Buick Compact Crossover Explained
GMI is told the new Gamma II crossover will be shared with Opel.
August 12, 2009
By: Nick Saporito
The "New" General Motors claims Buick as one of their four core brands. All of the new core brands are said to get quite a bit of attention product-wise and each brand is eventually to have a healthy lineup of vehicles. Late last week GM announced, officially, that Buick would be getting essentially the current Saturn Vue. They are even giving the Vue plug-in model (which was to come out in late 2010) to Buick. Not long after that announcement, reports surfaced that Buick would also be getting a Gamma II crossover. Gamma II being the platform that will underpin the next-generation Chevrolet Aveo and many other sub-compact products globally. GMI has been given the full story behind the supposed Buick small crossover and there is more to the story than previously reported.
What the situation comes down to is that Opel is already working on a Gamma II crossover for their own lineup in Europe. That seems like a logical addition to Opel's lineup as small vehicles such as that are very popular in Europe. GM wants to see this new crossover come to North America, but they have not decided entirely which division will get it. Back in April GM debated about giving to either GMC or Buick, but both come with benefits and drawbacks.
As GMI broke news of several months ago, Opel and Buick are sharing a lot of their lineups with each other going forward. That makes a lot of sense for Buick to get the new Opel crossover; plus Opel designs are very much in line with Buick designs. In addition, Buick could also sell it in China, which would likely be a good market for this type of vehicle. However, the argument against it is that Buick does not need a small crossover such as that and it simply doesn't fit with Buick.
The argument for GMC is that it is the crossover/truck brand and should have a small crossover like the proposed Opel. Unfortunately, Opel styling is on the opposite end of the spectrum from GMC's block-like, truckish designs. This would mean a total redesign from the Opel vehicle or giving GMC a vehicle that does not fit with their design theme.
Currently GM is leaning toward giving the Gamma II crossover to Buick, as has been reported. The final decision has not yet been made though. If given the green-light, the new crossover would be built in North America at either Lake Orion, Michigan or Lordstown, Ohio.