Despite being dead as a badge in the United States for four years and dead as a duck in China for just as long, Buick plans to sell the Opel Insignia as the Buick Regal in the People's Republic. While this news has been on the street for about a month now, thanks to our friends at China Car Times, we've got the very first shots of Buick's new royalty. Hit the jump for the full scoop of a story that'll make your grandparents grab their canes, stand up and cheer.
Usually we're not advocates of badge-engineering, but these spy photos of what absolutely appears to be a new Insignia (check out that cut-line on the side of the car) rebadged as a Buick Regal for the Chinese market somehow make sense to us. Buick is a hugely popular brand in China for GM and although Opels are sold there, it probably will sell better under the Buick lineup. Kind of like over here with the Chevy Malibu, the car you can't ignore and the Saturn Aura, the car everyone did. Could this possibly mean the US will get a Buick-branded Insignia rather than one badged as the new 2010 Saturn Aura like we'd expected? Probably not. But now we're even more jealous of those spiffy Chinese Buicks. Who knew a Buick could look hot? Well, your grandparents, for starters. Us, we're only hoping we can get our hands on a "Grand National" version — but we're not holding our breath. [via ChinaCarTimes]