

            Thank goodness GM doesn’t make anything that…competes…with the Maxima.

            Oh ya, and the 2019 LaCrosse? It’s faster 0-60 then the Maxima too and can fit five humans. So grandpa’s Buick wins the traffic light sprint.

            Triggered response in 3, 2, 1…

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Even with the S/S system the Lacrosse pulverizes the Maxima.

          • 0 avatar
            jpolicke

            Barra took a dead car company and brought it back to a second tier company. Not that I would buy anything they sell, but that’s something.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            I guess akear missed the fall of the Japanese sedan article this week?

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      akear

      PSA is gutting Opel. All future vehicles will be based off of PSA designs. Those German engineers will soon be on the unemployment line.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      akear

      PSA is gutting Opel. All future vehicles will be based on PSA designs. Those German engineers who couldn’t design a vehicle that sells well in Germany will soon find themselves on unemployment.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am going to take the contrary view on the Cascada. I don’t think it is as much that the Cascada is so undesirable that no one wants it, more like that GM had no intention of the Cascada being a big seller or it surviving as a product. More like it is a market for more production of a model just like the Regal from a division of your company. Once Opel was sold then why buy a vehicle from a company you no longer own. Eventually the Regal will go as well since it is made by Opel and it as well has not been aggressively marketed. This is just like the Chevy SS once you close the Holden production operations in Australia why even bother.

    Buick is now left with the Encore (a Daewoo product), a Chinese made Endeavor, and the only USA made Buick, the Enclave. Buick is a dead brand walking in the USA with the purpose of being an outlet to sell the more profitable GMCs. The reason Buick wasn’t axed instead of Pontiac is because Buick sells in China. Don’t interpret my comments as that I don’t like Buicks I did at one time but the reputation of Buick as a brand just below Cadillac in status has been eroded. Three remaining models of crossovers hardly is a successful brand. Maybe Buick is better off being a Chinese exclusive product instead of selling tarted up Chevies.

    Peter Gazis you brought up another reason for GM to phase out Opel made Buicks. Under PSA ownership Opel is going to get gutted and eventually there will be no Cascada and Regals to sell anyway so why bother offering them.

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      Yeah, Buick is in a spot of trouble. Encore will be fine, so will Enclave. But there isn’t any room now at Spring Hill to bring Envision or a Compact stateside and I’ve heard nothing about a Malibu based Regal.
      Are they going to turn into the Trojan horse for Chinese made GM vehicles. I would be very disappointed if so. Ms. Barra has done a fantastic job so far turning GM stateside back into a respectable profitable car company, but Buick and Cadillac have a way to go.

  • avatar
    markf

    Looks like the early to mid 2000s VW convertible. Eos I think? Total chick car….

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Shame to see any convertible go, but this one won’t be missed.

  • avatar

    Apparently, PSA has turned Opel around in just a year’s time. This is something GM management simply could not do. This perfectly illustrates that GM management simply is not effective. The article below also claims wall street and its stockholders give GM little flexibility. How long will it be until PSA drops GM to fifth place in international sales. Remember, people never thought Nissan will surpass GM in global sales.

    https://europe.autonews.com/article/20180829/ANE/180829754/how-psa-turned-around-opel-gm-s-german-castoff

  • avatar
    SavageATL

    Look, I love a relaxed fit convertible. I had a ’93 Cutlass and before that an ’86 Aries. Sometimes you just want a nice four seater convertible with a useable back seat and trunk, a segment nicely filled at one point by the Solara/LeBaron/Sebring. The Camaro is too silly, the Germans are too expensive/fragile/cramped, and the Mustang is too small.

    The Cascada had the Opel build against it (I had a Catera, so nope) then it had no useable back seat and it was ugly inside with cheap, ugly black plastics. GM hasn’t built a car I would be remotely interested in buying in years and doesn’t seem likely to.

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