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Old 12-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Buick Could Get Opel Design: Latest strategy is fluid, like GM's future



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Just before the Detroit Three presented their loan guarantee/bailout proposals to Congress, Motor Trend learned that General Motors would shift Opel's design language from Saturn to Buick. Now we know why.


In the short period between the credit crisis beginning in mid-September and the Capitol Hill appearance in December, GM hatched a plan to weed down its eight North American divisions. It will try to sell Saab and says it's progressing on a deal to sell Hummer.



It will "explore alternatives" for Saturn. That sounds like plans to kill off the division, although Saturn's 400 dealers are considered the best franchises in the corporation. And it will "downsize" Pontiac into a "specialty" car brand, to remain within the Pontiac-Buick-GMC sales channel.


Thus, merging Buick design with Opel make even more sense. With plans for a big splash with the new Chevrolet Cruze, which launches in Europe this April, a full year ahead of its North American debut, GM will push Opel's image back up to a middle-upscale brand. Opel wouldn't be as upscale as Mercedes-Benz or BMW, but would target the lower end of Audi -- or where Audi has been until recently.


The change also makes sense for GM's Chinese strategy. Opel Corsas and Astras already are badge-engineered as Buicks there. Like the current Opel-based Saturns, Buicks for China and the U.S. would be designed with different grilles and trim to distinguish them from European Opels.



There is a history here: Opels were designed in Buick's studio until the late 1960s. With its voluptuous lines, the new Opel Insignia in fact would make a better Buick than a Saturn.


This comes with a huge caveat: The strategy was being developed as the Detroit Three got a second chance at a loan guarantee bailout, the request now inflated from $25 billion to $34 billion. GM said it needed $4 billion to get through the end of 2008 and another $4 billion just to make it through January. If GM has made it this far, its future calls for a North American middle-priced channel consisting of Opel-based Buicks, a small fleet of sporty and affordable Pontiacs, and more crossovers for GMC.
http://www.motortrend.com/features/a...urn/index.html
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:43 PM   #2
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I could totally see that becoming a Buick. Minimal changes needed.
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:07 PM   #3
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noooooo, please don't. Don't ruin Opel's image by calling it "the car for old people with bad hips"
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:29 AM   #4
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I present to you...

THE NEW BUICK LESABRE


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Old 12-19-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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That Opel is a nice looking car...
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:01 AM   #6
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I can see it as a Buick too. And maybe this will open doors to young buyers that Buick needs. The Buick Astra doesn't sound so bad either
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:30 AM   #7
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I suppose it will be fine as long as GM does not touch a part on this car, but we all know that this will not happen. It will be watered down to the last bolt.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br0wnb0y View Post
I present to you...

THE NEW BUICK LESABRE


not even, just change the badge.

Definitely could be the new LaCrosse.

Nick
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:22 AM   #9
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This is a crying shame. Opel is not a soft cushy car company. They make sporty family vehicles with enthusiast versions available. This kids, means there may never be an Insignia 2.8 V6 Turbo 6 speed manual, which would have made a very nice Aura Redline.

As said, it wont be the same car anyway. 80 year olds cant actually see or feel the difference between leather and plastic, and say things like "If I wanted to feel the road, I'd get out and (use my) walk(er)."
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
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this does suck, ive owned 3 opels- opel kadett GSI superboss(155kw non turbo)
opel astra 1.8i (2.0 16v worked moter 135Kw)
opel corsa truck 1.6( with the above motor in it)

cant believe they gonna rebadge them here as biucks.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigElm View Post
I can see it as a Buick too. And maybe this will open doors to young buyers that Buick needs. The Buick Astra doesn't sound so bad either
And that is FTW

Everyone associates Buick with old people, and yet 10 years ago nobody our age would consider a Cadillac, just food for thought.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hondaslayer View Post
And that is FTW

Everyone associates Buick with old people, and yet 10 years ago nobody our age would consider a Cadillac, just food for thought.
Speak for yourself, I wold still not consider Caddilac
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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I would Rock a caddy in an instant.

An Opel badged as a Buick? ...sure..... why not?

People focused on badges make me laugh, i'm really considering a G8...maybe a GXP ....... it sure as heck has nothing to do with the Red arrow!
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br0wnb0y View Post
I present to you...

THE NEW BUICK LESABRE


I would rock that. I've loved that design since they introduced it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #15
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Caddy & Buick are old people brands - they need room for the walkers and wheel chairs etc. That will never change. You find me a single 30 something that owns a BMW and ask them if they ever looked at Buick or Cad and they'll look at you like your the dumbest person on the planet. Doesn't matter what sheetmetal GM slaps on them brand image is harder to change than the actual product its self. Buick and Cad will always be the old person boat in the US market.

