Buick will no longer offer its entry-level Verano sedan after the 2017 model year, reports Automotive News, citing two unnamed sources. The reason behind killing the Buick Verano comes down to slow sales and an increasing demand for crossovers like the Buick Encore.
A GM spokesperson told AN it wouldn’t comment on the future of the Verano, but that it’s focused on selling the current model. Last year the Verano sold just 31,886 units, and the model’s peak sales came in 2013 with 45,527 units sold. That’s peanuts compared to sales of the Encore SUV, which hit 67,549 units in 2015. Overall, 58 percent of Buick’s sales last year were crossovers, and that number is only expected to grow with the introduction of the Chinese-made Envision SUV.
Rising competition and improved equipment from non-premium compacts, including Chevrolet’s own Cruze, helped spell doom for such a car in the premium space, as well. The end of the Verano leaves just the Regal and the LaCrosse saddling sedan duty in the U.S.
Following the debut of a revamped Buick Verano in China last year, it was thought the compact Cruze-based sedan would continue its presence in U.S. showrooms. That plan started to look less and less likely after GM shifted a $245 million investment initially penned for its Orion Assembly plant (where the Verano is built) to its facility in Fairfax, Kansas instead. At the time, the local UAW spokesperson didn’t see a future for the Verano given the landscape.
We’ll keep an eye out for more details as they become available.