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Buick to Get the Next Generation Astra in 2011

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[source: Left Lane News]

Buick to Get Next-Gen Astra In 2011

General Motors will cut ties with its Saturn brand by the end of the year, but that won't mark the end of Opel vehicles in the United States. Saturn currently stands as GM's Opel import division, but that responsibility will soon switch over to Buick.

Although rumors of an Opel-ized Buick have been swirling for some time now, GM' Product Board has officially signed off on the plan, according to GM Inside News. However, the first Opel-sourced Buick product will not be based on the Antara (Saturn Vue) or Insignia as first thought, but rather the Astra hatchback.

The Saturn Astra hasn't exactly set the sales charts on fire, but GM is hoping for a different outcome when Astra switches over to the Buick brand. Unlike the current Astra, Buick will be getting an all-new model designed with the U.S. market in mind.

The new Astra will roll into Buick dealers in late 2011 as a 2012 model, although the Buick version won't likely wear the Astra nameplate. In order to keep costs in line – a major problem with the Saturn Astra – GM will produce the Buick Astra in North America. GM has yet to officially decide on a production location, although the company's Lordstown, Ohio and San Luis Potosi, Mexico plants are the early frontrunners. It remains unclear if both the three- and five-door variants of the Astra will make it into Buick's lineup.

Although there has been a lot of talk about GM's plan to sell Opel, that decision won't affect future Opel-sourced Buick. GM is actually looking to sell Adam Opel, not GME Europe AG. GM Europe owns the rights to all of Opel's designs and engineering, regardless of what happens to the Adam Opel brand.

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I wouldn't do the hatchbacks as Buicks, but the 4-door, Wagon, and the Twin-top could be good.

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I would sell the sedan and the 5-door hatchback here as the Buick Centieme. I think the 5-door version looks more youthful than the wagon and would probably do more to attract younger buyers to Buick. The design of the new 5-door appears to be more upscale than the current version, which will allow it to fit in Buick's lineup. If Buick could come up with some upscale marketing term for the 5-door other than "hatchback", then I think it could fly.

I'm not sure there will be a next gen Astra TwinTop. The rumors are that Opel might develop a resurrected Calibra coupe on Delta II. If Opel does this, GM should bring it here as the Buick Vivace.

Why "Centieme" and "Vivace"? Why not "Skylark" and "Skyhawk"? As much as I like these established Buick names, I think using them on compact products positioned to attract younger buyers to the brand will fail. For this particular category of the premium segment, I think Buick would be wise to use modified ("Centieme" for "Century") or new ("Vivace") names in an attempt to reinforce the notion that Buick is changing and transforming. Besides, these products are taking Buick into segments where it hasn't been in quite a while, so there really wouldn't be any market confusion in using new or modified names. Since both names have Euro origins and auras, this might help the products appeal to a demographic that is infatuated with anything Euro sourced.

I would still like to see GM hold on to Opel. It is the corporation's established brand in mainland Europe. It would be a shame to see it go. From what I understand, Europeans are very loyal to their homegrown automakers. It would be very difficult for GM to replace Opel with another brand in Europe.

Edited by cire
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I think if it had more Buick styling and less Opel styling, the sedan and wagon would do great here! High teens to mid 20's and it would compete great with the Jetta, which is what many compact buyers consider the premium option. Not sure about the 3 or 5 door as a Buick, but you never know. I suppose they have to sell something to fill up the BG dealerships.

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How much more upscale is this supposed to be than the Cruze? I expect the Cruze to run from $16k-24k or so... the current Astra failed as a Saturn at $18-24k, and I don't see what's so special about the Buick brand that's going to make them be able to sell this at any level above that same $18-24k range as the current Astra. So my question is, what exactly is the point if the Chevy is going to cover the same price range? How many extra sales are they going to get by bringing this vehicle here?

Basically my point is they'd be much better served making an affordable Alpha-based vehicle in the $19-30k range and it wouldn't compete with the Cruze. Of course, I can't see many people buying such a vehicle from Buick either, so I guess the best option is at Chevy.

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Keep in mind that gas prices are going to shoot back up again. There will be a market for small, fuel efficient, premium vehicles.

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Keep in mind that gas prices are going to shoot back up again. There will be a market for small, fuel efficient, premium vehicles.

How big will that market be? American's buy compacts to save money. I would think there would be a bigger market for a midsized car with more fuel saving technology for $25k, than there would be for more premium compact car for $25k. Especially from Buick. People buy Buicks because they are bigger. I think this will be a failure. Buick will never be Acura.

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
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How big will that market be? American's buy compacts to save money. I would think there would be a bigger market for a midsized car with more fuel saving technology for $25k, than there would be for more premium compact car for $25k. Especially from Buick. People buy Buicks because they are bigger. I think this will be a failure. Buick will never be Acura.

Your way makes more sense to a rational person....but that's also precisely the way the argument fails. People will react in even more irrational ways during the next price spike.

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Your way makes more sense to a rational person....but that's also precisely the way the argument fails. People will react in even more irrational ways during the next price spike.

Exactly, which explains why last year so many people unloaded their already-paid-for midsized cars and SUVs that got 25-30mpgs to go on a waiting list to pay over sticker for a Prius that gets them 40mpg

I've long been an advocate fora properly done compact car for Buick, and now that the G5 is history, such a car becomes crucial for B-G's survival. My personal preference would be for Buick to get its own unique car, but this could work, and better the Astra than something from GMDAT. I think GM will have an easier time justifying the Astra's higher price point as a Buick than they did as a Saturn.

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I would love to see the Calibra coupe with it as a Buick. I had posted about it, a while ago. Cannot find the link - where is Satty?

Here is the link to the original German article translated in English with a render. The translation is horrible.

