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Automotive News: GM taps Opel for future Buicks

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In an article by Jame LaReau in the March 9th Automotive News, "GM taps Opel for future Buicks," product sharing is discussed. To read the story click here or see the details below.

DETROIT — Even as General Motors explores the sale of Opel, it will tap its European unit as a source for future Buick sedans.

For the past two years, GM has shared Opel vehicles and design with Saturn. Sources familiar with GM's plans say those products now will go to Buick.

The Opel Insignia, due to go to Saturn as the redesigned 2010 Aura, will go to Buick as the 2010 Regal sedan in the United States, says a source familiar with GM's product plans.

"Opel is one of the brands that we're going to look at in terms of future sourcing," Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC, told Automotive News. "In fairness, we've got to look at everything.

"I wouldn't want to make a statement that all future Buicks we do will leverage the Opel platform because that wouldn't be true. The Enclave didn't use Opel nor did the new LaCrosse sedan. It's an avenue for us to explore, for sure."

But what happens to Buick's product plans if GM sells Opel?

"I don't know the details of what GM is trying to get done with that restructuring," Docherty said. "But even so, we'd stay with the idea that GM will utilize all of its global architectural platforms."

Another source close to GM says it would be in any future partner's best interest to honor the global architecture-sharing programs in place.

Docherty declined to comment specifically on Buick's getting the Opel Insignia. She said that as GM works to cut Pontiac's product offerings, the company can offer new Buick vehicles to keep the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel well-rounded.

Buick's lineup will focus on sedans and crossovers, Docherty said. "We're looking at a bunch of stuff from a sedan standpoint," she said. "We're going to add some more sedans, so stay tuned."

In its viability plan, released Feb. 17, GM said that if it cannot sell Saturn, the brand will shut down after its current product cycle ends in 2012.

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Why Buick instead of Pontiac again? (Unless it's a case of ROI or volume restrictions)

I really hope GM doesn't have to give up Opel though.

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Tried this with the Catera, failed.

Tried this with Saturn, failed.

Tried importing Holdens as Pontiacs, failed.

Let's not learn form mistakes.

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well i hope this works. buick only sells 51 cars per dealer to its blue hair set, and saturn sold 470+ i believe per dealer to its younger and more future worthy clientele.

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Wait... it says 2010 Regal. I thought the Regal was going to be a 2011?

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GM really needs to get rid of Susan Docherty, or any woman in that position, especially where Pontiac is concerned. After all Jill did such a wonderful job with Saturn ... NOT ...

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As soon as we heard the word "DELAY" on the NG Saturn Aura as an Insignia clone months ago it should have put up red flags all over the place.

I just hope it's built in NA and not shipped over from D.

Edited by ocnblu
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As soon as we heard the word "DELAY" on the NG Saturn Aura as an Insignia clone months ago it should have put up red flags all over the place.

I just hope it's built in NA and not shipped over from D.

Delay cometimes equals shelved in GM speak... you're right, it should have raised a few red flags.

Re its origin, a few tens of thousands Insignias badged as Regals are perfect to use up the capacity freed by moving the 9-5 to Trollhättan. I think the Regal will be built in Europe, in Rüsselheim to be accurate.

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Delay cometimes equals shelved in GM speak... you're right, it should have raised a few red flags.

Re its origin, a few tens of thousands Insignias badged as Regals are perfect to use up the capacity freed by moving the 9-5 to Trollhättan. I think the Regal will be built in Europe, in Rüsselheim to be accurate.

Ja Ja Ja, Das ist gut ... :P

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Ugh.
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Tried importing Holdens as Pontiacs, failed.

Let's not learn form mistakes.

Don't think so. It's been shown that the GTO was profitable, and was not cancelled due to sales, and the G8's sales are trending upward, in a down economy.

So yes, lets not learn from mistakes by not doing proper research.

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Tried this with the Catera, failed. Half assed

Tried this with Saturn, failed. Half assed

Tried importing Holdens as Pontiacs, failed. Didn't fail.

Let's not learn form mistakes.

I think the issue here would be not doing it half assed. The Catera and Saturn LS had lots of reliability problems. The Astra wasn't advertised. The GTO was profitable. The G8 is one of the few cars that is increasing in sales at GM.

The Regal is on an established platform using engines that have literally millions of miles combined of real world use.

I think, as long as it's advertised appropriately, the Regal will do just fine.

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As soon as we heard the word "DELAY" on the NG Saturn Aura as an Insignia clone months ago it should have put up red flags all over the place.

I just hope it's built in NA and not shipped over from D.

Along with the new LWB Epsilon Impala and the Camaro Coupe/Convertible there is a SWB Epsilon that GM has allocated to Oshawa, that will eventually have a hybrid version too. This is where the Regal will be made. Besides the fact that they're calling it the Regal should be a dead giveaway, doesn't Oshawa have the rights to that name as part of some kooky union deal?

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
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I think the issue here would be not doing it half assed. The Catera and Saturn LS had lots of reliability problems. The Astra wasn't advertised. The GTO was profitable. The G8 is one of the few cars that is increasing in sales at GM.

The Regal is on an established platform using engines that have literally millions of miles combined of real world use.

I think, as long as it's advertised appropriately, the Regal will do just fine.

Lest we not forget that the Asstra also had a decade old interior and fewer options than any other competing car in its class. Half ASSed-TRA. Had GM/Opel brought the Astra over when VW still had the golf IV it may have been a sales boom. Maybe. Way old, way way too late.

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Lest we not forget that the Asstra also had a decade old interior and fewer options than any other competing car in its class. Half ASSed-TRA. Had GM/Opel brought the Astra over when VW still had the golf IV it may have been a sales boom. Maybe. Way old, way way too late.

Let's get our story straight, shall we??? Opel didn't want to send the Astra here until the new model was ready and available. But GMNA wanted the current Astra sent to North America ASAP.

I salute you ... You excel at being a Monday Morning Quarterback ...

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ION was a failure so something had to be done. The current Astra was the only compact available at the time (the Cobalt clone already went to Pontiac). In retrospect, I'd have given the Cobalt clone to Saturn (where its interior design is quite similar to the Aura) and let Pontiac or Buick wait for the next-gen Astra.

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Let's get our story straight, shall we??? Opel didn't want to send the Astra here until the new model was ready and available. But GMNA wanted the current Astra sent to North America ASAP.

I salute you ... You excel at being a Monday Morning Quarterback ...

Well thank you for your curt reply as if any thing that happens concerning GME has something to do with you. Since you are concerned about facts there is only one that matters... no one in meaningful enough numbers bought that piece of crap regardless of the situation. So chide me all you want but there is no excuse for bad product to a consumer.

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Well thank you for your curt reply as if any thing that happens concerning GME has something to do with you. Since you are concerned about facts there is only one that matters... no one in meaningful enough numbers bought that piece of crap regardless of the situation. So chide me all you want but there is no excuse for bad product to a consumer.

Really? Better ask the Europeans, they bought it in droves ...

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Really? Better ask the Europeans, they bought it in droves ...

We aren't Europeans, tastes are different so sales in Europe don't necessarily translate. Americans don't look at small cars the same way at all.

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Really? Better ask the Europeans, they bought it in droves ...

Too bad it's the ONLY Opel they'll actually buy.

And, FWIW, american's buy the G6 in droves as well. Doesn't mean it's a success (apparently to GM, anyway)

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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