By on May 9, 2016

2015 Buick Verano Turbo

Buick is poised to take the Verano behind the barn and vacate the compact car market in North America, according to sources familiar with the automaker’s plans.

The Verano’s dwindling sales share and the popularity of the automaker’s crossovers and SUVs is behind the decision to phase out the entry-level luxury compact, Automotive News reports.

While North America will lose the Verano, which shares a platform with the Chevrolet Cruze, the model will live on in Buick-hungry China. A second-generation version bowed in that country last year, including a sporty “GS” model.

The sources said Buick will likely keep the current Verano around for the 2017 model year before dropping the blade.

Introduced for the 2012 model year, the Verano’s high water mark for U.S. sales came in 2013, with a significant drop recorded last year. Interestingly, the model’s strongest sales month in Canada was last month.

In the past, Buick’s global chief Duncan Aldred said the brand’s future holds a smaller number of high-volume vehicles, with no room for low-volume niche products.

As buyers increasingly move towards crossovers and SUVs, Buick — once strictly a purveyor of plush sedans and coupes — has pivoted its lineup to meet demand. The China-built Envision crossover lands on North American shores next month, and changes are on the way for the diminutive Encore and range-topping Enclave.

If the Verano does get the axe, it means the manual transmission — offered as an option with the 2.0-liter turbo four — leaves the brand altogether, though few are likely to mourn its passing.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

82 Comments on “Buick to Axe the Verano, Leave the Compact Sedan Market: Sources...”


  • avatar

    When your Verano is just a lack-luster, badge engineered Chevy, and your market is flooded with better options… and the Chinese are your number-one buyers, what’s the point?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Buick recedes in America.

    There’s really no point in having it here.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I thought at the time that they should have killed off Buick and GMC, too. Or killed off GMC and made Buick a China-only brand.

      • 0 avatar
        tsoden

        I was not surprised when Pontiac or Saab was dropped, but I was surprised when GM axed Saturn and kept Buick.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        GMC makes a ton of money, what are you saying?

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          Okay, maybe they should keep them around. They’re just upmarket, badge-engineered Chevy trucks; something for the Buick and Cadillac dealers to sell. The thing is, if Cadillac is serious about moving Cadillac upmarket, do they really want trucks at the same dealers? And if Buick goes China only, where will GMC trucks go? GMC-only dealers?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            -Cadillac has many independent dealers which do not have Buick.

            -Nobody has indicated Buick is going China-only. If it does so, it loses appeal to the Chinese as “representative of American luxury” and I think that’d hurt sales.

            -Badge engineering things is a GM staple, and always will be.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Dukeisduke brings up a good point, GM still has three sales distribution channels which is why something like Verano was spun up in the first place. If you consolidate sales channels into two, or perhaps one, you streamline operations and save on duplication costs. If Buick goes away, then GMC’s distro should logically be merged into Cadillac but this could be difficult depending on how the territories are laid out. Plus Cadillac is already threatening to mirror Chevrolet in terms of production lineup (Cimmaron, up to two new CUV models in addition to XT5). If you toss pickup trucks into the mix, you’ve completed the circle, not to mention conflicts with selling Yukon and Escalade across from one another.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Badge-engineering is not platform sharing.

      I will say it again: badge-engineering is not platform sharing.

      This car wasn’t a badge-engineered Chevy. It shared a platform with one (the Cruze). The actual car that it was badge-engineered from was the Opel Astra sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      So an Audi A4 is just a badge engineered VW Polo if I follow your logic.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’m honestly surprised they didn’t at least TRY to ship them out with the Trifecta Tune™ before pulling the plug. 350WHP, 500WTQ, 60 MPG combined, a piddly sum that the American taxpayer could easily absorb. What’s the holdup GM?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The Verano is really popular around here. It seems that everyone who was miffed to find out they couldn’t by a Pontiac G6 or a Grand Am or an Oldsmobile Alero purchased one.

    I’m surprised by this faze out.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I suspect the Verano is falling to the Encore: about the same price, but with a higher hip point and more useful space.

