13th September 2013
For a company with a long tradition of grand touring convertibles, it's almost unseemly that General Motors doesn't offer a properly relaxed four-seat convertible in North America. There's the Chevrolet Camaro, of course, but it's not big on rear-seat space and it doesn't offer that sort of serene demeanor that many open-air buyers crave. We're thinking of something more refined and, dare we say, elegant. Something a bit closer to the Opel Cascada.
The General's front-wheel drive convertible went on sale in Europe this year, and while it seemed like a natural fit for its Buick brand in America, it's never been sold here. That may be about to change, however. Back in June, CEO Dan Akerson hinted he'd like to see the Cascada available in the US, and now there's word from Edmunds that importation "could happen soon." That's according to an unnamed insider at the company.
It's almost unseemly that GM doesn't offer a relaxed four-seat convertible.
So why wasn't the car developed with our market in mind initially? Edmunds says we can blame GM's plans to sell off Opel-Vauxhall while in the teeth of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. Since the company planned to rid itself of the European division to begin with, it didn't see the benefit in spending the extra money to align the Cascada with our regulations. Of course, it later reversed that decision, so if it's to come to the US, some reengineering will be necessary.
The same goes for the Opel Adam shown below, a supermini that some - including Akerson - would like to see sold here. While we do expect the Cascada to grace US showrooms, it's unlikely the same fate awaits the Adam, as it would require even more extensive investment to federalize. Autoblog's own sources tell us that the chances of seeing the Adam come to America are all but nil.
One last curiosity: Edmunds reports that GM may once again import the Buick Regal from Europe. Back when it first launched the fifth-generation model in the States, it imported examples from its plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany. It did so until 2011, but then stopped as North American assembly came online in Oshawa, ON, which was less expensive. It isn't immediately clear why GM would consider restarting importation, especially as the Regal hasn't exactly been a hot seller.Permalink | Email this | Comments