The third-generation Buick LaCrosse is in for a midcycle refresh that will bring new front and rear fascias, along with other updates. In fact, we already saw the updated 2020 Buick LaCrosse after it leaked in China a few weeks ago. Notably, GM is still testing the LaCrosse refresh, as shown by these new spy photos, which were captured by a reader near Chicago.
Meanwhile, GM has already signaled plans to discontinue the LaCrosse in North America some time next year, while closing the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant where it’s made. And that’s the curious part: by the time the 2020 Buick LaCrosse launches in the U.S. and Canada, it will be discontinued within a few short months. So, why continue working on a refresh when the entire model is about to get dropped?
To answer that, one must understand that plans to refresh the large Buick sedan were already in place back in the 2017-2018 timeframe, when the third-gen LaCrosse was being launched. In addition, the LaCrosse’s largest market is China – where the sedan consistently sells at least double what it does in the United States (and all of North America). Not surprisingly, the LaCrosse will remain on sale in China, along with the Cadillac CT6 – the other large luxury sedan that GM will drop in North America.
At the end of the day, it’s a very sad reality that GM – once a force to be reckoned with in the automotive landscape with massive market share and profits – has reduced its global dominance to a presence in two markets – the United States and China, while continuing to dwindle its vehicle lineup to record levels – all the while increasing its investments in pie-in-the-sky projects like autonomous vehicles and electric cars, both of which are losing billions of dollars every year and are not even close to breaking even, let alone turning a profit.
It should be noted, however, that GM – along with the other two American automakers – Ford and FCA – are the only automakers that are cutting their passenger cars in spades. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, and others are not discontinuing passenger car models. In fact, they are even expanding their lineups – like with the Volkswagen Arteon and Kia Stinger.
Update: Buick has told us that the 2020 LaCrosse refresh isn’t coming to America whatsoever.
About Buick LaCrosse
The Buick LaCrosse is a full-size premium sedan that slots above the compact Buick Verano and midsize Buick Regal. The current, third-generation LaCrosse was introduced for the 2017 model year. The vehicle is based on the long wheelbase variant of the GM E2 platform. The short-wheelbase variant of the same platform is shared with the sixth-generation Buick Regal and ninth-generation Chevrolet Malibu.
The 2018 model introduced several new colors and the GM 9-speed automatic transmission in place of the 2017 model's 8-speed. It also added a new standard powertrain in the form of the mild-hybrid 2.5L engine with eAssist coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. In addition, the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir was introduced to serve as the range-topping model.
The 2019 LaCrosse introduced two new colors and a Sport Touring (1SH) trim. A refresh is expected for the 2020 model year.
In November 2018, General Motors announced that it will discontinue the Buick LaCrosse in the United States market, while closing the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where it's built. The vehicle will remain available in China.
The third-generation LaCrosse is built at the following plants:
- GM Detroit Hamtramck factory operated by GM USA supplying North America
- Jinqiao South factory operated by Shanghai GM supplying China