By on June 10, 2016

2016 Buick Verano red“An old man turned ninety-eight,
He won the lottery and died the next day” – Alanis Morissette

General Motors’ Buick Verano didn’t make it to 98, but after turning the grand-old age of 5, the entry-level Buick sedan will join a congregation of defunct Buicks in Detroit’s vehicular graveyard. It would seem easy enough for the second-generation Verano to make its way over from China, where Buick is GM’s darling brand. In the interests of products that GM believes will produce higher U.S. volumes with superior margins, namely E-badged crossovers, the Verano’s North American days are over.

It’s not too difficult to understand why. In the United States, Buick reported 45,527 Verano sales in the model’s second full year, 2013. Just two years later, Verano volume in 2015 was down 30 percent from that peak. Buick is on track in 2016 to sell fewer than 27,000 Veranos in America. Sales of Buick’s more popular entry-level model, the Encore subcompact crossover, are up 21 percent this year. Already in 2016, through only five months, Buick has sold 30,330 Encores in the United States.

Yet north of the border, the Verano’s demise is indeed ironic. Just days before Automotive News revealed that GM would end the Verano’s North American run with an abbreviated 2017 model year, GM Canada revealed that Verano sales had risen to an all-time high in April.

“Buick is a global brand, and we remain committed to providing customers a compelling vehicle portfolio that meets the specific needs and demands of each country where it operates,” GM spokesperson George Saratlic told TTAC yesterday.

But at its current pace, Canadian sales of the Verano would rise above 9,000 units in 2016, a large number for a semi-premium compact sedan that wears the badge of a company that’s lost nearly half its market share over the last decade. The Verano outperforms its Buick family in Canada, claiming 1.2 percent of the Canadian passenger car market (only 0.4 percent in the U.S.) while the Buick brand’s market share in Canada – 0.9 percent this year – is three-tenths of a percentage point lower than it is in the United States.

2016 Buick Verano sedan white

Not only did the Verano set a Canadian sales record of 1,125 units in April, the Verano generated more than half of Buick’s Canadian sales volume in May. The LaCrosse, Regal, Enclave, Encore, and new Envision combined for a 22-percent year-over-year loss in May, yet total Buick sales rose 2 percent because of the Verano’s 43-percent year-over-year increase, the Verano’s sixth consecutive improvement. Buick’s 2-percent increase in May stood in stark contrast to the performances of GM’s three other brands: Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC slid 25 percent, 10 percent, and 21 percent, respectively.

It’s under these circumstances that GM Canada waves goodbye to the Buick Verano, a sedan which is, like so many traditional sedans, projected to be a low-volume, low-margin car in the near future.

“Here in Canada, the SUV market began to outperform the car market in 2014 and since then this trend has been continuing,” Saratlic said. “This change with Verano underscores this changing consumer market dynamic and will allow Buick to invest greater resources in the all-new Envision crossover set to arrive in Canadian dealerships this summer and the recently updated and award-winning 2017 Encore crossover.”

Yes, call it coincidence, call it irony, call it an unexpected twist. But GM is turning away from the Verano, a car which lives on in all-new form in China, to invest greater resources in the Envision, which is imported from China.

[Image Source: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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39 Comments on “Isn’t It Ironic? Buick Verano Cancellation Timing Is Off In Canada...”


  • avatar

    Yet another cancellation virtually NO ONE will notice.

    Chinese love Buick. I have no idea why. But they do.

    Give them the Buick then.

    Murica doesn’t care about Buick because the cars are BORING. A little higher than Chevy, a bit lower than Cadillac.

    If you aren’t willing to “pull a Chrysler” and put insane amounts of power in the cars – then don’t bother.

    Just make Chevy great again!

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      Agreed.

      The market is overflowing with zero-personality 4 door sedans. There is no reason to produce a small to mid-size 4 door sedan that isn’t a Toyota/Honda/Hyundai.

      If a manufacturer is going to attempt a product in this category, it needs to stand out – huge power is a good way to do that.

    • 0 avatar
      Shiv91

      I think Chevy IS great or at least greater than Buick at this point. Chevy has the Impala, the ‘Vette, the Camaro, the trucks, the Cruze isn’t my type but at least it doesn’t pretend to be what it’s not.

      Buick has an underpowered egg shaped Korean crossover, a Chinese crossover, a 10 year old crossover, an underpowered cramped Opel, and one last full-size sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      MrKiwi

      “Murica doesn’t care about Buick because the cars are BORING.”

      Are you specifically talking about the sedans, or do you mean the Buick brand in general? I’m curious about figures for the Enclave. I see these all over the place in south eastern Pennsylvania.

      • 0 avatar

        The brand in general is BORING.

        What does Buick stand for?

        Do they even bother to advertise anymore?

        DODGE has cool commercials that make you want to buy one. An old man doing burnouts speaks volumes.

        What does Buick have?

        Does anyone even know their product?

        Why ould I choose a Buick over an acura or a lincoln or any other soul-less econobox?

        Believe me, I NEVER thought I’d ever want a Chrysler product growing up. But when some madman put 400+ HP in one, suddenly, it got more exciting .

        If I were going to save Buick, I’d build them so radically different and better than Chevy that they’d stand out.

        Even KIA stands out from Hyundai’s when they are basically the same thing.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I own a 1995 LeSabre, and I love it. So, for me, I would gladly look at another Buick. But, here’s the problem for GM:

          I (And most other Buick owners I know) are the type of person who looks for value, and likely won’t purchase a new vehicle. A later-model Buick looks appealing to us, in part due to it’s massive depreciation that the first owner incurred. So, out of our group, GM doesn’t stand to make much, if any, financial gain. That’s not a market to play too.

