The Cascada uses a bespoke version of the GCV platform (Astra) that contains elements of the Insignias architecture

The Cascada uses a bespoke version of the GCV platform (Astra) that contains elements of the Insignia's architecture

General Motors has registered a request with the US Patent and Trademark office for the model name 'Velite', leading to speculation that a modified Opel Cascada/Cabrio will be sold in North America.

The news was originally reported by GMauthority.com.

The car has been available in Europe as an Opel and a Vauxhall for the last 18 months but has failed to live up to GM Europe's sales hopes. One way to lift production at Gliwice in Poland would be to export a modified model to the US, Canada and possibly Mexico, the thinking goes.

US Buick dealers were shown a Cascada in August 2014 but no on-sale date was given to them. The car is, however, now expected to be available in North America for the 2016 model year.

A large, rear-wheel drive convertible called Vélite was revealed at the New York auto show in April 2004. GM's financial crisis saw a project to put it into production for the 2007 model year shelved in 2005. Work supposedly restarted in late 2006 for a calendar 2009 launch date but sources within GM said in July 2007 that it had been cancelled once again. The recent patent filing is the first news in some years that the Velite model name, albeit minus the acute, might finally be used for a production model.

The Cascada is also due to become a Holden in 2015, though the heat and/or humidity of summer in most Australian states and territories will keep sales at a low level unless GMH is able to offer a hardtop option. This will certainly also be an issue in many parts of the US.