Buick’s compact Verano is not long for this world, a new report finds. Dropping sales and shifting consumer tastes mean that the brand new second-generation model (pictured) that was introduced in China recently won’t be offered on our shores after all.
The Verano stood out when it was introduced in late 2011 because it offered premium features at an attractive price point, as industry trade journal Automotive News points out. However, similarly sized rivals built by mainstream brands have caught up to Buick’s smallest model in terms of content without necessarily being more expensive than before, and sales have consequently taken a hit. Last year, Buick sold fewer than 32,000 examples of the Verano in the United States, down from a peak of over 45,000 in 2013.
The other issue facing the Verano is that motorists are increasingly ditching traditional sedans in favor of high-riding crossovers. In 2012, the compact’s first full year on the market, crossovers represented just 31 percent of Buick’s annual sales in the U.S. That figure jumped to 58 percent last year, and industry analysts predict no less than 68 percent of Buicks sold new in 2017 will be crossovers. With those statistics in mind, it’s hardly a surprise to hear that Buick is shifting its resources to soft-roaders.
It’s important to note that Buick hasn’t commented on the report, so only time will tell whether the Regal is about to become the company’s entry-level sedan. The Chevrolet Cruze and the Opel Astra, two compacts that the Verano shares its basic platform with, were both replaced in the last year, which indicates the current Verano will soon be axed regardless of whether or not it’s replaced. If Automotive News’ sources are correct, the sedan will live on through the 2017 model year, meaning it will stick around for at least another year. If they’re not, we’ll see a new Verano in time for the 2018 model year.