Canada’s auto industry might be tightly connected to the much larger industry south of the border, but that doesn’t mean it’s joined at the hip. It’s not unusual for automakers to sell models in Canada that aren’t sold in the United States.
However that won’t happen in the case of a next-gen Buick Verano. Citing slow sales amidst the migration to tall wagons, General Motors in the United States has ceased production of the premium compact sedan. And although the Verano’s market share in Canada was more than double that in the United States, keeping the model alive for Canada alone is not an option.
The Verano was based on the Chevrolet Cruze, and built for North America in the same U.S. plant, but GM has no intention of ‘Buick-ising’ the second-generation Cruze for North America. And although a “Mk2” Verano is built in China, Buick Vice-President Duncan Aldred says certifying the China-market car for Canadian standards would not be cost-effective for the expected volume here.
Through July 2016, Verano sales grew 29 per cent in Canada while they fell 16 per cent in the United States. Since then, clear-out pricing has boosted U.S. Verano’s sales, but even so, Canadian volume through September (5,789 units) corresponded to 1.1 per cent of total industry car sales, compared with only 0.5 per cent in the United States.