With Europe’s Opel emerging as the backbone of America’s Buick lineup by turning its Insignia and Astra models into the Regal and upcoming Verano here in the ‘States, it seemed that the Buick brand was slowly turning into a portfolio of German-engineered vehicles — not that it’s a bad thing, but it would in a sense turn the brand into a shadow of something unique, and become essentially to Opel what GMC is to Chevrolet. However, the latest word is that America’s Buick will be returning the favor to Opel, as both will share the next-generation Enclave crossover and LaCrosse sedan.
There’s a major financial benefit to this move, as minimal engineering and development costs combined with the ability to produce both Buick and Opel models on the same assembly line make the plan an easy sell. Additionally, if you consider Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke’s remarks that the his brand is planning a flagship to slot above the Insignia, these reports do in fact hold some water.
While this seems like a good idea, it does seem to further blur the line between the two brands in an all but too familiar Roger Smithian kind of way, even if they’re sold in separate continents. But the world is never perfect.
2011 Buick Envision Concept