GM to Let Buick, Not Saturn, Reap the Benefits of Opel Design


Buick is an important brand for GM. Though not many of the modern generation know it, Buick was once a symbol of American excellence. Its cars were beautifully designed in the 40’s and 50’s. Famous designer Harvey Earl made his name designing Buicks, and he went on to invent a little car called the Corvette.

Back then, Buicks were synonymous with luxurious speed. Not so nowadays. Today, Buicks are slow, soft grandpa-mobiles. You know you are targeting a certain demographic when your main advertisement boasts of "the quietest cabin in its class." Grandpa would dually approve. Can you blame him? He was the guy who was around when Buicks were strong and sexy. The problem is that as he aged, and gained weight, and got softer and slower, so did the Buick.

But Buick (like grandpa, unfortunately) can’t live like that forever. That’s why GM is now drafting in Opel to save Buick. As the General’s German subdivision, Opel’s current design language is that of a middle-upscale brand, exactly what Buick needs to be here in the states. Also, once you see Opel’s design language, it’s easy to understand why Buick, not Saturn, could benefit from this new style. These cars are beautiful looking, restrained, yet taught and athletic.

Buick adopting Opel’s design also makes sense for GM’s Chinese strategy. Opel Corsas and Astras already are badge-engineered as Buicks in China, and with R&D benefiting two major market regions, the cost savings could be monumental for the company. If all goes well, all future Buicks could be Opel based, and vice-versa.


Very, very nice design going on here. Buick would really benefit from styling like this.

Source: Motor Trend

Photos: General Motors – Opel