The affordable four-seat convertible has become a largely forgotten genre in the States, especially with the death of the Chrysler 200 Convertible. Of course, there are still premium options from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – not to mention more overtly performance-oriented droptop pony cars from Chevrolet and Ford – but if you want an affordable cruiser, you're kind of out of luck. That may be about to change, however, with renewed rumors of the Opel Cascada (pictured above) making
MISC 2013 Opel Cascada News
It's difficult to overstate how significant the post-bankruptcy years have been for General Motors' Buick brand. Arguably the most improved American automaker, Buick has rounded out its range with an excellent compact in the Verano, a well-balanced midsizer in the Regal and a segment-busting mini-CUV, with the Encore.
Holden, General Motor's Australian arm, is just beginning a major transition. The automaker announced late last year that it would end local production in 2017. But recently, Gerry Dorizas, its new managing director, boldly declared that the marque is gunning to lead the country in market share by 2020. His plan is to launch more youth-focused products and improve the brand's dealers to do it. We're seeing the first steps in that plan with the addition of three imported models to the Holden line
Opel, General Motors' troubled German brand continues its quest to reinvent itself and find solid profitability. In the course of that metamorphosis, the company has a bit of good news/bad news today. The good news is, it will once again begin screwing together Buick models for the American market. The bad news, though, is that it's being shut down in yet another country, China.
General Motors has toyed with a variety of ways to sell Opel products outside of continental Europe, sending them to the UK as Vauxhall products, to Australia with Holden badges, and even back to North America as Saturn models. But these days, Opel has been cozying up to Buick. That's how models like the Insignia (rebadged as Regal) and Mokka (sold here as Encore) make their way to American showrooms, but it doesn't look like GM is about to stop there.
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.
According to Automotive News, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has his eye on a couple of overseas models for Buick. The General's funky Opel Adam subcompact and Cascada four-place convertible are apparently on the executive's wish list, as he openly expressed regret that they weren't developed for the US during an investor conference earlier this month.
We got our first glimpse at the Opel Cascada convertible way back in October, but General Motors' European arm is just now getting the chance to show it off here at the Geneva Motor Show a full four and a half months later. The kicker with this droptop Opel is that rumor has it GM is considering a convertible for the Buick brand here in the States, and this Cascada would indeed be a good fit.
As we reported earlier, there has been much speculation regarding a Buick convertible of sorts. The most ringing endorsement of this conjecture comes today from General Motors Europe, as the new Opel Cascada has debuted on the interwebs. Opel calls the four-passenger Cascada an "athletic, glamorous midsize convertible." With a length of 4,697mm (185 in.), the Cascada is as long as an Audi A5, to which GM has said it would be slightly larger.
It seems like every couple of years or so, some rumor emerges speculating that Buick will be getting a convertible, and the Tri-Shield brand has even helped out the rumormill with various topless concepts. We wonder if Buick might finally be able to get its first convertible in more than 20 years following the introduction of the Vauxhall Cascada later this month.
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