Better yet not even my parents in their 60's would own either one. Why? Because they too associate those brands to old people - huge ugly cars etc. Which is why my Mom keeps asking me questions about the new Lexus cars. She drives a Nissan Altima right now and her mother who is 87 - just bought an Altima two years ago and freaking loves it. When you have 80+ yr olds who thought your social status went up when a caddie was parked in the driveway buys an Altima and freaking loves it - GM is in a world of hurt - sad part is their brand image is nearly impossible to change.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallymaniac View Post
noooooo, please don't. Don't ruin Opel's image by calling it "the car for old people with bad hips"
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:51 PM   #17
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Caddy & Buick are old people brands - they need room for the walkers and wheel chairs etc. That will never change. You find me a single 30 something that owns a BMW and ask them if they ever looked at Buick or Cad and they'll look at you like your the dumbest person on the planet. Doesn't matter what sheetmetal GM slaps on them brand image is harder to change than the actual product its self. Buick and Cad will always be the old person boat in the US market.

Better yet not even my parents in their 60's would own either one. Why? Because they too associate those brands to old people - huge ugly cars etc. Which is why my Mom keeps asking me questions about the new Lexus cars. She drives a Nissan Altima right now and her mother who is 87 - just bought an Altima two years ago and freaking loves it. When you have 80+ yr olds who thought your social status went up when a caddie was parked in the driveway buys an Altima and freaking loves it - GM is in a world of hurt - sad part is their brand image is nearly impossible to change.
Exactly,
Once you messed up your brand name/image it's really hard to rebuild.
Look how long it takes Hyundai to get into people's good graces, and their cars are acutally very good now.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiano View Post

People focused on badges make me laugh,
Yet companies spend billions of dollars a year on brand recognition and definition.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:31 PM   #19
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I'd rock that no matter what the badge! It's a nice looking car and if it came with some sort of sports package it would fit my family very well.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:42 AM   #20
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For all the Buick haters. The GSX is still the highest torque producing n/a V8 from any American car company.
You all are also forgetting about the Turbo Buicks of the 80's.

Nick
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:48 AM   #21
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^^^ That's what is so funny about it. The Grand National Turbo was built on essentially that same platform that got them the reputation for being an old people car. The first guy I ever worked for as a mechnic had a built up GNT that was probably the fastest straight line car that I've ever been in.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:50 PM   #22
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please don't....like oldsmobile, buick can never shake the old people car image in the US. just sell em to the chinese already!!!!!!
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Old 12-20-2008, 04:01 PM   #23
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the designs in the recent couple years have changed my mind about Buick. I'd take a Cadillac too. That Opel design makes me think "Audi". With the proper attention to detail and quality, that might be a nice move for Buick.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:05 AM   #24
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I remember my first ride in a Buick. It was a Regal T-type. Gotta love mid eighties turbo Buicks.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruFan View Post
Caddy & Buick are old people brands - they need room for the walkers and wheel chairs etc. That will never change. You find me a single 30 something that owns a BMW and ask them if they ever looked at Buick or Cad and they'll look at you like your the dumbest person on the planet. Doesn't matter what sheetmetal GM slaps on them brand image is harder to change than the actual product its self. Buick and Cad will always be the old person boat in the US market.
This is a prime example of ignorance.... Buick has branded it's vehicles based on what sold for them... Buick did not become 'old people's' vehicle until the late 80s, early 90's. I don't ever recall seeing 50, 60, 70 year old people driving Grand Nationals, Regals and such. When Buick got rid of these models, they got rid of the young crowd. They turn their focus on Fifth Avenues, Park Avenues, LeSabres and so on. BIG MISTAKE!!!

Cadillacs have always been tailored to middle and older aged consumers, because they were the ones that could afford such a vehicle. Times have changed... when GM/Cadillac introduced the Catera, their intent was to "motivate" younger buyers but it was a piece of crap. Now, GM has finally done some things right with their present Cadillacs and are tapping into the young buyers segment.

So while many of you were born into believing that Buicks were always an 'old peoples' car, don't know any better. I believe GM has a better chance of getting young buyers quicker into a Buick than a Cadillac because it already has history - whether you lived to see it or not. Seem like they're starting to do that with the Enclave, CTS, Escalades... Doesn't matter if SUV's or Crossovers isn't your thing.... it still sells to younger buyers. Alot of those Saturn buyers can be easily seen following these models into the Buick showroom IMO.
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