Buick Enclave and LaCrosse – Click either image for high-res gallery

2011 buick lacrosseTo help build the Buick brand, General Motors has turned the Opel Insignia into a Buick Regal, and in the fall, the Astra will become the 2012 Verano. These new products are proving to be a shot in the arm for Buick, but will the magic work the other way around?

According to a new report by GMInsideNews, we may soon find out. The site claims that The General will make room in the Opel lineup for the next Buick Enclave and LaCrosse. The move would likely make sense from a cost perspective, giving GM economies of scale thanks to increased production, while also adding to the Opel lineup without significant engineering expenditures. The General could also take advantage of its global footprint by building the Opel version of the LaCrosse or Enclave in the U.S. or even China, where labor is cheaper than in Germany.

Can GM succeed in turning the LaCrosse and Enclave into future Opel models? Hard to say, really. On one hand, if GM pursues this path, it will likely reap substantial savings from shared engineering costs between Buick and Opel. On the other hand, the Enclave and LaCrosse are quite large for most European cities and tastes, and GM will need to offer competent diesel and four-cylinder petrol powertrains for the models to have a shot at strong sales.



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  • 34 Comments
      Glynn Hadskey
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would imagine these would be sold a up scale cars. There are plenty of big luxury cars in Europe.
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Glynn Hadskey
        just one problem. noone buys big american luxury cars in europe. and opel is NOT a luxury brand either.
          Lowland
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Lachmund
          I wouldn't say no one... It's rare but not that rare to see large American luxo barges on the roads here. You guys need to stop generalizing about an entire continent. The markets and tastes differ from country to country, same as they do between the USA and Venezuela.
      Kai F. Lahmann
      • 3 Years Ago
      LOL? Opel has problems selling the Insignia and totally fails to sell the Antara (4,6m SUV) - and now they are planning even bigger models?
        Commodore
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kai F. Lahmann
        The Antara doesn't have problems to sell because it's big, but because it's total garbage. Like I said, rebadged cars only help to destroy what's left of Opels once good image. They need a new flagship, but not rebadged crap that wasn't developed with the Euro market in mind.
      rocketmoose
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope not. They look ugly as sin.
      eric
      • 3 Years Ago
      "...and in the fall, the Astra will become the 2012 Verano." Autoblog might as well change that to read the Saturn Ion will become the Verano. Or the Cobalt, the HHR, or Cruze. While all of them including the Astra share the same basic Delta platform, Autoblog contributors keep incorrectly posting that the Astra = Verano. No, it doesn't. Same platform and some shared components sure, but the initial Verano sedan is far from being the same car.
        undeadMonkey93
        • 3 Years Ago
        @eric
        Compare the Verano side profile and interior to the Astra. The Verano is pretty much a saloon version of the Astra with a new face. China is also getting the hatch version too > http://www.autoblog.com/2009/11/30/new-buick-excelle-debuts-in-china-sedan-coming-to-america-soon/
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        @eric
        the verano is exactly the same car as the astra sedan, except for cosmetic changes. the other cars you mentioned are not.
          eric
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Lachmund
          Hmm... what Astra sedan? Right, they don't make one yet. The Verano uses the same Delta platform as all the cars previously mentioned. As it shares platform and many hard points in the chassis with the Astra there are similarities, but it was for the most part engineered for the Chinese market Buick sedan and not as an Opel Astra. The previous generation Astra sedan did share a similar design to the last gen Astra 5-door. If you look it up, pay attention to the roofline and then look at the Cobalt sedan's roofline, wheelbase, etc. Are they the same cars just because they have similarities? No, just like the Verano isn't an Astra. The main point is that they're all Delta/Delta-II cars and share many similarities. Just because the platform is used by Opel for the Astra doesn't mean the Verano is a badge engineered European Astra and it shouldn't be called as such. It starts with the same platform and has many of the now current corporate design themes but is closer related to the upcoming Chinese market Excelle GT. That car is a Delta-II sedan variant designed primarily for that market while their Buick Excelle XT is a badge engineered Astra hatch, and the Verano is a GT clone, not an XT.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @eric
        "Same platform and some shared components sure, but the initial Verano sedan is far from being the same car." The Verano is actually a three-box version of the Astra. It uses the same platform, doors, interior, and the Chinese model uses the same engines too.
      Jac Zobel de Ayala
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a cross-eyed tadpole.
      Commodore
      • 3 Years Ago
      Opel doesn't need the LaCrosse, it needs a new RWD Omega. GM has improved in many ways, but this "cost-cutting on important cars" garbage is what destroyed the old GM. Just let Opel do what they want to do, they understand the Euro market much better than GM.
      Arkz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Experience shows that American cars in Europe are generally more expensive than European or Asian cars. In addition, SUVs do not sell well here anyway, plus, it's a fair bet that they won't bother making a wagon version of the LaCrosse while every other Opel that comes in sedan form is also offered in wagon guise. So, all-in-all, I can't see this ending well.
      Zoom
      • 3 Years Ago
      This has reverse Mondeo-Contour syndrome written all over it. You can't take a single-market product, slap a new grille on it, and assume another market will eat it up. Unless it's a truly global platform, designed at the outset for all intended unique markets, it's hard to see this as being successful.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        I will have to agree with this. The Enclave is HUGE, and vehicles that large are generally undesireable in Europe. Parking spaces are smaller, streets are narrower, and garages (if people have them) won't fit this thing at ALL. Heck, the LaCrosse is a big vehicle too.
          Chris Olden
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          There's a lot of truth to what you said, except for the part about narrow streets and garages. Europe's far more than Italian cities and villages :) You won't have any trouble parking a car like this in Northern Europe... YMMV
          undeadMonkey93
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Plus the death of cars like the Omega and Scorpio proves that Europeans don't want executive saloons from brands like this, so it seems a bit pointless adding a sedan to fit in above the Insignia.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          [blocked]
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just want to ad one thing: GM continues to destroy their only competitive brand like they did in the past. I hope this is just a rumor though.
      Joon-Yeop Bae
      • 3 Years Ago
      HYUNDAI VERACRUZ
      Lowland
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why aren't my comments showing??
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a very good thing. If Opel and Buick both get the next gen Enclave and Lacrosse, that means that both those vehicles will have a more international (especially German) flavor to them. That will hopefully mean that they will be more "driver's cars" with better handling/suspension and it could also keep them from getting too fat, since after all, the large cars that are commonplace in the US would never sell well in Europe.
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