Opel Cascada may soon arrive in the United States

Article by Christian A., on September 20, 2013

The Opel Cascada convertible may soon be imported into the U.S., sources told Edmunds at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. General Motors is working to link Opel and Buick so that similar vehicles may be sold in many countries while wearing different badges. The Cascada is a four-passenger, front-wheel-drive drop top that will mesh well with Buick’s cars.

GM has been preparing the entry of the Cascada to the US market since June. Back then, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that he believes the Cascada and the Opel Adam would be a good fit for the U.S. Opel seeks to export the Cascada in order to boost its business, which is presently recovering but received quite a beating during the recession.

Based on the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal, the Cascada will most likely be available with some of the engines offered in the Regal. In addition, GM Opel sources suggest that Opel may once again be the supplier of Regal vehicles to the U.S. Opel had done so early in the model's life. Another model that would make an appealing import is Opel's Adam minicar.

However, the current version of the car "cannot be federalized" to meet U.S. safety and other regulatory requirements, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said during an interview with Automotive News. This means that either the existing car would have to undergo a major re-engineering or the replacement for the Adam will have to be developed to comply with the requirements.

The reason for the non-conformity of these models to US regulations is GM’s decision to back out of its plan to sell off its European operations during its Chapter 11 period. GM had started to develop these two models and didn’t design them to meet US regulations due to the expectation that Opel-Vauxhall will have new owners.

With the Cascada, Opel re-joins the mid-size convertible class following a hiatus of four decades. Its remarkably special interest is likewise because of the fact that most of Opel's previous bigger cabrios, in sharp contrast to the Cascada, were interpretations of existing models not made specifically by Opel. They were conversions by specialist coachbuilders, such as Autenrieth or Karl Deutsch, and sold only as limited editions. The outsourcing of cabrio production was common practice then.

One illustration is the Opel Kapitän Cabriolet from 1953, which at more than 4.70 meters long, was marginally longer than the present Cascada. However, similar to Opel's newcomer, it dazzled audiences with stylish, flowing design. While the open-air Kapitän was the outcome of an Autenrieth conversion, the 1964 Opel Rekord A Cabrio was converted by the Karl Deutsch organization in Cologne.

In those days, clients needed to pay additional, around 66% of the base cost, to get their vehicle changed into a convertible. In contrast, the all-new Opel Cascada was arranged and engineered as an entire stand-alone model, not a cabrio version of an existing product and is accessible at an exceptionally alluring cost.

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