GM Plans to Closer Integrate Opel and Buick Brands image

GM plans to integrate more closely global product development between Opel and Buick, which means that Buick customers in the US and China will see more European engineering and design.

GM’s plan is to strengthen Opel and Buick by aligning their products closer, a strategy which might help the automaker reduce time and costs and increase the two brands’ product offerings in the most important global markets.

This move could bring the Chinese and US customers some really nice European style Buick vehicles, resembling the sporty Opel Adam hatchback or maybe the luxurious Opel Cascada convertible. Even if the future Opel and Buick models will not look the same, they will share common parts.

For example the next-generation Opel Insignia in the European market and the redesigned LaCrosse and Buick Regal in the US and China will undergo the basic development in Michigan and the final engineering and design will be made in Germany and China.

As opposed to other automakers who build various models on the same platforms, GM wants to use common powertrain components but enable more flexibility regarding the configurability, size and design. GM executives said that these modules could be better adapted to individual markets such as the US and China.

Buick sales in the US last month increased 16%, but demand still lags behind the one in the Chinese market.The midsize LaCrosse and Regal are aging and have to be replaced soon, while in the European market, Opel tries to recover from the dramatic sales slump and a long investment drought which have caused its market share so far this year to drop to less than 7% from 10% a decade ago.

Source: Reuters