Pour one out for the Buick Regal. Citing a growing lack of demand, the firm announced it will deep-six its last remaining sedan and its only station wagon after the 2020 model year.
Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle told Motor Authority that buyers clearly prefer crossovers and SUVs; so far, nearly 90 percent of the company's 2019 sales have come from high-riding models. In other words, the company's decision to send the Regal to the pantheon of automotive history is business, not personal. "Buick continues to be ahead of the consumer shift towards SUVs," Fowle explained.
Autoblog confirmed the decision applies to the sedan, which is available in a sporty GS configuration (pictured) that we praised as "the coolest car Buick has made in years," and the TourX wagon, which attracted Buick's wealthiest buyers and sold far better than the company expected. Its retirement underlines the colossal difficulty of selling a wagon that's not a Subaru Outback in America.
Buick didn't loudly announce its exit from the passenger car market, but it's beating Ford to the punch. The last Cascada rolled off the assembly line earlier in 2019, and the bigger Lacrosse is one of six cars whose retirement was announced by General Motors in 2018. Neither will be replaced, and the odds of seeing another Regal are extremely low. The company's message is clear: Buyers want crossovers and SUVs, so that's what they'll get.
As a bonus, axing the Regal will finally allow Buick to end its reliance on former sister company Opel, which General Motors sold to Paris-based Peugeot in 2017. It developed the Regal, and manufactures it in a factory located next to Opel headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
The Regal will live on elsewhere in the world. Buick will continue to sell it in the Chinese market because motorists there still buy sedans, and Opel/Vauxhall will keep offering its version of the car (called the Insignia) across Europe. The model recently received minor updates inside and out to remain fresh, but it competes in a segment that's free-falling and its days are likely numbered.