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.
If there are any lingering doubts why General Motors held onto Buick while killing Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, one only has to look at the sales numbers from 2013 for the real answer. Thanks largely to strong sales in China, Buick set a global sales record last year by selling more than one million vehicles.
2011 Buick Regal – Click above for high-res image gallery
2011 Buick Excelle XT - Click above for high-res image gallery
Next-gen Buick Excelle for China – Click above for high-res image gallery
Chinese-spec Buick Regal - Click above for high-res image gallery
These spy shots show a compact car that is rumored to be a baby Buick based on the same Delta II platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and next-gen Opel Astra. Just as the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse will share its platform with the next Saab 9-5 and Opel Insignia, this baby Buick would be one more model that helps General Motors increase the economies of scale for its small car platform.
While GM throws heritage names in the dustbin of history here in the U.S., some of the old names are alive and well in China. The Park Avenue soldiers on as a completely desirable Zeta-platform Holden import, and the still-available Regal looks like it may be primed to get a long-overdue refresh. China Car Times has posted a photo what appears to be a new Buick -- possibly the next Regal -- with its nose camo removed. Note the waterfall grille with the empty spot where the tri-shield would go. A