      This is a smart move: people who want a Buick will pay a little more for Encore (or the Lacrosse, if they can’t abide a crossover) or go the Chevy route for the Cruze LTZ.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Evidently sales fell 16% last summer alone, with the Cruze being redesigned GM doesn’t want to spend the additional coin to spin up an Oldsmobuickantic equivalent. This is from June 2015:

        http://www.autonews.com/article/20150612/OEM01/150619945/gm-to-cut-chevy-sonic-buick-verano-production-amid-weak-sales

        If costs were more reasonable, it might make sense but I imagine design, certification, and supplier costs are in the hundreds of millions. If sales remain in the 30K per annum range, assuming 10% margin that’s roughly $2700 a unit @ 30K units, its only $81,000,000 which at 5 years production is only $405m whereas the cost to do it might be $500m. Pity internal costs are so high, I imagine back in GM’s prime, they were not hence five brands with nearly identical platforms.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Have they axed the Regal yet?

      The Verano is also really popular here. The buy-here-pay-here high turnover guy stocks them and sells them out.

      When I was potentially staring at the repairs going over the cut bait number recently, I was looking at a nicely-loaded one with AWD in black. They sold it while I was waiting for the damage estimate, but they offered me a range of Regals that are still the same Regals sitting there a month later.

    • 0 avatar
      Ron

      I have to tease you, since you are a Principal. “Faze”? Did you confuse TTAC with a site for Star Wars fans?

    • 0 avatar
      operagost

      As someone who went from a Skylark (RIP) to an Alero (RIP) due to the Skylark being discontinued, I really identify with this.*

      The Alero is really signaling for its replacement, but it looks like that will have to be a Fusion Titanium instead of another orphaned model/make.

      And of course, I was also looking at the Chrysler 200…

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    No surprise there. The Verano and Regal were in the pipeline to be Saturns before the bankruptcy.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Regal can go f-ck off, I won’t miss it. The Verano is much more acceptable!

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Verano held almost 40% of the segment as reported here and schooled Acura and its ILX for the term.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Yup – it was one of the first vehicles in the segment and owned it. I’d rather have a full equipped Verano turbo with a manual than the God awful CLA – save about $10K at least in the process.

        I’m bummed to see it go. Logic for me is keep the Verano, kill the Regal, and continue with the new LaCrosse. If anything, the LaCrosse makes less and less sense every day as large cars are dying, if not dead in the United States.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    But for Regal, production will increase of course /s.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That’s OK, the Verano and Regal are roughly the same size inside.

      Edit: wow I just found a 2012 Regal GS Turbo on CarGurus with 26,000 miles listing for less than $19,000. Site says it has been listed on the site for 204 days.

      Real winner you’ve got there GM.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m guessing that’s worth about 12 now.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I’d also wager that a sales price at which the dealer could have made money on the car has long since disappeared over the horizon. This car should be pictured in the dictionary next to the definition for “lot poison”.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I suspect they are hoping for a rube but they know in the end its getting wholesaled out at a broker or going to the block both at a several thousand dollar loss. If I had to guess, they had 14-15 in it. Smart move would be to put a pack + $500 on it and just not accept trades as some turboz kid would be stupid enough to buy it. 19 for a MY12 lot poison? ODB had a album name which described this scenario.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        If you like this FWD Verano, wouldn’t you like a FWD Verano-sized +2.2% car for 34% more money?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The Regal is a plenty nice car with a horrid back seat.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        Sounds about right. The GS is on my shrinking list to replace my Jetta when its lease is up in a few months. Considering the only Regal I’ve seen in my area was at the GM dealer when we were looking at cars for my mother, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about seeing myself everywhere.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “The Verano’s dwindling sales share and the popularity of the automaker’s crossovers and SUVs is behind the decision to phase out the entry-level luxury compact…”

    There’s the rub: “entry-level”.

    Buick = entry level? Those two just do not belong together. Buick should be and remain a premium brand, something a Chevy owner would aspire to, but I suppose the old structure is no longer the case.

    In my opinion, Buick should get rid of the Regal as well because it is not a larger car. Buick has to distinguish itself as building vehicles that stand apart and only offer the La Crosse, Enclave & Cascada. Encore? I don’t understand the popularity of that, but it’s working for them. I know the Cascada is smaller, but is unique to the GM line up.

