Buick Verano To End Production As Brand Moves Towards SUVs

Once a hailed as an indicator that GM had finally cracked the small car code, the Buick Verano sedan has been tapped for an early exit. Rumored for months but finally confirmed by the brand, the last Verano will roll off the assembly line this coming October.

How did this happen? After all, the Buick Verano offered luxury-seekers on a budget the chance to drive a quiet, comfortable, and relatively quick (in turbo trim) four-door compact car that compared well against its early rivals (such as the Acura ILX). In fact, you could say that the Verano lead the way in demonstrating to other automakers that there were customers out there who were willing to spend extra cash on a plush, pint-sized automobile. This lead to the eventual exploration of the segment by Mercedes-Benz (the CLA-Class), BMW (the 2 Series), and Audi (the A3 sedan).

After a relatively strong start when it first hit the market, however, Buick Verano sales began to falter. While the Europeans playing in the small car space had brand capital to burn and a business model build around low volume, Buick compared its shrinking Verano business against the enormous surge in the SUV and crossover market and made the decision to go with the flow. Plans have been drawn up to make more than two-thirds of Buick's future line-up SUV-based, which means new models will join the existing Enclave and Encore people movers, as well as the upcoming Buick Envision. According to The Detroit Bureau, it also means that well-received concept vehicles like the Buick Avenir sedan are unlikely to ever see the light of day in production form.

With the excision of the Verano from showrooms, Buick now offers three non-SUV models: the Regal mid-size sedan, the LaCrosse full-size four-door, and the recently-added Cascada two-door convertible.