General Motors’ strategy to more effectively merge Buick and Opel products could mean customers in North America and China will see more European design and engineering in an augmented range of new models by 2020.
According to a recent report from Reuters, GM is hoping to closely intertwine the two brands products in an attempt to save development costs and time. The company’s two new modular platforms, Global Delta (D2xx) and Global Epsilon (E2xx), will serve as the underpinnings for several upcoming Buick and Opel models. The Global Epsilon platform is being engineered in Warren, Michigan and will replace the platform currently used in the recently refreshed Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans. Meanwhile, smaller Global Delta family will include the replacement Opel Astra and Buick Verano.
GM’s new modular design approach will use common powertrain and chassis components, but will allow for flexibility in terms of the vehicles design and size. This will allow GM to share components among multiple models, including a broader range of vehicles better suited to individual markets in Europe and China.
GM hopes to position Buick and Opel as mid market luxury vehicles, in between entry level Chevrolet and upscale Cadillac.
“The Buick-Opel guiding principle of similar if not identical vehicles is the right thing to do.” said GM product development director Jim Federico in an interview with Bloomberg. “It makes it extremely clear for brand identity for Chevrolet and Cadillac and these Buick-Opel models fit right in the middle.”
It also echoes the words of Dan Akerson, who visualizes Buick, Opel and Vauxhall as being a type of hybrid global brand.