    No manual? Who cares? 99.99% of car buyers don’t want one, including me. You want a sports car? Buy something else.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’ve always called it the Angry Birds car (the chrome eyebrows over the taillights). Good riddance.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Their ad campaign is pathetic – happy music, with “that doesn’t look like a Buick”, and “that doesn’t look like your grandfather”. Whistling past the graveyard.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Well, guess my mom will own an “abandoned” vehicle in a year or two. She bought a new 2012 Verano and loves it. Of course, she keeps cars for ten years, so this one isn’t going anywhere. And at her age, it may well be her last car purchase ever.

    Soon, just about every product in Buick’s line up will be made anywhere BUT the US. And that’s just sad. There are days I wish Pontiac had survived (not that it would have guaranteed GM didn’t move all of that production overseas, as well…).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Verano may be next on the Church’s recommended list for used car value. Discontinued models generally drop 10% around the time of announcement.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like them in pearl white with higher trim specification, they look suitably premium then.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Definitely a step up from N-body Skylark, these kids today have it made with their future beaters.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            When you build online you have the option of color-keyed mudflaps, and while that sounds silly that car NEEDS those. Makes it look much more sturdy.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @28-Cars, lol you just made me think of high school and my buddy Jeff owning a Buick Somerset Regal coupe our senior year.

            His used car salesman dad bought it off the “budget lot.”

            Senior Class of 2026, there’s a Verano with your name on it!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @PrincipalDan

            The tradition continues.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    The Buick Urano was a mishmash vehicle – interior was one of the worst ever as it was everything and the kitchen sink thrown together without any design talent. The exterior was a joke or a caricature of a Buick.

    I fear that Buick will just bring in another rebadged Opel and slather chrome all over it and ruin it.

    I still love the Regal. The best car Buick and Total Recall Motors makes for the price.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    The Verano was poorly placed in the product space, with significant overlap with the Cruze at the low end and the Regal at the high end. It’s an example of old, bad GM thinking they need to capture Buick brand people rather than send them to get a LTZ cruze. The base engine is not competitive with other brands, and the turbo is too expensive compared to a regal. I just don’t think there is enough daylight between the two cars for the Verano, and there are not enough elderly who will only buy Buick and want a compact car. Let it go.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So if the Regal goes (which it will), then Buick is left with the very small and expensive Cascada (will fail quickly) and the LaCrosse as its cars, plus three SUVs.

    That’s not a very wide product offering.

    Why not slap a Wildcat badge on a RWD ATS based thing? Hmm?

  • avatar
    omer333

    I really wish I could’ve found a Verano turbo, either before I got my Dart or after the damn thing blew up.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    CHINUICK FTW!!!!

    *By 2020, 95.3% of passenger vehicles locked in the artistic, synchronized dance genre some call “rush hour” will be CUVs, pickups, or SUVs.

    CROSSOVER NATION.

  • avatar
    86er

    I could never tell any of those Opels apart.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Buick has one, maybe two vehicles that are actually competitive, the Enclave and the Encore. Everything else is either: A. Outdated, B. Lackluster, or C. Outdated and Lackluster.

    The sedans are not competitive, period. A loaded up Accord/Camry/Altima/Fusion/Malibu/etc is cheaper and nicer than any of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Aside from space, I don’t think the Enclave is all that competitive, either. It’s actually pretty dated on the inside. However, it does have nice styling and is popular.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    This could have been an interesting car if they had brought the hatchback over (it’s pretty popular as the Excelle in China). There’s really no other hatchbacks for premium buyers since the old A3 went away. Not counting hatcbacks on stilts, of course (SUVs/CUVs).

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      That’s because few, if any, people actually buy premium hatchbacks (that aren’t on stilts!). GM is bringing the Hecho en Mexico Cruze hatchback later to the US, though.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        No one was buying the Eos either, but Buick for some reason brought the Cascada over here. I hope the plan wasn’t to just pump them into fleets, but they could have worn a Chevy badge for that.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    That’s a bit surprising, it outsold the Acura Civic by at least 2:1 in every year and even stole some comparo test wins.

    I never liked the way it looked–frumpy, dumpy, too fat and tall for its short length. I suppose those who did like it can now get an even frumpier, dumpier, more awkward looking Encore with the same badge.

