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Buick Regal dies next year, spells the end of passenger cars at brand

With the Regal on the way out, Buick will focus solely on crossovers and SUVs.

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See you around, Regal.

Buick

Pour one out for another passenger car here in the US. I'm talking about the Buick Regal Sportback, which will reach the end of the road next year.

Motor Authority first reported the news on Wednesday and a Buick representative confirmed the Regal's death with Roadshow. The company will continue to focus on SUVs and crossovers, and the representative said it "continues to be ahead of the consumer shift toward SUVs."

Buick added, "Our lineup of premium SUVs will expand in the coming months when the Encore GX will become the fourth SUV in our portfolio, joining well-established nameplates such as Encore, Envision and Enclave." 

All said and done, 90% of Buick sales this year have been crossovers. That leaves 10% of the sales mix for the previously discontinued LaCrosse sedan and the Regal Sportback. It's unclear if Buick classifies the more rugged Regal TourX wagon as a crossover in its sales reporting.

Speaking of the Regal TourX, the bell doth ring for it as well. When asked if the Regal's expiration includes the wagon version, the representative confirmed this as well. Even though the Regal sedan tried hard to separate itself from the traditional trunk crowd with a liftback hatch, hence the "Sportback" added to its name, it wasn't enough.

The move to can the Regal isn't a surprising one as the relationship that brings the car to the US is... rather complicated. Opel is responsible for building the Regal Sportback and TourX in Germany. If you missed the news previously, Opel was once a GM brand, but the automaker sold its European division (including the UK's Vauxhall) to France's PSA Group.

So, that made the Buick Regal a US-branded car, made in Germany by a now-former GM subsidiary, operated under French ownership. Got that? Clearly, GM has no intention of developing a new, in-house successor after its contract to purchase the Regal from Opel and PSA expires. Making matters more complex, PSA plans an all-out merger with GM rival Fiat Chrysler

GM does, however, plan to continue the sale of the Regal in China following the car's departure from the US and Canada.

Global car nuts will also recall the Buick Regal is Holden's latest Commodore down in Australia as well. Holden told Roadshow, "Buick's changes to their model lineup aren't directly relevant to Holden," and, "We are in the process of introducing the [2020 model year] and we are still selling Commodores."

As we knock on a new decade's door, this latest move only reiterates a major trend we highlighted previously: the 2010s will belong to the crossover SUV.

Originally published Dec. 4.
Update, Dec. 5: Adds comment from Holden.

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