Jan 11, 2015
Rüsselsheim/Detroit. Impressive presentation at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (January 12 - 25). Buick revealed its Cascada convertible, an elegant four-seater will go on sale in the USA in the first quarter of 2016. This marks another example of the two brands’ successful collaboration, which already includes the jointly-developed Buick Encore and Opel Mokka, the Buick Verano and Opel Astra notchback as well as the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia.
“The Opel Cascada was developed at our International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim, where more than 6,000 engineers work on Opel models, but also on products for other GM brands. So we are constantly searching for synergies, and are delighted that there is now another Cascada for a new market with this Buick. This shows our outstanding engineering expertise while also increasing capacity utilization at our Polish plant in Gliwice,” says Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. In Europe, the Cascada has won over customers and trade media alike, resulting in numerous awards including the Plus X Award in Germany and the Golden Steering Wheel in Switzerland. In Portugal, Turbo Magazine named it Convertible of the Year in 2014.
The Buick Cascada is powered by the super-efficient 1.6 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo with 147 kW/200 hp. The four-cylinder unit delivers maximum torque of 300 Nm. The HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front suspension precisely and comfortably transfers power onto the road, ensuring a smooth driving experience. The newest-generation turbo engine in the Buick is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Cascada’s special feature is its high-quality soft-top that opens in just 17 seconds at the touch of a button, also at driving speeds up to 50 km/h. The US four-seater comes with luxurious equipment such as 20-inch alloy wheels and leather seats that automatically slide forward to offer passengers easy access to the rear seat area. Highlights include the IntelliLink infotainment system with a seven-inch color touchscreen.
With the Cascada, Buick offers American customers an extremely emotional product – it is the brand’s first convertible in 25 years. In the USA, convertible market sales increased by three percent to more than 131,000 units from 2009 to 2013. This segment is distinguished by high customer loyalty: 37 percent of customers remain true to convertibles when they buy a new car. However, a good two-thirds of them change brands, which offers plenty of conquest potential for the Buick Cascada.
“We will continue to work closely with Buick in the coming years wherever it makes sense,” says Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. A sound approach, as both brands stand for similar values but do not get in each other’s way on international markets: Buick is sold in North America and China, Opel mainly in Europe. GM has already announced the production of a new Buick model in Rüsselsheim later in the decade. “This enhances capacity utilization at our Rüsselsheim plant, thereby increasing its efficiency,” adds Dr. Neumann.
But that’s not all: the Australian brand Holden will also benefit from this global GM strategy. Opel will export vehicles to Australia and New Zealand this year. In addition to the Holden Astra GTC, the especially sporty VXR version and the flagship Insignia, there will also be a Holden Cascada. Dr. Neumann says: “This makes the Cascada a convertible triplet on three continents – a very nice compliment and even more proof of the appeal of our large convertible.”
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