    And probably a better profit margin for GM.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Unless Trax is really taking off or the platform is really cheap to build, I don’t see how GM is enjoying the economies of scale it needs to in order to sufficiently profit on the model. Verano should be a profitable model on already successful Cruze volume and if its not worth building from a cost standpoint I fail to see how Encore is any different.

      • 0 avatar
        Eyeflyistheeye

        The Verano was actually a pretty nice car interior wise. Outside, it was disgusting though a better effort from the company that doesn’t usually put effort in than the crappy ILX and CLA.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    poor poor Norm first Saab and now his beloved Verano, where will he place his tune next? It is almost like the car gods do not like his boasting

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I’m surprised no one mentioned last week’s Cruzillac article. Could that be the real reason the Verano is getting take out back?

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    This makes no sense to me. I see Veranos on the road around here fairly frequently, while I can recall seeing one pre-refresh and one post-refresh Regal in maybe a year.

    The Verano kicked the ILX’s sorry ass, and all it really needed to better compete with the CLA250 and A3 is more interesting styling and an interior tech update, which the new Astra just got. The turbo was plenty quick (if thirsty) it was decent enough to drive, although it would pogo a bit over some bumps because of the crude rear suspension.

    The Verano also has the road noise of an E-class, while the CLA and ILX have the road noise of a base trim Corolla.

    Why would you kill it and keep the Regal? I just don’t get it. The Verano maxed out at $31K, which is where a base FWD Audi A3 starts. With some relatively mild updates it could’ve done fine.

    The Regal runs from $28K to nearly $40K. Who is it for? Why would you buy one over an S60, or a Maxima, or a 320i, or a MKZ? Why does it exist?

    What GM will do is try instead to compete with the CLA and A3 with some new Cadillac that will come in below the ATS, and will bomb. Hey I know, call it the BLS!

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Congrats to GM for axing this subpar poc.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      When the Verano was first introduced, I wondered why GM would market a tiny Buick in the US when they already had an overabundance of tiny cars on the market in North America.

      I guess that marketing campaign of “That’s not your grandpa” didn’t win over many young male buyers.

      But I did think that it was a chic-car only to find out that old ladies were the ones driving it.

  • avatar
    RS

    Welcome to Sergio’s world…

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Axing the Verano at this point in time is a mistake. Now that the Regal is moving to the longer-wheelbase platform used by the Malibu, there’s definitely room for a smaller Buick.

    The Verano probably has not sold as well as GM hoped. Some of the people buyers seem to be the targeted demographic of upscale young professionals who might otherwise buy an Acura ILX, Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA; but there is also a significant number being sold to traditional Buick buyers who are senior citizens, many of them women.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “The Verano probably has not sold as well as GM hoped”

      I think it is more than that. I think GM found out that young buyers were more drawn to the foreign-brands of that size and class.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    I’d like to think that Buick becomes GM’s hip international brand, but it’s a tough road. With overseas production and the Cascada, Regal, and Encore merely masquerading as “Buicks”, as well as no North American production of the Envision, I don’t see this brand committing to a future in the US. They’ve already milked the Enclave for all that it is worth, and we all know the new Lacrosse is better positioned for China.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Not hard to figure this one out. Cadillac is going to have a Delta based compact, and if anyone’s checked out the new Cruze (I saw one yesterday during my Sunday closed-dealer shop), you’ll find it to be SERIOUSLY upscale inside for the bucks. Even the lower priced ones are exceptionally well trimmed.

    Thus, the Verano becomes odd man out.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    The Verano should never have been made.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • mcs: Nissan Leaf is 28 inches: https://youtube.com/watch?v=Y9 plRzRZ_PY
  • mcs: You can also pick up a level 2 charge at campgrounds that have sites equipped with NEMA 14-50 power.
  • mcs: “but can’t blow smoke through the stacks.” 1,000 horsepower gives you other options for smoke...
  • Lou_BC: I don’t like the fording depth of 24 inches. It doesn’t need an air intake like an ICE engine so...
  • Lou_BC: @kericf – a 350 mile range is pretty good unless you live in Alaska or Northern Canada. One can run out...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber