Buick is still open to the idea of importing the tiny Opel Adam subcompact to the U.S. market, according to Automotive News. At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Opel chairman Karl-Thomas Neumann told AN that although there was no firm decision on rebadging the Adam as a Buick model, “We are looking at it… But it’s an example of some of the Opel product being used elsewhere in the world.”
The Opel Adam debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, but in January of this year, General Motors’ chief of small-car development, Jim Federico, told us that the funky hatchback was unlikely to immigrate to the U.S. “There are no plans for it [the Opel Adam] to come to America. It’s up to the product planners, of course, but it was designed and purpose-built for Europe.”
This summer, however, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that he wanted to see Buick add two new cars that would most likely be sourced from the European Opel division. Akerson told reporters that adding the Opel Cascada convertible and Adam hatchback, “would help Buick in this market and in China in terms of demographics.”
Although Opel chairman Neumann appeared optimistic about the chances of bringing the Adam to the States as a new Buick entry, other officials cautioned that such a project might take several years. GM vice chairman Steve Girksy told AN that the current Opel Adam “cannot be federalized” to meet American automotive rules. If the car does join the Buick umbrella, it won’t be until the Adam is refreshed in a few years’ time so it can be reconfigured for our safety, emissions, and other rules. “We have to work on the car,” Neumann told AN. “That’s one of the issues that we have to look at.”
The Opel Adam is currently offered with a choice of a 69-hp 1.2-liter inline-four engine, an 86-hp 1.4-liter inline-four, and a 99-hp 1.4-liter inline-four, all of which come with a five-speed manual transmission. Our spy photographers caught a higher-performance Opel Adam OPC testing, which could go on sale next year with around 150 hp. Later this year, the standard Adam will gain a one-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine with a six-speed manual transmission. Opel is also still planning a soft-roader variant inspired by the Opel Rocks concept.
A Buick representative said that GM CEO Akerson had previously spoken about increased product sharing between Buick and Opel, but didn’t comment as to the likelihood of the Opel Adam being sold in the U.S.
Source: Automotive News