As omnipresent as the original Volkswagen Beetles continue to be some 35+ years after the last one was sold in the United States, one forgets that it wasn’t always the only import popular with American audiences before Civic/Corolla domination. In fact, the quite often second most popular import in America could be found in your Buick dealer, via Germany.
General Motors had from time to time given its American brands something different to sell. Their were the price gap cars that came at the end of the Roaring Twenties. In fact, Pontiac cannibalized parent brand Oakland during that period. When foreign car popularity took off in the Mid 50’s and more buyers craved more sensible cars, General Motors took to importing their overseas offerings. Pontiac offered Vaxhalls from the UK. Buick offered Opels from Germany.