DETROIT -- With sedan sales in a tailspin, General Motors is taking the Buick Regal in a slightly different direction with its latest redesign, but only one of the new models is destined for Canada.
The sixth-generation Regal will be available as a four-door hatchback and a wagon, with no traditional sedan, GM said Tuesday. Only the hatchback will be sold in Canada.
“We’re finding new ways to stand out,” said Buick brand chief Duncan Aldred. “More of the same won’t sell in this segment.”
The Regal Sportback and TourX, both scheduled to go on sale in in the United States in the fourth quarter, will be assembled by Opel in Ruesselsheim, Germany, despite GM’s recent agreement to sell Opel to PSA Group of France. GM’s product development chief, Mark Reuss, said the sale will have “no impact” on Buick in the immediate future.
However, only the Sportback, which is expected to account for a majority of Regal volume, will be sold in Canada. It’s about 90 kilograms (200 pounds) lighter than the outgoing Regal.
“The new Regal Sportback was developed with today’s active, independent premium car customer in mind,” Aldred said in a statement issued by GM Canada. “They have an SUV in the garage and are looking to complement it with a sport sedan, but have an appreciation for the usefulness of a versatile cargo space when an occasional need arises.”
Regal sales in Canada have fluctuated over the past seven years, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit. At its peak during that time frame, the vehicle sold 2,846 units sold in 2011. It sold a low of 740 in 2013. After consecutive years of growth during 2014 and 2015, sales slipped 13.1 per cent in 2016. So it's been an up-and-down ride for the car.
During the first three months of 2017, the automaker has sold 190 Regals, down 23.1 per cent over the first quarter in 2016.