U.S. car buyers are familiar with Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick, but there’s a whole other line of General Motors products sold in Europe under its Opel (and in England, Vauxhall) marque.
A few years ago, GM tried to turn its now-defunct Saturn brand into an American outlet for Opels, and now it appears to be doing the same thing with Buick. The stalwart brand already sells a rebadged Opel Insignia as the Regal, and will soon get the Opel-based Cascada convertible.
The Buick version of the Adam won’t arrive until at least 2018, though. GM reportedly wants to wait until the tiny car undergoes a planned redesign, meaning Buick will get the new, second-generation version.
Named after Opel founder Adam Opel (get it?), the Adam debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, and has been on sale in Europe since 2013. It was intended as a competitor to fashion-forward small cars like the MINI Cooper and Fiat 500, and its extroverted looks certainly attract attention.
Buick may have a reputation for building bloated land barges for retired orthodontists, but lately GM has shifted focus somewhat to small cars like the Chevy Cruze-based Verano and the Encore, which helped launch the now-burgeoning subcompact-crossover sub genre.
If this report proves accurate, the Adam will arrive in the middle of a complete overhaul of the Buick lineup that will see each current model redesigned and some new ones added, all over the next two-to-four years.
The Verano will most likely switch over to the same platform as the recently-unveiled 2016 Chevy Cruze, and get some less-prosaic styling and more interior space in the process. The Regal and Lacrosse sedans and Encore and Enclave crossovers should all cycle through redesigns of their own as well.
In addition, Buick is expected to bring the Envision crossover unveiled in China last year to the U.S. Roughly the size of a Chevy Equinox, it would bridge the yawning chasm between the subcompact Encore and the massive Enclave.
Preceding those models will be the 2016 Cascada, Buick’s first production convertible in 25 years. Essentially a rebadged Opel Cascada, it’s expected to go on sale in the first quarter of next year.
Considering that Opels used to be sold through U.S. Buick dealers, the two brands appear to be coming full circle. If U.S. buyers find the Adam’s styling attractive, and can live with its small size, it could become the most successful example of this brand cross-breeding yet.