GRANDVILLE, MI – Don Chandler didn’t set out to be the first Michigan resident to take delivery of Buick’s new Cascada, a sporty new convertible aimed at raising the brand’s image among car buyers.
“Maybe it’s time for my mid-life crisis,” Chandler joked as he surveyed the sky blue convertible parked in the showroom of Grand Buick, 2901 28th Street SW on Friday, Feb. 5.
“I’ve been tracking one of these for over a year,” said Chandler, a 60-year-old engineer at General Motors’ Grand Rapids Operations plant in Wyoming.
Chandler’s new convertible is Buick’s newest “halo” model aimed at raising the marque’s profile as a sporty luxury brand. Made in Germany, the $38,000 car is patterned after GM’s popular Opel Astra and Buick’s first convertible in 25 years.
Most Americans will get their first look at the car on Sunday, when it will be featured in a Super Bowl half-time commercial starring New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham and actress/model Emily Ratajkowski. It’s Buick’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial.
Duane Sprague, the Grand Buick sales manager who took Chandler’s order for the Cascada, said three of them have been delivered to Michigan dealers so far. Chandler, who bought one of the last Pontiacs from the dealership in 2009, is the first owner to get his keys, he said.
On Friday, Chandler spent much of his introduction learning how to raise and lower the power top, which automatically folds into the trunk at speeds of up to 35 mph.
Though he has his keys, Chandler said he’s going to leave the car on the showroom floor until next month, giving Sprague a chance to show off the new model until the roads are clear of salt and snow.
Chandler, whose first car was a 1971 Chevrolet Nova he bought in college, said he is looking forward to road-testing his new baby, which has a six-speed automatic transmission and a turbo-charged four-cylinder “Ecotec” engine that produces 200 hp.