CARS.COM — Times are tough for small cars, and Buick has officially pulled the plug on its Verano compact sedan, a move that had been widely speculated. The car will make a cameo appearance in showrooms as a 2017 model before hitting the end of its road in October, Buick says.
Related: 2016 Buick Envision: First Look
The badge will live on in China, where Buick rolled out a dressy all-new version for the 2016 model year. But that new Verano won’t be coming to the SUV-crazy U.S., where Buick is just now bringing from China the Envision compact SUV.
“The decision underscores the changing consumer market dynamics where there is a growing demand for SUVs in North America,” said Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle in a statement.
The Verano was unveiled to good reviews at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit for the 2012 model year. But the market turned quickly to favor the fresh crop of small crossovers that boasted more utility and substantially improved fuel efficiency.
Verano sales were down 18 percent in April from a year ago to just 2,399 and down 12 percent year to date. In contrast, Buick’s hot Encore subcompact SUV sold almost three times that in April and has year-to-date sales up 21 percent from a year ago.
The Encore and Buick’s big Enclave crossover SUV already have generated 57 percent of the brand’s sales this year through April — before any sales of the the new Envision. On the car side, Buick will roll out an all-new LaCrosse full-size sedan this summer and will continue to sell the Regal midsize sedan and new Cascada convertible.