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Auto blogFri, 06 Jun 2014 11:25:00 EST
Well, all good things must come to an end. For 2015, the Buick Verano's experiment with a manual transmission will cease, as the American manufacturer has announced it will discontinue the 6MT in the turbocharged version of its compact sedan. According to Buick, the take rate on the Verano Turbo 6MT was (unsurprisingly) low, leading to its discontinuation.
That's not the only bit of news for the Verano, though. After a few years on the market, Buick has seen fit to refresh the popular sedan. The visual changes aren't huge, really, with subtle tweaks to the headlights and taillights. We'd bargain that the average passer-by wouldn't notice a difference between the two.
The main aesthetic change is a new appearance package, available on the mid-range Convenience and Leather option groups. Unimaginatively called just that - Appearance Package - it offers up a new paint color, Desert Dusk Metallic, as well as a grille treatment and a rear spoiler. The new package is, however, limited to naturally aspirated models.
One of the things that dogs the full comeback of General Motors is the instability of its marketing. That part of the automaker got yet another big shakeup today when GM confirmed what I have been tweeting for a few days - strong rumors that the Chevrolet and Cadillac ad accounts are walking to new ad agencies.
Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, is going into review from Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis and the indications are that Campbell-Ewald, Chevy's old ad shop, will end up with most or all of it. C-E just announced that it was moving from its long-time home in Warren, MI to a new downtown Detroit office next to Ford Field, just blocks from GM.
The other shoe to drop shortly will be the shift of GM's most important brand, Chevy, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco to McCann-Erickson of Troy, MI. McCann used to be the agency for Buick and GMC, as well as GM's corporate advertising, and has retained some pieces of business over the last few years. Sources have even told us that it was McCann that did a lot of the creative work on Chevy's new ad platform, Find New Roads. (Not to be confused with a former McCann tagline for Saab, "Find Your Own Road.")
Ever look at a concept car from a foreign auto marque like Opel and wonder what relevance it will have to you as an American consumer? Well, we'll tell you: at least as far as the Opel Monza concept goes, it could mean a lot.
Speaking with Automotive News at the Paris Motor Show, Opel chief Karl-Thomas Neumann said, "You will see the Monza when you see the next Insignia." And the Insignia, we needn't point out, is essentially ported over to American showrooms as the Buick Regal.
The relationship between the Regal and Insignia only stands to grow closer as Opel design chief Mark Adams has also been charged with tightening the bonds between the two automakers positioned on opposite shores of the Atlantic. Adams also intends to imbue the next Insignia with more "premium brand values" in order to "add polish to the brand." Which in turn means that the Regal will be designed to look more upscale, too.