Buick will sell a rebadged version of the latest Opel Astra hatch in China, raising hopes that the car may be offered in more markets outside of Europe. The Astra will go on sale in China later this year, badged as a Verano. There will be two versions on offer, a standard Verano Hatchback and a sportier Verano GS.
Some teaser shots reveal the look of the Verano GS, with the car appearing identical to the Astra hatch apart from some new badges and the Buick brand’s signature waterfall grille. The interior of the Verano GS also appears virtually identical to the one in the Astra.
Buick says these Verano hatchbacks will be aimed at younger buyers looking for sporty styling along with European car-like handling and advanced technology in the cabin. Buyers after a more traditional Buick will be able to stick with the Verano sedan, the latest version of which was revealed earlier this year.
All the cars ride on General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] D2XX compact car platform. The platform brings significant weight savings as well as compatibility with a wide range of powertrains.
Buick isn’t willing to confirm whether we’ll see the Astra reach the United States, though there have been reports that some Astra variants may make it to local showrooms. Possibilities include the Astra hatch, Sports Tourer wagon and yet-to-be-revealed GTC coupe. We also learned this week that Buick may import some Chinese-made vehicles to the U.S., though the first is expected to be a new Envision small crossover.
A debut of the Verano Hatchback and Verano GS models will take place at next week's Guangzhou Auto Show. While you await the reveal, let us know in the comments if you think a car like the Verano GS is a good choice for Buick’s local lineup.