GM CEO wants Opel Adam and Cascada with a Buick badge for the US

Article by Anita Panait, on June 26, 2013

General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson bemoaned a decision made before its collapse in 2009 to develop the Opel Adam minicar and the Opel Cascada convertible only for the Chinese market but not for the United States. He is practically wishing for these models to come to the US. During an investor conference at GM's suburban Detroit proving grounds, Akerson said that the addition of the Opel Adam and Cascada would help Buick in the US and in China "in terms of demographics."

Opel rolled out the Adam hatchback to showrooms in Europe in January 2013, targeting it on fans and enthusiast of the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. The Opel Adam carries a tag of EUR11,500 ($15,350). The Opel Cascada, meanwhile, sits on the same platform that underpins the Buick Verano compact sedan. The two-door, four-seat convertible carries a price of EUR24,945 ($33,300).

GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky told Automotive News at the Geneva auto show in March 2013 that the Cascada convertible is an "expensive" halo car that "would have to be amalgamated for the US, which adds cost and complexity." GM executives continue to indicate a new nameplate for Buick's lineup in the US.

The brand's US lineup was reinforced by two new nameplates in the past 18 months -- the Verano sedan and Encore small crossover. GM North America President Mark Reuss told Automotive News in May 2013 that Buick is ready for "something special," citing a convertible, a coupe or a flagship sedan as potential fresh product.

Opel Adam arrives at a time when the brand is at the climax of its product offensive. Opel has been reshaping its product lineup since 2008. It started with its Insignia flagship and followed through with high volume models. Now, Opel is entering and even creating new markers segment with new products like the Ampera electric car with range extender, the Mokka small SUV and Adam small car, as well as the Cascada mid-size convertible in the future.

For now, the Opel is boosting its strengths in the A and B segments through models like the Adam (3.70 meters), Agila (3.74 m), Corsa (4.00 m), Mokka SUV (4.28 m) and Meriva (4.29 m). The arrival of the new Adam allows the carmaker to complete its A-segment lineup along with the 5-door Agila. The Agila should appeal to customers looking for A-segment cars with high levels of functionality and practicality. On the other hand, the Adam should appeal to clients looking for an A-segment car that is fashionable and customizable, while featuring superior technology and muscular design.

New Opel Adam chose not to take the same path as its major rivals, which feature retro designs. Instead, the Adam looks into the future with its fresh and bold design. Thomas Sedran remarked that the Adam proves that retro isn’t the name of the game. He noted that the Adam has established innovation and imagination as well as quality and individualization as its core values. One of the key trait of the new Adam is that fact that its looks aren’t just fashionable, but are also customizable with virtually unlimited possibilities.

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