Buick Verano Cannibalizing Regal Sales

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
buick verano cannibalizing regal sales

The introduction of the Buick Verano Turbo is right around the corner, and that could spell doom for the Buick Regal, which has seen sales plunge by 37 percent this year.

While Buick claims that the Verano’s high conquest rate is proof that their is little risk of it cannibalizing its big brother, data from Edmunds obtained by Automotive News shows that cross-shopping between the two nameplates is among the highest in the industry. One possiblity is that lower-end Regal sales are being hurt by the cheaper Verano; 60 percent of Regal sales are now made up of turbocharged models, including the high-performance GS variant. But the Verano Turbo is half a second faster to 60 mph than Buick’s quoted figure for the high performance Regal GS, though Buick claims that the GS offers better steering and handling.

Despite the product overlap, we are fortunate to live in an era where Buick has not one but two high performance turbocharged sedans available with manual transmissions, even if they are “wrong-wheel drive”. If the Regal GS is a pseudo-Insignia OPC for significantly more money, then the Verano Turbo is a more upscale Cobalt SS Cruze, and a Trifecta Tune away from being the ultimate sleeper. Kudos to Buick for having one of the more interesting product mixes in the industry. Hey, they have more manual transmissions than Ferrari.

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  • Ranwhenparked Ranwhenparked on Oct 15, 2012

    The problem here is Buick is splitting their midsize sales two ways, when one properly sized model could handle the job. The Regal is a midsize, but is at the very bottom end of the size range and is closer to a compact, while the LaCrosse is also a midsize but at the very top of the size range and nearly a full-size. The Verano isn't significantly smaller than the Regal, but is about $7,000 cheaper, which certainly seems like the smarter buy. If they just had one intermediate sedan, sized roughly in between Regal and LaCrosse, there would be enough space between that and the Verano to keep them off each other's toes.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Oct 15, 2012

    Verano Turbo + a few years used + depreciation = sleeper special. A good bet is that in a few years this is on the "least ticketed list."

  • Pdanny22 Pdanny22 on Oct 15, 2012

    My first car was a 1986 Buick Skyhawk. It had 199,998 miles on it when it finally died. I really like the Regal GS, but as a 35 year old with a new baby, the upper 30's - low 40's is not a price point that I am able to dabble in. If that ever becomes a possibility for me I would enjoy owning another Buick.

  • Sckid213 Sckid213 on Oct 16, 2012

    I've noticed most of the "Buicks are for old people, they will never overcome this image" come from people who themselves are old. And think it is somehow more youthful to drive a Toyota. I'm 29, and have several peers comment on how nice the "new Buicks" are. The truth is, they have truly revolutionized their product line. They are indeed a "new Buick." Will these peers actually buy a Buick? Who knows. But I was on a Caddy/Buick/GMC lot the other day to look at an ATS and while wandering around sat in a Verano. I was impressed -- it's damn nice inside, and a reasonable price with lots of toys. Looks are handsome. That's enough to sell lots of units on first impression alone. Deliver the right product, and you will find buyers. The Verano looks to be the right product for many. I agree with whoever above said Buick makes a better Acura than Honda. I would take a new Buick over any Acura any day on styling alone. ESPECIALLY if given a choice between Verano and ILX. Brand reputation can only take you so far if the product is not right. Nobody seems to be talking about how nice the "new Acuras" are. Quite the opposite. I never thought I would see the day when Acura should be scared of what's going on at Buick...but I think we've arrived there.

    • Alluster Alluster on Oct 16, 2012

      +1. I am in my late 20's and I think the Verano would be a perfect car for me in a couple of years. It reminds me of my dad's 2001 A4 Turbo that I used to drive when in college. Compact, luxurious, had everything and was inexpensive. The Verano would fit like a glove and is quiet like a coffin(no pun intended for Buick's customer base). I do not care for the badge nor if it is a re-badge of something else. It suits my needs and the fuel economy is great. Looks very elegant and has an Audiish subdued look to it. Even the "eyebrows" look fine in person. Will just settle for the 2.4 to avoid any turbo issues. Will also settle for an automatic after 9 years of driving manuals. I am glad the Verano is doing very well. With good marketing, I can see this car consistently sell 6K to 8K units a month. This gives a lot of hope for the Encore, which i expect to also do very well. The Encore will the most fuel efficient non hybrid SUV excluding the CX5, is priced reasonably and the General has always had better luck selling SUV/CUVs than compacts. It is no surprise the Regal has tanked. Is very expensive and Buick doesn't have the brand image yet to command such high prices for a car that is in no way shape or form better than a V6 Camry, V6 Accord or a turbo Sonata. Earlier this year, GM said part of the decline is due to cutting fleet sales of the Regal from 20% in 2011 to less than 3% in 2012. GM also removed lofty incentives on the Regal once the Verano debuted. This increased the base asking price of the Regal by over $2700. http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f70/verano-pushing-regal-upmarket-111264/ Knock the price down by a couple of grand across the Regal lineup, throw in a V6 and you will find more buyers. The Regal should stay if only to spread development costs for the Insignia. It sold over 200,000 units in China.