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Auto blogFri, 11 Oct 2013 10:00:00 EST
The Opel Adam, the microcar of General Motors' European subsidiary, has seen its sales cool significantly since it first hit the market in the United Kingdom and Europe, but a push is reportedly under way that just might be enough to get the stylish, little car moving again.
Using the Opel Adam Rocks Concept as a template, Opel will ruggedize the Adam, so that it might compete with the growing herd of city cars that sport SUV styling, like the Volkswagen Cross Up and Fiat Panda 4x4, according to a report from Automotive News Europe. Sporting a bumped-up ride height and tougher body work, it's a dedicated soft-roader, but will freshen the Adam's lineup and, hopefully, broaden its customer appeal.
The Adam Rocks, according to IHS Automotive analyst Ian Fletcher, should also make some more coin for GM's struggling European arm. "Automakers are happy to meet demand for SUV and crossovers as the customer pays a premium," Fletcher told ANE. And although the Rocks might have been planned from the start as a production vehicle, the timing, with the Adam's sales slowdown, doesn't seem like a coincidence.
Years ago, General Motors used Buick cars to test out the idea of a "smart highway" concept. More recently, GM has been talking up its award-winning Super Cruise semi-autonomous technology that will roll out with Cadillac and make its way to Buick. The LeSabre in the video above has nothing to do with any of that.
On Interstate 15 in Utah, a man driving this LeSabre got into an accident that rearranged the front end and set the horn on permanent blare. At the time of writing this, no one is sure what happened next, but the man ended up sitting in the snow in the highway median while his car carried on down the highway without him. Passing traffic stayed well to the right.
The 51-second video below provides a different take on our autonomous future. A local newscast on KUTV covered the story the evening of the incident, but the Utah Highway Patrol didn't have any update on the fate of the LeSabre. We'll take that to mean that Buick's take on Christine could still be out on the prowl... so watch out!
Ignored On Arrival, But Coming On Strong
An image exists out there that perfectly conveys the fate we thought would befall the Buick Encore after its world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The shot shows the just-unveiled Encore on stage, basking in the glow of spotlights but surrounded by a large display area that's bereft of both cars and people. Two journalists are sitting on a couch over to the side, both facing the Encore but ignoring it as they inspect their swag, and a solitary custodial engineer pushes a vacuum back and forth across a sea of gray carpet.
Like a kid with his birthday cake at a party no one came to, this little crossover's debut was largely, almost cruelly, ignored. Who can blame us, though? Two shows ago, the Motor City's main stage welcomed the redesigned Aston Martin-esque Ford Fusion, the 3 Series-assassin ATS from Cadillac and the return of Dodge to the small car game with the Dart. A fourth model for the wayward Buick brand, especially one so arguably un-Buick in form and function, did not seem to deserve the attention paid to its peers that year.