When a long-term product plan from GM was released a few years ago by a disgruntled employee to a German newspaper, the revelations about what exactly lay ahead for Opel were quickly silenced.
Luckily, it was not the Guardian who received the documents.
The one thing I recall before all the news … went away … was the Country Tourer name for a potential Vectra replacement wagon.
An all-road-style option for families who not only need AWD, but need some extra ground clearance and gravel resistance on the lower panels as well.
These are not some kind of “country” folk, who order from the Sears & Roebuck Co. catalog once a year. These are country folk with cabins in the mountains, boats and jet-ski’s towed behind, and a family full of occupants wearing bathing suits as underwear.
In other words, full vacation mode. Sounds a lot like… the Buick Roadmaster’s one-time remit!
Would this model work in America, even without the slightest badge engineering?
On a low-volume basis, yes. Perhaps 2,000 units per year – nothing major.
The new dawn of retailing and brand management means low-volume models like the Plymouth Roadrunner, Pontiac Firebird, and all the other greats – can be resurrected on a special-edition basis.
Cadillac, for its first twenty years or so on the market from 1919 to 1939 or so, called itself “Cadillac by General Motors.”
I think this Insignia wagon would be a popular halo model for Buick.
But I recognize the problems. It would not be a regular price premium for most wagons – $1,000 extra versus the sedan – but more like $5,000 extra.
But the total potential price in American Buick dealers might still be worthwhile. A $39,000 Roadmaster Buick would still be far cheaper than the Insignia is for UK buyers, based purely on exchange rates. Labor is comparable – but import volume will be small until the broad upcoming US-Euro free trade agreement.
A base in the $36,000 price range would make a front-drive, four-cylinder gasoline option the best bet, but this is a long-shot scenario.
Even so, the new Buick Regal GS has a very devoted, and relatively sprightly, young fan base among auto forums and mod shops.
Roadmaster or Country Tourer?
Stay tuned for more info on — potential — low-volume re-releases of great hits from extinct auto brands…
More likely is Opel being added to Cadillac dealers, and visa versa.
2014 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
2014 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer
2014 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer OPC/VXR
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.