Buick may drop its entry-level sedan to steer U.S. customers to the Envision

The Buick Verano has only been around since 2011 as an entry-level option into the Buick brand. Now that a new design has debuted in China, we’ve been expecting to see it come to U.S. shores anytime now, but it looks like we might not see it after all. According to Automotive News, Buick is now considering a move to drop the Verano from the U.S. market in coming years. The news comes just weeks before the scheduled debut of the Envision crossover here in the U.S.

This news is undoubtedly the result of the SUV craze that is spreading across the country like wildfire. With the subcompact Envision hitting U.S. shores any time now, Buick doesn’t seem to have the room for two entry-level models in its lineup. IHS Automotive analyst, Stephanie Brinley, said, “There were nearly 32,000 buyers who walked into a dealership last year and bought a Verano, not an SUV or a Regal. Any time you eliminate a product from the lineup, there’s risk.”

The question is, how big is that risk? GM is depending on the idea that the SUV craze is going to continue, and a majority of entry-level buyers will look to something like the Envision instead of the badge-engineered Verano. Back in 2014, Duncan Aldred – GM’s global Chief—said “What we can’t have at Buick is ten vehicles all selling a few thousand units each. I’ve seen that. It doesn’t work. We need to bring in cars, trucks, whatever, that can offer substantial volume.”

So far, GM has declined to comment on the future of the Verano. For now, it looks like the current Verano will probably run through the 2017 model year, at which point GM could drop the model and try to steer new customers toward the Envision crossover.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The automotive market is very competitive, and with so many vehicles and niches in play, manufacturers are constantly shuffling to keep up with one another. So, it comes as no surprise that Buick is looking to drop its entry-level sedan, but is it really the right move? It wasn’t that long ago that gas prices were high, and we were avoiding large gas guzzlers like the plague. So, it leads me to wonder whether or not it’s smart to make a decision on dropping the Verano right now.

For all we know, gas prices could skyrocket tomorrow, and the SUV craze will be a thing of the past. If that does happen, and consumers flock back to fuel-efficient models again, Buick could find itself in a bind. To me, it seems like a pretty risky move, but then again, I’ve been known to be a little over conservative. Either way, I don’t think the SUV craze is going to last forever, and manufacturers need to keep that possibility in mind as we move closer to 2020.

Buick Verano

2016 Buick Verano High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the Buick Verano here.

Source: Automotive News

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