Another render:

Opel%20Calibra%201.jpg

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Exactly, which explains why last year so many people unloaded their already-paid-for midsized cars and SUVs that got 25-30mpgs to go on a waiting list to pay over sticker for a Prius that gets them 40mpg

I've long been an advocate fora properly done compact car for Buick, and now that the G5 is history, such a car becomes crucial for B-G's survival. My personal preference would be for Buick to get its own unique car, but this could work, and better the Astra than something from GMDAT. I think GM will have an easier time justifying the Astra's higher price point as a Buick than they did as a Saturn.

The Prius is a midsize car with fuel saving technology. To make what I said not true, people would need to be trading in their paid for midsize cars to buy Golfs, and it doesn't seem like that's been the case. They go for the midsize hybrid instead.

I'm just saying, given the choice between an Altima hybrid, and a compact Buick for the same price, most people will go for the Altima. Buick would be better off with a full hybrid version of the Malibu.

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The Prius is a midsize car with fuel saving technology. To make what I said not true, people would need to be trading in their paid for midsize cars to buy Golfs, and it doesn't seem like that's been the case. They go for the midsize hybrid instead.

I'm just saying, given the choice between an Altima hybrid, and a compact Buick for the same price, most people will go for the Altima. Buick would be better off with a full hybrid version of the Malibu.

Try to find an Altima Hybrid... but I see what you're saying. People weren't trading in their paid midsize cars for Pruises... they were climbing down out of Explorers, Trailblazers, Durangos, and the like.

The idea that the Pruis is a midsize car is laughable at best.

I could see people climbing down out of an RDX, MDX, or SRX(old) to buy a premium compact.

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You are absolutely right CaddyXLR-V, but I guess what what Olds and I are saying is, "never underestimate the power of stupid people." The masses have been conditioned to think that smaller = more efficient, and when gas prices do go up, Buick will be ready for those people.

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Your way makes more sense to a rational person....but that's also precisely the way the argument fails. People will react in even more irrational ways during the next price spike.

a year ago focus were selling at list. dropped my trex at the dealer this morning and there was a focus there, 4 grand off. i know even prius have been slashed in price. if gas goes up again, yes people will do reactionary things. but basically, very few people want the small car in the US. they only buy them for operating cost reasons 90% of the time.

its the endless cycle. GM gets bitched at for not making small cars profitably, but truth is people still can't pay what they need to make them at a profit.

Edited by regfootball
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The idea that the Pruis is a midsize car is laughable at best.

Never been in one, and don't care to be in one for that matter. But they appear to be larger than a Golf, Civic, or Cobalt, so I classified it as midsize.

I'm just not sure if Americans are ready to make the switch to compact cars. Going from an Explorer(which isn't very spacious inside anyway) to a midsize car, isn't as big of a leap as going from a midsize car to a compact car, and I think midsize is the minimum size most Americans are willing to downsize to. Combine that with Buicks traditionally being big cars, and I don't see a compact Buick picking up many sales. They are not going to be peoples first choice when looking to downsize, since it is completely opposite from the image someone gets when they think of Buick.

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As far as passenger area, the Pruis doesn't feel any larger than a Cobalt. It's the hatchback area that pushes it into midsized category.

The Prius is only a mid-size if you're filling it with sand.

As for people buying a smaller Buick. The Skylark was in the $15k - $17k range in the mid-90s and it sold fairly well.

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As far as passenger area, the Pruis doesn't feel any larger than a Cobalt. It's the hatchback area that pushes it into midsized category.

The Prius is only a mid-size if you're filling it with sand.

Thank you. I have more knee room in a Corolla. I'm 6'3" and my right knee is pressed against the dash when driving because it comes out as it heads towards the center stack. Doesn't do that with the Corolla.

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I would love to see the Calibra coupe with it as a Buick. I had posted about it, a while ago. Cannot find the link - where is Satty?

Here is the link to the original German article translated in English with a render. The translation is horrible.

Another render:

Opel%20Calibra%201.jpg

Here's the TopSpeed version of the article:

Link: Visit My Website

Source: TopSpeed

This would make a great product to attract younger people to the brand.

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Here's the TopSpeed version of the article:

Link: Visit My Website

Source: TopSpeed

This would make a great product to attract younger people to the brand.

That's a hot little coupe! I would love a Buick coupe. Name it Riviera and give me the money and SOLD! ;)

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That's a hot little coupe! I would love a Buick coupe. Name it Riviera and give me the money and SOLD! ;)

Actually, I would like to see the "Riviera" name revived for a midsize personal luxury coupe on the LWB Epsilon II platform.

Since GM was dumb enough not to use the "Invicta" name for the 2010 LaCrosse, maybe Buick could use it on this compact coupe. However, my personal preference would be for GM to get wise and rename the 2010 LaCrosse "Invicta" and call this hot little coupe "Vivace".

Edited by cire
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at a minimum any small buick should equal the size of the jetta and have equal or better interior.

emulate a loaded jetta.

Edited by regfootball
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at a minimum any small buick should equal the size of the jetta and have equal or better interior.

emulate a loaded jetta.

Yes, a Buick 'Jetta' could do quite well, with Buick styling cues. The Jetta is a nice little package..drove a rental one last year, was pretty loaded. Quite comfortable inside, drove smoothly.

Edited by Cubical
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Yes, a Buick 'Jetta' could do quite well, with Buick styling cues. The Jetta is a nice little package..drove a rental one last year, was pretty loaded. Quite comfortable inside, drove smoothly.

Agreed.

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opel-considering-the_460x0w.jpg

Throw some Riviera Concept cues on that baby and bring back our Riviera! Could also make a nice Regal Coupe, that could lead to a performance version, say GNX. I personally think that this whole Delta II line should be the Regal line. With coupe, four-door hatch and sedan.

Edited by InvictaMan
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