Sometimes an automaker makes the call to pull the plug on one of its model vehicles. It can be due to a poor response from customers or a lackluster ability to compete within its space. Others choose to scrap one model in order to make room for new introductions altogether. Looking back, Buick had a compact sedan that was proving to be popular upon its introduction in 2011.
But General Motors announced the Buick Verano would be discontinued in 2016. At the time, it came as a shock to many consumers. However, there was an industry shift taking place, and GM saw the writing on the wall. So why did Buick get rid of the Verano?
The Buick Verano was a well-regarded model
Before it faded out of the public eye, the Buick Verano was a fresh, upscale answer to the compact sedan space. In its final production year, this five-seat sedan offered refinement in six trim levels.
In addition to the 1SV base model, consumers could upgrade to the Convenience Group, Sport Touring, Leather Group, and the Verano Turbo. Some of this car’s standard features included cruise control, split-folding rear seats, dual climate control, OnStar with a 4G Wi-Fi capability, and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port and a CD player.
At higher trim levels, Verano buyers would get the seven-inch display, the Buick IntelliLink system, Bluetooth, voice recognition technology, and a rearview camera. This feature list may not sound like the robust roster of equipment vehicles have today, but for 2016 and 2017, it was impressive.
The competitive luxury compact sedan segment
The Buick Verano, while a cousin of the already luxury-leading Cadillac brand, set out to reimagine luxury at the compact sedan level. Some reviews suggest its primary competitors were the Audi A3, the Acura ILX, and the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class.
Those rival models often brought more significant engines and higher-quality interiors. But they also came with loftier price tags, making the Verano an excellent choice for consumers looking for luxury on a budget. And the reviews from actual Verano owners sang the sedan’s praises for comfort, tech, and safety according to Edmunds.
The official General Motors announcement
In 2016, General Motors made the official announcement that its Buick arm would no longer be producing the popular Verano. The 2017 model year run had already begun but would end in October 2016.
There had been rumors circulating earlier that year about the potential end of the sedan. But at the time, GM dismissed the talks as “speculation.” When the announcement came, some had already expected it. But, the Verano had been a solid consumer favorite. So for others, the phase-out announcement came as a surprise.
The reason behind the Verano phase-out
According to the GM phase-out statement, the Buick Verano wouldn’t compete with the “changing consumer market dynamics.” The officials went on to cite the North American vehicle buying shift away from cars and sedans in general.
GM recognized then that there was a growing demand for crossovers and SUVs, leaving the once-popular family sedans on the dealership lots. Another point worth noting, the Verano came on stage in 2011 when gas prices were much higher than those later in the decade.
Fast forward to 2016 and with lower prices at the pump, along with a renewed interest in electric and hybrid technology, and there just wasn’t room in the market for the Verano anymore.
The Buick Verano enjoyed its run, albeit a short-lived one. It demonstrates just how quickly consumer preferences can impact how and what the automakers produce. Saying goodbye to the once-popular Verano, only made room for the variety consumers have today.