Opel’s director of strategy Dr. Thomas Sedran recently told German auto industry publication Automobilwoche that the Opel Cascada could be exported as a Buick to China, and that such a vehicle would fill a gap in the American brand’s product lineup.
“There is a request from GM,” said Sedran in German (translated into English via Google Translate). The executive did mention, however, that even if the export venture came to fruition, the Cascada wouldn’t be exported in high volumes, citing 30,000 to 40,000 export units per year.
In 2012, GM Authority reported that Buick was in the process of obtaining a trademark for the word “Riviera”, possibly signaling the automaker’s desire to resurrect the storied nameplate used for the brand’s previous coupe offerings. And in 2007, Buick revealed a Riviera concept at the Shanghai Motor Show in China; the vehicle was based on GM’s midsize Epsilon vehicle architecture and didn’t appear on the auto show circuit after that.
But when Opel unveiled the Astra-based Cascada convertible riding on GM’s compact Delta vehicle architecture, Buick enthusiasts expressed great interest in such making its way to North America wearing Buick’s famed Tri Shield badge. That kind of offering would fill an explicit gap in the Buick product portfolio since the brand hasn’t offered a two-door model since 1999, when the last-generation Riviera was discontinued. As such, a beautiful and elegant soft-top convertible such as the Cascada would seem right at home as a Buick, especially given GM’s global alignment of the Opel and Buick brands. But exporting to China is one thing… how about bringing it to North America?
Hat tip to GM Authority reader The German.