The Sportback, which is expected to account for a majority of Regal volume, will be sold in Canada and the U.S. It’s about 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing Regal.
The TourX, which is 3.4 inches longer, 1.1 inches taller and 500 pounds heavier than the Sportback, will be available only in the U.S., Reuss said. Occupants ride higher in the TourX, giving buyers one of the advantages that has helped draw U.S. consumers to crossovers.
“It’s something we’ve wanted for years, and now finally it is here,” Reuss said of the TourX.
Dave Sullivan, a product analyst with AutoPacific, said GM’s decision to more distinctly separate the Regal from Chevrolet and Cadillac sedan offerings should help it fare better than it would as a standard sedan. Regal sales in the U.S. have fallen by more than half since 2011, to 19,833 last year.
“It won’t look or feel like a Malibu in Buick’s clothes,” Sullivan said. “It gives them a little white space that’s still available in a very oversaturated market for sedans.”
U.S. midsize car sales plunged 21 percent in the first quarter, according to the Automotive News Data Center. But Reuss said cars still account for a significant portion of the overall U.S. market.
“It’s not like nobody buys them,” he said. “The way to get to them is to be the absolute best. To be the best you have to get noticed, and to get noticed you have to stand out. That’s where Buick’s desire to be different comes in.”
The Regal nameplate dates back to 1973 and the TourX is Buick’s first wagon since the Roadmaster was discontinued in 1996.