Opel to get next-gen Buick Enclave and LaCrosse

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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