The Opel Astra notchback sedan has completed its round-the-world trip. General Motors has based its latest compact on the Delta II platform. Designed by its studios in the U.S. and Asia, it was first sold as the Chinese-market Buick Excelle GT and then in the U.S. as the Buick Verano. Now it joins the Astra five-door hatch, Astra wagon and three-door Astra GTC as the fourth member of the lineup, going on sale later this month in European markets.
What is purported to be a new GT version of the Buick Excelle has been spotted out and about in China. The Excelle, you may recall, is a four door version of the Opel Astra. Buick has already said that the car will be coming to North America at some point, although we don't know exactly when or what badge it will wear. The current top engine in the Excelle XT is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four that pumps out 184 horsepower.
Judging by the positive reception the Chinese-marketed Buicks have been receiving here in the States, GM would be ill-advised to continue offering the same warmed-over products that it's been selling over the past decade. According to Automotive News, the General sees the writing on the wall and intends to go global with the new look of Buick, originally shown at the Shanghai Motor Show in the shape of the Riviera concept.
The Daewoo Lacetti has given General Motors a true World Car that is selling well all around the world. The car is currently known as the Chevrolet Lacetti in Europe, the Holden Viva in Australia, the Suzuki Forenza in the U.S. and the Buick Excelle in China.