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Buick to use Velite name for its Cascada?

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Ever since Opel brought out the Cascada convertible last year, rumors have been flying that Buick would offer it Stateside – much like it does with the Insignia-based Regal and the Astra-based Verano. And now we might have our best clue yet as to what Buick might call it.

According to GM Authority, General Motors has filed to use the name Velite on a new model. The name first appeared on a convertible concept unveiled over a decade ago at the 2004 New York Auto Show (pictured above), but GM reportedly opened an application to trademark the nameplate for production in 2011, seeking extensions on its application every six months since.

Of course the fact that it's applied for its fifth extension (of a permissible six) doesn't necessarily mean that GM will ultimately bring the cabriolet to US showrooms, or that it will use the Velite name if it does, but the fact that GM is keeping the name alive could be a good sign.

The market for relaxed four-seat convertibles has been shrinking, leaving it up to drop-top muscle cars like the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. But with entries like the Toyota Camry Solara, Volkswagen Eos and Chrysler 200 Convertible having dropped off the market, the Buick Velite (or Cascada, or whatever it's ultimately called) could have the sedate cabriolet segment all to itself – even if (or especially if) Lexus dealers aren't interested in touching it.

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