Discontinued GM Models
Carmakers discontinue vehicles for various reasons. Even popular lines and classic models have seen their ends over time. Icons such as the Chevrolet Bel Air, the original Chevrolet Impala, and the Buick Roadmaster all saw their productions end for various reasons, and now they’re only found at classic car shows and meetups. In recent years, several once-successful models from Buick and Chevrolet have exited the market. Let’s look at the reasons for their discontinuations and the details surrounding GM’s decision to end their lines.
The Regal’s history goes as far back as the early 1970s when Buick debuted the luxury Century Regal. Later, the Regal become trimmer, sportier, and generally more modern. Over approximately 50 years, the Regal went through six generations before being discontinued after the 2020 model year.
Why did Buick stop making the Regal?
The end of the Regal line came as a result of a shift in Buick’s corporate strategy. The company decided to shift its focus to its line of SUVs, and the Regal’s discontinuation was part of a larger reduction in Buick’s passenger car lineup. Sales for Buick passenger cars had been declining for some time, so the decision to end their production was a financial move.
Though Buick no longer produces the Regal in North America, new Regal models do exist in China, where the vehicle boasts a body style that’s exclusive to that market.
Before the end of the Regal line, Buick had decided to ax another of its small vehicles, the Cascada, which GM discontinued after the 2019 model year. The Cascada was a short-lived convertible, lasting a single generation during which it existed under four GM brands — Opel, Vauxhall, Holden, and Buick. Throughout the Cascada’s life, Opel was the brand responsible for its design and manufacture. It wasn’t until 2016 that it took on the Buick badge. A year later, GM sold Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group, a French manufacturing company.
Why did they discontinue the Buick Cascada?
The circumstances of the vehicle’s origins and its later transfer to a separate company likely contributed to the Cascada’s discontinuation. Another factor was its sales. Compared to other convertibles, the Cascada placed less emphasis on performance. The convertible segment already tends to have low demand, so it was no longer feasible to retain the Cascada in the Buick lineup, especially considering the company’s shift to SUVs. During its lifespan, though, the Cascada sold well enough to rank among the top luxury convertibles on the market. Thus, it fulfilled its function and then quietly bowed out.
In 2022, GM announced it would discontinue production of the Buick Encore after the end of the year. It was only Buick’s fourth sport utility vehicle overall and its first subcompact crossover. The Encore’s production life began in late 2012 and originally entered the market as a 2013 model. This was a time when the trend among luxury auto consumers was toward fuel efficiency and family orientation — criteria that the Encore met rather well.
The Encore received a facelift in 2017, including upgrades to both its exterior and its interior, but GM has been gradually stripping away at the line in terms of its available trims and standard features. For instance, while the 2017 Encore had six trim levels, the 2021 model had only two trims, and the current 2022 model has only one. Moreover, the 2022 Encore arrived with only a few minor changes compared to the outgoing model.
Why did Buick discontinue the Encore?
The likely reason for the discontinuation is diminishing sales. In the United States, the 2021 Encore sold only a little over 20,000 units, down more than 50% compared to the previous model’s 41,752 units. Even the 2020 model’s sales were a significant drop from 2019, which saw 102,402 units sold. The catalyst for these shrinking figures is likely the Buick Encore GX, which has enjoyed a rising sales trend since its 2020 introduction and which GM will continue to produce.
The Chevrolet Trax is another subcompact crossover by GM that won’t continue past the 2022 production year. The Trax entered the global market in 2013 but didn’t arrive in the United States until 2015. Like the Buick Encore, the Trax has suffered in terms of sales in the past few years. Its most successful production year in the U.S. market was 2019, when it sold 116,816 units. Since then, sales figures have dropped consistently — to 106,299 in 2020 and then to 42,590 in 2021.
Why did they discontinue the Trax?
The suspected reason for the dramatic plunge in sales from 2020 to 2021 is the third-generation crossover Trailblazer. GM had initially intended to supplant the Trax with the Trailblazer but instead retained the former and offered it as a sub-premium model. With direct competition within the Chevy family, the Trax saw its popularity fade.
For now, the Trax and Encore remain in our inventory of new GM vehicles, along with continuing models such as the Trailblazer, Encore GX, Equinox, Terrain, Envision, Malibu, and many more. You can also find the Trax and Encore among our used inventory. If you’re interested in any of the vehicles you see online, feel free to get in touch with us to discuss how we can meet your needs. Call our Chevrolet dealership at 844-417-7331 or our Buick GMC dealership at 877-360-5063. You can also send a message through our contact page, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
Of course, if you’d like to get an in-person look at our new and used inventory of GM vehicles, swing by at any time during our operating hours to speak with a sales specialist. Our Chevrolet and Buick GMC dealerships are located at 8010 and 7997 Market St., respectively. Our standard sales hours are from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Whichever location you visit, we look forward to meeting you and getting you into the GM vehicle that you want.