Duncan Alred, Vice-President of General Motor’s Buick Division, told dealers on Friday that the 2016 Regal lineup is being simplified and attractively priced in order to appeal to a broader range of American consumers. Faced with an aging Regal platform, the automaker announced plans to slash the price of certain Regal models by as much as nine percent.
It seems that many U.S. consumers have developed a pattern towards abandoning mid-size and full-size sedans for SUVs and crossovers. Even Buick has experienced a share of the recent SUV and crossover boom in China, where the popularity of the Buick Enclave and Buick Rendezvous have exceeded expectations. Buick’s U.S. new car deliveries are down by 20-percent through June 2015 and overall sales are down by 6.3-percent, so it’s certainly no surprise that some major model changes and improved marketing plans are on the horizon. “Repositioning the Regal to more aggressively compete in the midsize sedan segment is the first of many steps we are taking in advance of next year’s product offensive,” Duncan said in a memo to dealers. “We’re giving our customers greater value without sacrificing the features they want.”
Driven by the surge in SUV and crossover sales, the U.S. light-truck market is up by more than 10-percent from this time last year and total U.S. light-vehicle sales are up by 4.4-percent. The Regal has not fared so well. It has experienced a slump of 24-percent this year, hitting a total of 9,387-units delivered. This places the Regal firmly behind the big-mid-size car segment, which has shrunk only 3.4-percent thus far in 2015. Automakers will release July 2015 sales figures on Monday, August 3, 2015.
The Regal is long overdue for a redesign. It is one of the oldest platforms in the mid-size segment and has not seen a redesign since it was reintroduced in 2010, for the 2011 model year. The Regal, in its current format, hit an all-time best in U.S. deliveries in 2011, when 40,144-units were produced.
The redesigned 2017/2018 Regal is slated for production in mid-2017. Improvements are expected to include an increase in size to open up the gap between it and the smaller Buick Verano. The introduction of the Verano is believed to be a contributing factor in waning Regal sales figures.
Despite the model improvements, the base price of the 2016 Regal will remain unchanged at $27,990. Features included in the four available package options will also remain unchanged from 2015. The most dramatic price cut will come from the high-performance GS model. It will decrease from $38,310 to $34,990 (a price cut of $3,320 or 8.7-percent). The Regal in Premium II trim will see a price reduction of 7.2-percent, plummeting to $32,490 for 2016. All prices include destination charges.