According to Automotive News, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has his eye on a couple of overseas models for Buick. The General’s funky Opel Adam subcompact and Cascada four-place convertible are apparently on the executive’s wish list, as he openly expressed regret that they weren’t developed for the US during an investor conference earlier this month.
The distribution plans for both models were decided ahead of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy (prior to Akerson’s tenure), and they were apparently not designed with North America in mind. Whether Akerson and Co. are still looking to pursue versions for our market with the TriShield brand isn’t clear, in part because it isn’t known what modifications would need to be executed to make them suitable for sale. Automotive News cites GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky as having previously stated that the “expensive” Cascada “would have to be amalgamated for the US, which adds cost and complexity,” but it also quotes GM North America boss Mark Reuss as saying that Buick “is ready for ‘something special,’ citing a convertible, a coupe or a flagship sedan as possibilities.”
By our reckoning, the rakish Cascada droptop would seem to be the most natural fit for the Buick brand, as the idea of a comfortable four-place convertible doesn’t seem as boundary-stretching as a Fiat 500-sized supermini. Then again, the new Encore crossover is tiny and seems to be receiving a warm welcome from buyers in its first months on sale, and GM is looking to redefine Buick and court younger buyers. Stylistically, though, the Cascada would probably be the easier conversion to Buick branding, and the biggest factor in its favor would seem to be that it rides atop GM’s Delta II architecture, as does the Verano sedan, a North American model. At present, GM only has one four-seat convertible in its entire US lineup, the Chevrolet Camaro, and today’s Buick/GMC sales channel does not offer any droptops at all.
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Report: GM CEO Akerson wishes Opel Cascada, Adam were sold in Buick showrooms [w/poll]