It’s yet another death knell for a General Motors product, this time for the Buick Verano compact sedan. According to a report in Fortune, after weeks of speculation, GM spokesman Stuart Fowle said in an email that the company would cease production of the Buick Verano in the United States after a short 2017 production.
The nameplate will still be sold in China.
First launched in 2011, the Buick Verano, priced in the mid-$20,000s, cost more than other mainstream compact cars such as theand . The Verano wasn’t a full-on luxury car, but did come in less expensive than luxury compact cars such as the .
Sales in 2012, the Verano’s first full year in the market, exceeded 40,000 units. The peak year for Verano sales, however, was 2013 when 45,527 were sold. By 2015, sales dropped to 31,886. For the first four months of 2016, Verano sales only totaled 10,624.
The 2013 Buick Verano was named segment leader in compact cars in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. The Verano was hailed for its quiet interior, comfortable and composed ride, strong turbo engine and competitive price, offering many features of a full-size luxury sedan in a compact one.
Why Did the Verano Lose Steam?
With the increase in popularity of crossovers and SUVs, coupled with low gasoline prices, there’s been a profound – and some say permanent – shift in consumer preferences.
GM notified workers at the Lake Orion, Michigan plant outside Detroit on May 25 that production would wind down by this October.
As reported in Automotive News, dealers were informed about the end of Verano production during national meetings held in Austin, Texas last week.
A statement from Buick read: “The decision [to end Buick Verano production in the U.S.] underscores the changing market dynamics where there is a growing demand for SUVs in North America.”
Crossovers Big at Buick
After sales of the new Buick Envision small luxury crossover ramp up, sometime this June, crossovers will account for more than 70 percent of all Buick sales. The Automotive News report said Buick chief Duncan Aldred acknowledged that fact in January of this year.
The 2016 Buick Envision will be available in two trims, Premium and Premium II, with prices starting at $42,995 and $45,695, respectively.
Besides the Buick Envision, other crossovers from Buick include the Enclave compact luxury crossover and the Enclave midsize luxury crossover.