Bailout Blues: Can Buick be the new Saab?
Take a look at the new 2011 Regal sports sedan that media have been first driving recently. It's existence tells all you need to know about what's happened to the auto industry in the last year.
The reality is, the Regal is a rebadged Opel Insignia, originally planned as a Chinese market only-Buick. In North America, it was going to be sold as the next Saturn Aura, and provide the same underpinnings for the next Saab 9-3.
But now that it will soon be popping up for sale in Canadian Buick showrooms, the amount of “Saabness” in the Buick is quite remarkable:• Sophisticated, fourth-gen Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Check.
• A full range of turbocharged, fuel-efficient small engines. Check.
• Six-speed manual transmission. Check.
• European-tuned driving characteristics. Check.
The Regal may as well be wearing a Saab badge, like above. At least Government Motors will be getting (some of) our tax money back from all those kroners that GM (allegedly) sunk into Saab over the past twenty years.
But what about you Saab fans out there?
Ironically, the Regal is targeted at the same premium-Japanese brands that basically stole Saab’s customers in the 1990s. Can Buick be GM's entry-level luxury brand? Can Buick be the new Saab?
Would you consider all this Saab technology, but wrapped in a Buick body?