          Buick is too much of a “Me Too” brand IMHO. The Avenir concept is unique, and beautiful. They need to roll with it and be unique.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Tell that to Acura who’s ILX is still being close to doubled in sales by the Verano.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    The Canadians can just purchase the Acura ilx which is essential the same car with more road noise.

  • avatar
    FOG

    As a United Statesian (Canada, and Mexico are in America too) I just want U.S. car companies selling cars and keeping jobs here. My commute is too short for me to get too excited about a certain model vehicle. The two neighbors that have Veranos are ecstatic about them. One is a 6’7″ gentleman who is amazed at how roomy this vehicle is. Is the Verano exciting for enthusiasts, clearly not, but I think GM should continue to produce boring vehicles people buy.

  • avatar
    2o6

    I’m reeeally confused as to why they’re axing this model, when the Regal still soilders on vastly unsold, rotting on dealer’s lots.

    The Verano is done and paid for, and outsells the ILX and until recently, the A3 as well.

    I feel like this model is being axed because it’s going to become a Cadillac, even though Cadillac says they’re not doing a FWD small car like this.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    If they’d wanted to save it, all they had to do was rechristen it the Skyhawk and only sell it with the high-output engine.

    It is a loss to the firmament and the main only because it had amazing chairs. Buick used to have a knack for making imperial thrones. The Regal has flimsy, German bottom-grade chairs. The Verano, at least at the start, had the Buick thrones from the LaCrosse, as part of the last of a line of tradition of great chairs that made such cars as the Lucerne, the Cadillac DeVille, and the Olds Aurora amazingly comfortable. Who needs to work on the suspension when you can have the world’s greatest chair that absorbs all of the bumps?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Can confirm. Seats are probably the best part of Verano ownership.

      My Verano, and even the basic rental spec Verano is far more comfortable on the road than the courtesy car Lacrosses we experienced.

    • 0 avatar
      Davekaybsc

      Absolutely. The Verano didn’t have a whole lot of power adjustments (or ANY lumbar adjustment) but they got it right. I drove both the Verano Turbo and the Regal Turbo, and I was shocked at how much more comfortable the Verano’s seats were compared to the lumpy, base BMW style benches in the Regal. No thanks on that one Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Hearing about these seats, I kind of want a Verano. Maybe that’s something Buick should have mentioned.

      • 0 avatar
        Davekaybsc

        They actually did. I remember something in the marketing materials talking about how they had a large dedicated focus group for the Verano seats and really worked on making them as comfortable as possible. It definitely paid off.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        TMA1, believe it or not, I would be willing to let my Verano go…

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    That Alanis song always annoyed me. When it was constantly on the radio, I’d spend the whole time screaming, “None of these things are ironic!” Which they weren’t.

  • avatar

    In the banner ad next to this article “Buick Price Break 20% off MSRP on a 2016 Verano 1SD”

    Its a great car with limited volume, they made a decision and are pulling the plug.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Buick is a global brand, and we remain committed to providing customers a compelling vehicle portfolio that meets the specific needs and demands of each country where it operates,”

    Why do people make these statements when they don’t mean anything?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Just wait until you get into a position of leadership. Soooooo much theater that means nothing but makes someone (likely someone above your pay grade) happy.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Marketing 101, I suppose? “Defer, deflect, deny.”

      Right up with “what’s a ‘mission statement?\'” Answer: Some meaningless statement about our company that you couldn’t remember at gunpoint!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I could never ever work in HR or marketing. Too often I find myself saying “Wow, this is really stupid. Why are we doing this?”

        • 0 avatar
          fvfvsix

          @CoreyDL – sure you could. My wife and I pull no punches at work – she’s in HR; I’m in marketing. I think she’s developed a really good method for leading people to their own conclusion about the stupidity of the requests they’re making.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      This thread brought to you by the Honda and GM executives who refuse to admit, respectively, that the Acura beak and CUE were mistakes.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Let’s fix Buick. Here’s the plan. Instead of playing in the bland, cheapish, kinda-luxury sedan market, or the me-too S/CUV market, Buick creates its own market called “The beautiful cars market.” What do I mean? Here’s what; GM has some very talented designers, as proven by concepts like Cien and Avenir. Buick would be where these folks get turned loose and actually produce said “beautiful cars.” Buick wouldn’t have a line-up it would have a portfolio. The cars would have to have performance similar to Lexus or slightly better, but nobody is going after BMW M-series or AMG. These are cars you drive wearing a great suit, but no tie. You want your choosing the car to feel like choosing a work of art. No compromise design, slightly above average performance and excellent quality. Purveyor of beautiful cars, that’s what Buick should be.

    • 0 avatar
      LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

      That makes great sense. The sad reality is, unfortunately, that Buick is a division of Generally Mediocre.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnster

        Yeah, it does make sense. I had hopes for Buick evolving into a somewhat more conservative and slightly lower-priced luxury car than Cadillac.

        Instead it seems to be turning into fancy, but well-equipped versions of Chevrolets.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          I don’t think the strategy of Buick as FWD, Lexus ES style luxury and Cadillac as RWD, BMW/MB style luxury is a bad one in theory. The product mix and design has been a bit off the mark though for both.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Beautiful cars are a start, but it will take a lot to wash away the memory of a Daewoo Lacetti-based Buick I rode around in in China.


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