It’s official. The little sedan that carried the entry-level luxury flag for Buick has fallen in battle.
Its assailant? The crossover, and changing consumer preferences.
General Motors sent a memo to Canadian dealers today stating the compact Verano sedan will cease production at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan on Oct. 2016, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.
Why Canadian dealers? Well, it’s the best-selling Buick model north of the border, selling six times as many units last year as its full-size brother, the Lacrosse. Oddly, last month was the model’s best sales month in the Great White North.
The automaker’s compact crown will now be handed to the Encore mini crossover.
Earlier this month anonymous sources leaked that the Verano’s death was imminent. U.S. sales dropped considerably last year, as Buick put most of its effort into building crossovers and courting the Chinese market.
The Cruze-based compact was likely seen as too “niche market” by Buick executives, who previously said they’d prefer to offer a smaller number of large-volume vehicles.
Offered with an upgraded engine lineup, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the Verano was a step up from lesser GM compacts. A quiet, plush cabin and available six-speed manual (paired with the turbo) was a nod towards individuality, but there just weren’t enough individuals walking into Buick dealerships to buy one.
[Source: Globe and Mail] [Image: ©2013 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]