Opel sources in Germany have told weekly magazine Autoweek that, soon after the September Frankfurt show, Opel design chief Martin Smith and GM Europe boss Mike Burns will ask GM North America to restart the flow of Opel models to the North American market.

Opel last sold cars in the United States through Buick dealerships in the late 1970s though it did also, from the mid-'90s, ship over the relatively unsuccessful Cadillac Catera, a rebadged Omega, until it was replaced recently by the US-made CTS model.

Autoweek said a case would be made to bring the Opel Signum and Vectra wagon to North America, with more models to follow.

As with GM North America's dealings with Holden in Australia for the Monaro-based Pontiac GTO and other models perhaps to follow, the plan to bring Opel back to North America is another part of GM vice chairman Bob Lutz's effort to add more cars to the vehicle maker's truck-heavy portfolio, Autoweek said.

The magazine noted that Opel's Olympia recovery plan (cutting costs and accelerating model renewals) has had dramatic results after only two years and that is one reason sources on both sides of the Atlantic continue to put Martin Smith's name at the top of the list of likely successors to GM design chief Wayne Cherry.