2011 Buick Regal: Kevin Bacon and the Autobahn

Chrissie Thompson covers GM for Automotive News
The first TV spot for the 2011 Buick Regal -- essentially a rebadged Opel Insignia -- focuses on the sedan's German roots. Catch the ad tonight on "NBC Nightly News" or tomorrow during the ESPYs -- or just view the video below.

The commercial praises the Regal's engine without mentioning that it's a four-cylinder and highlights a feature that allows the driver to shift the automatic transmission manually. The voiceover is by Kevin Bacon, although I doubt most listeners will figure that out right away -- or care, if they do figure it out.

Note the small but clear price information at the end. This lines up with what John Schwegman, Buick-GMC's top marketer, told me last month: People need an idea of what a Buick costs these days. It's not an ad for a discount.

Still to come: more Regal commercials and, in a few weeks, the "Moment of Truth" Web site Schwegman told me about.

(Read that story here: