Sedans are becoming a thing of the past, with more and more consumers turning to economical, yet functional, crossovers and SUVs. And when a variety of factors forced General Motors-owned Buick to restructure its lineup, it made a clear choice.
Slowly but surely, Buick has a plan will move them more towards crossovers and SUVs than ever before. And with this plan in action for years already, what will the next five years look like for Buick’s lineup?
Buick’s plan to do away with sedans
Automaker Buick is owned by the American company General Motors, but it’s mostly a Chinese-made brand. According to the New York Post, “most Buick vehicles sold in the United States after 2016 could be imported from China and Europe.”
The U.S. currently sees a less varied lineup offered by Buick than China, but it’s the only place where its sedans sell in any substantial numbers. But even more Chinese buyers are turning away from sedans, further Buick’s resolve to do away producing them altogether.
With General Motors refocusing its product line in recent years, cutting costs, and killing off slow-selling vehicles, Buick is more than happy to give the people what they want with a sedan-less future.
Recent disappearances from the Buick lineup
Just in the year 2019 alone, Buick dropped two vehicles from its lineup. The so-so Cascada convertible and the popular LaCrosse luxury sedan both got the cut, with no official plans for successors for either model.
With these two making an exit, Buick now only has two models left: the Regal Sportback and Regal TourX wagon. And while these two models still exist within the lineup, the future of both is uncertain.
This is because Buick produces these two vehicles out of the Opel plant in Germany, which has a purchase contract after being sold to Peugeot Citroen in 2017. With sales for both models down 22% from last year, according to Automotive News, it may be unlikely that Buick and GM will seek production for either model elsewhere.
What the next five years look like for Buick
After removing most sedans from its lineup, Buick started to build up what would be its future. According to CarBuzz, Buick has been “the surprise success story to have emerged from GM’s bankruptcy in 2009,” creating a more consumer-friendly lineup. And if its five-year plan for vehicles is any indication, it’s a future filled with no sedans, but lots of SUVs, crossovers, and compact crossovers of various sizes. Here’s what the next five years are likely to look like for the Buick lineup, with at least five new or refreshed models:
Encore: This subcompact crossover has been around since 2013 and is expecting a refresh in 2022, but until then will remain unchanged.
Encore GX: The U.S. will be receiving a bigger, compact crossover version of Encore, called the Encore GX, in 2020.
Envision: This compact crossover model is produced in China, putting its future in question here in the U.S., but sales have remained steady for the Envision. There are plans for a redesign of the Envision in 2021.
Enclave: According to Automotive News, sales have increased by 24% in the first half of 2019 for this large crossover after a recent refresh in 2017. To keep up the pace, Buick is planning a refresh for the Enclave in 2020. Though there’s been no official word, this refresh may include a new, turbocharged engine.
Enspire (maybe): Buick released a concept car in Beijing in 2018, aptly named Enspire. If it heads to production, the Enspire crossover would be a fully-electric crossover vehicle, promising a range of 370 miles. Though it would probably appear in China first, the electric vehicle concept is expected to make its debut in 2022 or 2023.
If recent years and future releases are any indication of the lineup we can expect from Buick, it will be a far cry from where the automaker began. We look forward to seeing its future lineups of crossovers and SUVs.