By on October 7, 2019

2018 Buick Cascada Carrageen - Image: General Motors

Arguably the most interesting — or at least atypical ⁠— Buick in the brand’s lineup, the Cascada was a European creation that wore many badges. And now it’s truly, definitively dead.

Unlike the recent deep-sixing of the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Cruze, the last Cascada to roll off Opel’s Polish assembly line did so with little fanfare. Perhaps a few autoworkers raised a tallboy of Tatra after work, we don’t know. For Opel parent PSA Groupe, the ceasing of Cascada production is akin to sweeping old cobwebs away in preparation for new wallpaper.

But what a life it had.

Appearing in North America in 2016, the Cascada brought room for four sun-loving occupants and an odd 1.6-liter turbo that seemed out of place in the segment, but right at home in its European birthplace. Once General Motors punted its European operations to the French, the Cascada’s future looked grim. Amid declining sales and a need to free up plant space for new product, the quick-moving, suddenly profitable PSA Groupe signed the Cascada’s death warrant earlier this year.

According to GM Authority, the last drop-top Buick left the factory sometime before the end of the second quarter of 2019. It seems no one posted a death notice in the local paper.

2016 Buick Cascada

Dealers were told back in February to get their orders in before it was too late. At the time, Buick talked up the Cascada’s ability to lure outside buyers to the brand, though most still think of the model as a rental fleet darling.

Built to fill a niche role, the Cascada was something of a spiritual successor to the defunct Chrysler Sebring/200 convertible ⁠— a reasonably priced non-sports-car ragtop that afforded owners (or renters) easy cruising on warm summer nights. Performance was not a selling point with these cars.

And while the Cascada’s hefty weight and small engine didn’t add up to great fleet-footedness or fuel economy, reviewers tended to go easy on the German-American product. It was at least an interesting Buick, you see. Sales were slow from the outset, with the Cascada only recording a single four-figure sales month (April 2016).

2018 Buick Cascada Dark Moon Blue - Image: General Motors

For those saddened by the Cascada’s death, it’s probably no comfort to hear that the next Buick to appear on our shores is a small crossover with not one, but two three-cylinder engine options. Oh well — there’s still a dwindling handful of Cascadas out there to satisfy dreams of sunset cruises along the Gulf shore. Buick sold 400 of them last quarter. Through September, some 2,458 Cascadas found buyers in the U.S.

As the brand prepares for the introduction of the Encore GX, the only passenger car left in production is the Regal, offered as a sedan-like liftback or wagon. The Detroit-built LaCrosse full-size sedan sadly bit the dust earlier this year. Tears shed over both the LaCrosse and Cascada probably haven’t stained the carpets of the C-suite offices in the Renaissance Centre, as the only vehicles with sales momentum appear to be those offering raised seating positions and optional all-wheel drive.

Year to date, sales of the Buick Encore are up 6 percent, while the larger Envision and still-larger Enclave are up 9.9 and 16.4 percent, respectively.

[Image: General Motors]

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32 Comments on “RIP, Buick/Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Cascada...”


  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ve actually seen a couple Cascadas out and about recently – mostly within the last month. I have not seen a single Regal TourX in that time.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I saw a black Cascada (with black top) at Walmart yesterday. I see Cascadas occasionally, but I’ve never seen a TourX.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I did the other day on the highway, first and only I have laid eyes on.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Total Cascada production was roughly 20,000

        Total 2018-2019 Regal (including TourX) isn’t that much higher.

        On my 3000 mile family vacation in late June early July – I saw THREE Cascada’s and NO current Gen Regals.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I did actually see a TourX in red last week. Thought it looked nice.

          My guess is that the Regal goes away after the 2020 M/Y.

          As noted elsewhere in these comments, GM should just kill any non-Caddy/‘Vette cars, and just sell the wagons-on-stilts!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Like I said, I actually test-drove a Regal TourX, before buying a Tiguan, but I didn’t like the seating position, and the Buick/GMC salespeople made me squirm. Part of what I look for in a car is a good dealership experience, and I have not found that to be the case with Ford, GM or FCA brands, having owned all three recently.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      i see a lot of tourx here in tx.
      and they all seem to be the beautiful black or dark blue.
      they look stunning.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Is PSA going to kill off the Opel brand?

    • 0 avatar

      It only makes sense. I think they might run a few years of Peugeots badged as Opel. But that’ll be it. It’s in direct competition with PSA vehicles wherever sold.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      >>Is PSA going to kill off the Opel brand?<<

      When PSA bought Opel, Tavares said he wanted the Opel brand because some people will simply not buy a French car.

      Then PSA did a survey in the US and the survey said Peugeot had a better reputation than Opel, so, if we see PSA products here, they will be badged as Peugeots, which makes nonsense out of Tavares' entire case for buying Opel.

      • 0 avatar
        Tstag

        PSA won’t kill off the Opel or Vauxhall brands. Between them they sell about as many cars as Peugeot. Killing them off would be counter productive.

        If there’s a question mark it’s over Vauxhall. Vauxhall actually has more market share in its respective UK market than Opel does in any other market. But there are two questions with Vauxhall. The first is would a hard Brexit mean the closure of its Uk factories and then a decision to rebrand to Opel. The second is does PSA attempt to introduce Opel into the UK market whilst taking Vauxhall into the EU as a Premium English car brand. PSA is known to want more market share at the premium end and that may be a route forward.

        That said Opel / Vauxhall is now profitable and doing well so neither should go anywhere.

  • avatar

    This is certainly a Florida car with the middle-aged+ Florida buyer in mind. That said, it certainly offered conquest customers to a Buick/GMC store and still transacts at a high price.

    Its a successor to the 200 ONLY in that its a loafy 2+2 convertible. The 200 was garbage, built like garbage from garbage parts. This is/was an actual automobile.

    Also, I don’t get the rental fleet comments about these things. To date, I haven’t seen a single one as a rental plodding around. Plenty of Mustangs and Camaro ragtops, though. And after browsing my Enterpise/Hertz run lists, I only see four Cascadas for wholesale. Compare to eight X3s.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “wallpaper.”

    Oh I’m triggered now. This stuff is literally the devil.

  • avatar

    Sigh, Barra days….

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Buick began this long, slow slide into oblivion when they discontinued the most Buick-y of Buicks, the LeSabre.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Surprised by the continued persistence of the vroom-crunch Mustang in rental fleets when this was available. I guess importing from Europe didn’t allow much room for fleet discounts.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I more considered this as a successor to the SAAB 900, although the SAAB had a more usable back seat.

  • avatar

    I always thought they should have used the Skylark name for these. It really is very attractively styled.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    fwiw, I have been seeing a new Buick ad the last couple weeks, touting all the electronic nannies the cars have.

    The ad only shows the 3 SUVs. No Regal.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    convertibles were not practical but sexy

    this Opel combines impracticality w/ not sexy – it’s just a little less bathtub-like than the Murano cabriolet

    the thing had flop written all over it from the start and this Opel orphan did not help GM’s Encore division at all

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1 this

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      I think Nissan was on to something with the Murano CrossCabriolet, despite it looking like a bad joke at first. If today’s buyers only move for tall wagons, then why not dress up a tall wagon by chopping its roof off?

      Mark my words, BMW and Porsche are edging closer and closer to pulling off a CrossCabriolet of their own and people are gonna go ga-ga over it. Partly because of the badge, but also because German/Euro styling has that certain something that Japanese designs lack.


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