General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] European division Opel has registered the Calibra and Cascada names with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. A quick check of the register shows that the names were registered on December 18, 2013 for automobile use. This suggests two major happenings within General Motors Company [NYSE:GM]; that Opel is looking to revive its Calibra nameplate for a new model, and that this new model may be offered in the U.S. alongside the existing Cascada convertible.
If the models do reach the U.S., they will almost certainly be badged as Buicks, despite the latest trademarks being filed by Opel. As Motor Trend points out, prior to the launch of the Saturn-badged Opel Astra on these shores last decade, the trademark for the car’s name was also originally filed by Opel. Such steps are likely to help conceal GM’s intention to use the new names for one of its local brands, in this case Buick.
GM execs, including outgoing CEO Dan Akerson, have hinted on multiple occasions that the Buick and Opel lineups could become more closely aligned in the future. Already we’ve seen Opel’s Insignia, Astra Sedan and Mokka morph into the respective Buick Regal, Verano and Encore, and soon we could see the Cascada get the Buick treatment too.
As for the Calibra, it’s not clear what form this model will take, if it is in fact in the works. The previous Calibra was essentially a coupe version of the Vectra mid-size sedan, which preceded with the current Insignia. Opel has shown a coupe version of the Insignia, as a concept, but there has been little talk of production plans. Another possibility is a new four-door coupe being designed by Holden in Australia to serve as a halo model for Buick in China and to sell in Australia as the 2018 Holden Commodore. Perhaps a U.S. launch is also on the cards.
As a disclaimer, it should be noted that automakers often trademark names simply to protect them, and that just because a name has been registered doesn’t mean it's about to be used.
Stay tuned for an update.