General Motors (NYSE:GM) has indicated that it will drop the Buick Regal in the Canadian and the US markets leaving only SUVs in its local lineup. This is a significant move for Buick, which has been popular for its passenger cars for over a century.
GM cuts Buick Regals from its lineup
In the first nine months of this year, sales of Regal were down 19%, which is an indication that there is a shift in consumer preferences. In the US, Regal sales through Q3 were around 11,008 units. Consumers have moved away from Buick Regal to SUVs and Crossovers in recent years. Only one in ten cars sold by Buick in 2019 is not a crossover, which thus indicates that from a business perspective, it won’t be wise to retain Regal versions.
On Wednesday, GM stated that it will halt the importation of all Regal models, which includes a new wagon version. However, the company has not provided a specific time frame when it will stop. This will be the second time since its debut that the company is axing the Buick Regal nameplate in the US. In the past year, the company also axed Cascada and LaCrosse from its lineup. This means the US market will exclusively have SUVs and crossovers. The company plans to fill the Buick line up with another SUV called Encore GX expected next spring.
Consumers shifting preference to SUVs and crossovers
The company indicated that Buick has continued to be ahead of the change in consumer preference to SUVs and crossovers. So far, year to date, almost 90% of its Buick sales have been SUVs. However, the company will continue selling Regal that was redesigned for the model year 2018 in China. This is because there is still a significant demand for sedans in China.
The current generation Regal in Canada and the US come from GM’s former European operations based on the Opel Insignia. GM sold Opel to French carmaker PSA last year. However, the company worked an arrangement to continue the production of the car in Germany.