CANCELLED: Buick Verano Ends In The US After 2017

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2016 Buick Verano

It looks like the Buick Verano’s days are numbered. The compact sedan isn’t posting strong enough sales numbers in the US and will reportedly cease production after 2017.

According to Automotive News, it’s not so much that there’s something wrong with the Verano, but that there’s something very right with crossovers. They’re the car of the moment and account for a growing percentage of car sales every year. Buick has not been immune to the crossover craze, which means its portfolio needs some tweaking if they intend to stay competitive.

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China got a redesigned Verano last year, and a similar move was expected for the US market. Instead, the current Verano will see one more year of production before it’s done.

This might seem like bad news for Buick, but that’s not the case. Although sedans like the Verano, LaCrosse, and Regal aren’t posting huge numbers, Buick is still selling cars, just different ones. The Encore and Enclave are stepping up to take the place of the good old sedan.

The percentage of Buick’s sales coming from crossovers is only going to go up. Next month, the Envision compact joins the lineup, giving Buick customers yet another reason to go with a crossover rather than a sedan.

2016 Buick Envision

The Encore, which was launched back in 2013, has taken the place of the Verano as the smaller, entry-level car for those looking to get into the Buick brand. It’s now their highest-volume nameplate and number one conquest vehicle. That’s pretty solid evidence that the Verano isn’t a car Buick needs in the mix.

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That doesn’t mean there is no place for compact sedans, so there’s still some risk in axing the Verano. Someone walking into the showroom looking for one might not find the same appeal in the Encore. Buick is betting the number won’t be high enough to hurt and that the Encore will sway most buyers in its direction.

2016 Buick Encore

The change falls in line with current global Buick chief Duncan Aldred‘s philosophy of not spreading the brand too thin. He wants cars with volume that can be easily marketed and sold to dealers. Vehicles that don’t sell enough are destined for the chopping block.

It’s difficult to gauge the public’s taste in the long term. When gas prices rise, then┬ácompact, fuel-efficient cars are all the rage. Then when prices fall, the pendulum swings in the other direction and people pay less attention to fuel economy.

Crossovers could easily suffer the same fate. Once upon a time, in a world of soccer moms, the minivan was king and everyone wanted one. Not many people today want a minivan and the stigma attached to the family haulers isn’t going away.

There’s no way to know if crossovers will have similar issues. Once a car becomes the “it” car, then it’s destined to become yesterday’s hot news and easily replaced by something new.

Everyone is rushing to build crossovers with some automakers offering multiple variants in slightly different sizes. How they can all survive is a mystery.

The reality is, they likely won’t all make it in the end. Our crush on crossovers will eventually fade, but that won’t save the Buick Verano.

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