Discontinued Buick Verano Makes Room for More Crossovers

A market trend toward crossovers is causing Buick to reconsider its lineup and make some adjustments. With a new mid-range crossover recently introduced to the market and two others already being sold under the Buick name, the luxury brand’s three sedans are beginning to fall behind their larger siblings in sales. One of the adjustments being made due to this trend is the removal of the Verano from Buick’s US lineup. The discontinued Buick Verano is expected to last through a 2017 model year before fading from the market.

2016 Buick Verano

2016 Buick Verano

In previous years, before the crossover skyrocketed to popularity, small cars like compact sedans were viewed as attainable entries for first-time luxury buyers. However, the compact Verano was overtaken in sales by the subcompact Encore, which is now Buick’s best-selling nameplate. Buick predicts over 70 percent of their U.S. sales over the next year will come from crossovers.

The move to phase out the discontinued Buick Verano mirrors current Buick sales chief Duncan Aldred’s core philosophy to focus resources on a few hard-hitting nameplates, as opposed to having a broad, diverse lineup that strains the company budget. The Verano only sold just over 31,000 units in 2015, a number that pales in comparison to the 2016 Envision’s predicted 50,000.

The Future of Buick and GMC is Looking Bright

future of Buick and GMCBuick-GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred was the spotlight in a recent episode of Autoline This Week for a long interview. He talked about the success of both brands this past year, as well as the future of Buick and GMC.

Aldred just took on this position earlier this year, and is in a great place to continue the acceleration of both brands. When talking about GMC, Aldred said that lower fuel prices have helped the brand’s sales this past year, and he expects that momentum to continue into the 2016. Next year, GM will also launch a new ad campaign that will “tell the GMC story,” Aldred said, and “position it very much as a premium brand.”

As for Buick, Aldred said there are no plans to expand the five-car lineup much. He indicated that if it gets too big, it could “cannibalize itself, and everyone gets too confused.” With a relatively small lineup, this allows the brand to really focus on specific marketing and getting to know each individual vehicle.

For even more details about the future of both of these brands, check out the full 26-minute interview below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc35IlKkabs#t=734

What do you hope to see in the future of Buick and GMC?