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William Maley

Buick News: Rumorpile: Buick Shows Off A Regal Wagon To Their Dealers

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Rumors of Buick doing a wagon variant of the Regal have been floating around a for few years and it has either fallen into one of two categories: GM is considering it or they have passed on it. A new rumor has the Regal Wagon coming.

 

Automotive News reports that a recent national dealer meeting, Buick revealed images of the next-generation Regal. According to people that attending the meeting, the images included the next-generation Regal GS and a wagon. Unfortunately, the people didn't give any specific details on what the wagon looked like.

 

Buick possibly doing a wagon seems like an odd decision. Data from IHS Automotive shows wagons only make up one percent of the total U.S. market. Buyers prefer crossovers and SUVs.

 

But Buick has a mostly successful track record with entering segments where there isn't much competition. A key example is the Encore subcompact crossover which beat a number of competitors to market and has become the brand's volume model. Another example is the Cascada convertible which has done very well in sales.

 

Not all of them have been hits. The Verano which was Buick's entrant the premium compact class will be leaving the lineup this fall due to faltering sales.

 

The big question aside if Buick will go forward with a wagon variant is will it be a standard wagon or something akin to the Subaru Outback/Audi A4 Allroad. As we reported back in December, GM trademarked 'Tourx' and 'RegalTourx'. This lead some to believe that Buick could be doing a Regal wagon, but we took it in another direction by saying it could be a light off-road variant of the wagon.

 

Automotive News says the Regal wagon could arrive in 2018.

 

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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A Regal wagon would sell so few units, I don't know if they'd recoup the cost of certifying it.  The Regal sells about 15-20,000 cars a year  at a 5% take rate for the wagon you are looking at less than 1,000 units a year.   They just cut the Verano due to poor sales, when it outsells the Regal like 3 to 1.  I wonder how much longer the Regal sedan has on the market, let alone adding a wagon.

Edited by smk4565

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Verano was simply surpassed by newer vehicles.   The new Astra could have easily moved up market above the Cruze.  I still don't know what GM is thinking there... 30k sales is better than 0k sales on a vehicle that is already completely developed and just has to be shipped to dealerships. Even if they dropped the base trims and shipped them over from Europe.... 

 

I really like the Regal wagon idea.  The fits in nicely with Buicks "Fill the white space" mantra.... finding niches that no one else is doing right now and then find something in the GM portfolio worthy of filling it.  Thats what Encore was, that's what Cascada is (still), and thats what this Regal Wagon would be.   The ONLY other option in the semi-premium realm is the Volvo V60 with a base price of $36,150. The V60 Cross Country is $41k. As nice as the V60 is, it is old and in many ways outdated.  

 

It appears Audi doesn't make an A4 Avant anymore, only the All-Road which bases at $42k.  The only Benz wagon is the E-Class at $59k. The BMW 3-series wagon is $42k.

 

A Regal Estate starting at $35k and a TourX starting at $38k would fill some white space.  I'd advice against pricing it directly against the Volvo... but putting it just a K or so under would be fine.

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The Volvo V60 and V60 cross country combined sell like 350 a month.  Even if Buick steals half of Volvo's wagon sales they are maybe getting 200 Regal wagons a month sold.  The Subaru Outback is the only wagon that sells well because it is not that much like a wagon and Subaru has a bit of a cult following.  And the Outback starts at $25,000, I don't think Buick is going to price a Regal Wagon like that.  This is a really small niche market, and it isn't a high margin niche.

 

I am not against wagons either, they have the cargo capacity of a crossover, but still drive like a car.  But the market place doesn't buy wagons.

Edited by smk4565

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Verano was simply surpassed by newer vehicles.   The new Astra could have easily moved up market above the Cruze.  I still don't know what GM is thinking there... 30k sales is better than 0k sales on a vehicle that is already completely developed and just has to be shipped to dealerships. Even if they dropped the base trims and shipped them over from Europe.... 

 

I really like the Regal wagon idea.  The fits in nicely with Buicks "Fill the white space" mantra.... finding niches that no one else is doing right now and then find something in the GM portfolio worthy of filling it.  Thats what Encore was, that's what Cascada is (still), and thats what this Regal Wagon would be.   The ONLY other option in the semi-premium realm is the Volvo V60 with a base price of $36,150. The V60 Cross Country is $41k. As nice as the V60 is, it is old and in many ways outdated.  

 

It appears Audi doesn't make an A4 Avant anymore, only the All-Road which bases at $42k.  The only Benz wagon is the E-Class at $59k. The BMW 3-series wagon is $42k.

 

A Regal Estate starting at $35k and a TourX starting at $38k would fill some white space.  I'd advice against pricing it directly against the Volvo... but putting it just a K or so under would be fine.

 

Was going to type mine, realize Drew and I are along the same train of thought here...

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Station wagon would be a niche market item here in the US, probably do better in Europe where they like their wagons compared to our CUVs.

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Station wagon would be a niche market item here in the US, probably do better in Europe where they like their wagons compared to our CUVs.

Even in Europe, CUVs are beginning to overtake wagons. 

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In 2015 SUV was the #1 selling body style in Europe at 22.5%.  Subcompact car was 22%, compact car was 20.6%, and MPV was 4th with 10.5%.  MPV would be your B-class, Ford S-max, Fiat 500L, VW Golf Sportvan, etc.  So those are close to crossovers, sort of Europe's minivan.

 

Mid-size sedan and station wagon are 9% of European car sales, and most of that is sedan, so the wagon market in Europe is even pretty dead at this point.  

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