• Jan 28, 2009
Click above for high-res image gallery of the Chinese-spec Buick Regal

GM might make a swap in its European production plans, shifting Buick assembly to Opel and Saab assembly to Sweden. Names of the models in question haven't been mentioned, but the Opel Insignia, Chinese-spec Buick Regal and coming Saab 9-5 are all built on GM's Epsilon II platform.

The original plan was to produce the Saab 9-5 in Sweden, and Saab has been studying the Trollhatten factory's viability for the task. Factory representatives at the Russelsheim plant have also been lobbying for more cars to produce, thinking the operation underutilized, and they would certainly be building more Buicks than Saabs. And if other rumors are correct, it would keep siblings that GM plans to bring closer together - Opel and Buick - under the same roof.

The swap, which would mean not building any new Saabs in Germany, would also send 9-3 production to Sweden. Sending 9-5 production there as well could also be seen as another step in extricating Saab from GM's web to assist in efforts to find a buyer for the brand.


[Source: Reuters]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmmmm...this could get interesting. Could this lead to the introduction of Buick in Europe? If so, won't that conflict too much with Opel?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Opel already IS buick/saturn/holden in Europe. Vauxhall in GB is the same thing.

        The badges change, but the cars stay the same.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @BoxerFanatic:
        No...the Buick LaCrosse and the Opel Insignia may share the same platform, but they don't share the same sheetmetal, interior, or engine choices. Also, no H-body (Lucerne) or Lambda-platform (Enclave) vehicle is yet available as an Opel.
      • 5 Years Ago

      What about a new Buick Grand National based on the RWD Pontiac G8?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Autoblog's truncated recap of the original article assumes everyone knows Opels are made in Germany. I kept reading trying to figure out where Germany played a part, reading the actual linked article cleared that up in the first sentence.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The misspelling of Trollhättan into Trollhatten is hillarious because it turned the towns name into "magic hat".
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I laughed when I saw that! :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      This Regal not bad, headlamps not entirely to my taste, but I definitely appreciate the car. So, GM cAn actually build nice cars, just can't sell them in America.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Regal was approved for America 2 weeks ago. GM says it will be here by 2011.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Folks, you've got it all backwards.

      The car you see before you is nothing but an Opel/Vauxhall Insignia with a Buick grille. This car will be sold ALONGSIDE the LaCrosse in China. The LaCrosse is to be built on the Epsilon II+ chassis, while the Insignia/Regal will be built on the standard Epsilon II chassis. One is simply a stretched version of the other with different styling and a more upscale interior.

      The Opel/Vauxhall-based Regal will be built in Russelsheim for the Chinese market, while the GM China/GMNA-designed LaCrosse will be built in China and North America, for their own respective markets.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM has a big problem it has too many brands its spending too much money trying to make diffrent cars out of the same car. Just look at Vauxhall and Opel, its exactly the same car just a diffrent badge and Toyota must be laughing its socks off all the way to the bank. Also look at the Volt now GM has design a new Opel car as well instead of just making the same chevy for the rest of the world and you wonder why they are leaking money so badly. Look at Toyota, you can get a Prius in Japan or in Europe or in the US which is designed the same made the same.Guess what they dontg ahve tgo spend millions of redesigin the same car with a diffrent badge and they dont have to run millinos worth of ads. GM has not learnt anything at all by the looks of it the directors are just happy to take the tax payers money and keep cashing in and laying off the works. While keep enjoying their luxurious lives. Enough Said.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can't sell Buick here, then try the Fatherland.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The interior looks like a Pontiac.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Opel already IS buick/saturn/holden in Europe. Vauxhall in GB is the same thing.

      The badges change, but the cars stay the same."


      That is not strictly correct. GM Europe commission the products. Most of the development and engineering work is performed at Opel, some of it at Vauxhall's Millbrook and Birmingham facilities, some of it at GM-DAT in Korea. Planst across the UK and continental Europe build many of the cars with Vauxhall badging for the UK, Opel for ROI, continental Europe and other global markets, Chevrolet for Latin America, some end up as Saturns in North America, some as Holdens for Australasia, although Holden are now sourcing more products from GM-DAT instead. Furthermore, there are trim and engineering differences for different markets.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally a good decision on GM's part since the American designers of GM seriously just don't get it and failing to understand that this is a new world in which we live in. it's not the 80's or 70's anymore where the mindset of many thought that the foreign cars are nothing but cheap knockoffs of American cars. GM let Buick become so saturated with boring blandtastic "old fart loyalist" designs, and coushy cloud like handling on most cars that Buick became "THE" brand for the older generation, or people who don't care what they drive and just want something cheap to get them from point a to b.

      For a very long time GM did not understand that most people of the younger generation want something a little more fun and sporty, which also meant that there were much more better alternatives (American or foreign) available and at a decent price. I'm sorry but the last gen supercharged Regal "in whatever so-called sport trim" was quite a sad car, being that it only faired a tad bit better than the Dodge Intrepid. The Lacross, though being a good attempt, still needs a lot of work to be competitive amongst the foreign competition. I know there will be GM fanboys who totally disagree with me but that is fine. Just keep in mind that if you think your, or any Buick car sold the last few years here in America is "so awesome and everything else sucks" then how many of your favorite cars that you praise will actually sell around the world? You may not care what others think about your favorite car but that "not caring" mentality is one of the many reasons why GM is slowly falling apart. You and they have no choice but to care. In fact it should be their #1 priority to care about that in order to truly succeed and be on top again.

      Maybe now that Buick design, to say the least, will no longer be influenced by lobbyist, old farts that are still stuck in the 80's, 70's, and 60's, and worse of all Bob Klutz Lutz. We might actually associate "fun" with Buick once again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Umm JF You really have a lot to learn about what I mean when I say "sporty".

        I meant sporty as in aerodynamic, sleek, and has a very low drag coefficient, even if it is a tiny bit curvy, instead of boxy, plain, and bland. I'm not sure if all will agree if sporty can be associated with wagons sold in America or hatchbacks, which some here seem to think it is just a squeezed in wagon.

        I am talking more about coupe like styling, for example like the Volkswagen CC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "For a very long time GM did not understand that most people of the younger generation want something a little more fun and sporty"

        Umm, no. If American's wanted something sporty, they would be buying more hatches and wagons, and less "crossover" suvs and traditional suvs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This would be very cool if they brought Buick to Germany. Buick's a really great Brand.
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