'Business As Usual' As Buick About to Reveal Two Products Amidst Opel-PSA Talks
As politicians and labor unions in Europe reel from yesterday’s revelation of high-level talks between General Motors and Peugeot over a possible sale of Opel, GM’s most European-infused brand on this side of the Atlantic is operating business as usual.
Buick, which is GM’s second-largest brand globally by volume behind Chevrolet, has product in the wings, including the largely rumored but unconfirmed Buick Regal, based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia.
Buick sees no problem with that.
“Our priorities for the brand haven’t changed since Monday,” a Buick spokesperson told TTAC on Wednesday. “It is business as usual until/if something is finalized.”
What is business as usual?
Regardless of an Opel-PSA deal, one debut from Buick will remain unaffected: the next-generation Buick Enclave. While GM has updated all the Enclave’s platform mates in recent months, Buick’s entry has yet to show its sheetmetal to the public, and that reveal is likely safe thanks to its local production and its separation from Opel. The three-row Enclave is rumored to get a New York reveal in April.
The situation is different for the Buick Regal.
While its reveal, similarly rumored for New York, won’t likely be threatened by a purchase of Opel by PSA, it’s been long assumed GM would move Regal production to Germany and away from its Oshawa plant. Should a deal go through, Oshawa still may not be able to keep the model, as Regal production could join Malibu at GM’s Fairfax Assembly facility in Kansas City, Missouri.
And that’s assuming GM bothers.
After its 40,144-unit high mark in 2011, under half that many Regals — just 19,833 units — found homes in America in 2016. If anything, it would make more sense for Regal to become Buick’s second Chinese import, as it sold 69,300 units there in 2016.
TMA1 on Feb 15, 2017
Only 69K Regal sales in China last year? And yet the Verano is the one they killed. Look at the sales for the Buick Excelle (aka Verano) in China for the past 5 years: http://carsalesbase.com/china-car-sales-data/buick/buick-excelle-xtgt/ Excelle XT/GT 2016 370,375 2015 290,213 2014 246,305 2013 204,274 2012 173,312 2011 134,800 2010 81,652 Any auto maker would kill for sales and year-over-year increases like that!
Varezhka on Feb 16, 2017
Given the current sales number, would the actual Buick buyers in NA even notice if Regal is killed altogether? It may make sense to further consolidate the sedan line to a single model of LaCrosse. Trim the line-up to an easy to choose choice of Encore (sm), Envision (med), Enclave (lg), and LaCrosse (sedan holdouts). Any other non-mainstream niche preferences (RWD sports sedan, coupe, wagon, BOF SUV, etc.) can be taken care of by Johan's Cadillac.
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