Report: GM plans to kill Buick Verano sedan next year – USA TODAY

Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press 8:05 a.m. EDT Could 10, 2016

General Motors is preparing to discontinue sales of an upscale midsize sedan, Buick Verano, in the U.S. next year, according to media reports, as Detroit’s automakers go on to pare spine passenger vehicle production in the U.S. and put a better emphasis on crossovers and SUVs.

GM will certainly to go on to develop and sell a brand-new version of the Verano that debuted last year in China, however will certainly avoid selling the older version of the Verano in the U.S. next year, according to a report by Automotive News. The strategy is section an total shift in sources to the improvement and production of crossovers and away from cars.

Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle called the report “speculation.”

“We have actually no strategies to announce concerning the future of that model. We’re focused on selling the vehicle we have actually in showrooms today,” Fowle said.

The strategies increase further questions regarding Orion Assembly, which produces the Chevrolet Sonic and the Verano. GM laid off regarding 500 workers at the plant last fall as it did away with a shift. GM is investing $245 million at that plant and said last year it would certainly hire 300 individuals to develop the brand-new Chevrolet Bolt electric. Production of the Bolt is expected to start later this year.

The Verano debuted in 2011 once gas prices were greater and premium brands were rushing to introduce smaller, lower-priced cars as a method to entice buyers to their brands. At the time, the Orion Assembly plant was held up as a model for exactly how the Detroit 3 could develop small cars in the U.S. and still make a profit.

But reasonable gas prices, attractive designs for brand-new crossovers and the improved fuel efficiency for crossovers has actually changed the landscape. Sales of passenger cars are falling and automakers are struggling to maintain up along with reason for small and mid-sized crossovers.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is phasing out production of its Dodge Dart compact vehicle and its Chrysler 200 midsize vehicle so it can easily improve its production capacity for Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups. Meanwhile, Ford has actually said it will certainly no longer develop its Ford Focus compact vehicle in the U.S. after 2018.

Last year, as the U.S. automotive industry recorded its ideal year ever, sales of the Verano fell 27% to 31,886.

Meanwhile, Buick’s compact Encore crossover now serves as the brand’s the majority of efficient entry-degree offering. Sales of the Encore flower 38% in 2015 to 67,549 and it has actually come to be Buick’s the majority of popular vehicle. Buick unveiled an updated version of the Encore at the brand-new York Auto reveal in March.

Sales of the Encore and the bigger Enclave crossover now account for regarding 60% of Buick’s sales and are turning the Overall Motors premium brand in to much more of an SUV and crossover brand compared to a vehicle brand.

This summer, Buick strategies to introduce the Envision, a crossover it will certainly import from China, in the U.S.

Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick sales, said in March that he expects sales of crossovers to account for 75% of Buick’s total sales after the Envision is introduced.

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