The minivan and sport utility vehicle really put the final nails in the station wagon’s coffin a couple of decades ago, but flash forward to modern times, and Americans are once again buying the body style.
Automotive News (subscription required) reported on wagon sales in 2018 on Monday, and it’s good news. Sales grew 29 percent for the wagon segment over five years ago. Total, 212,000 Americans chose a wagon over a crossover, pickup or regular sedan. Yet, that’s still a very small piece of the sales pie. Wagon sales accounted for only 2 percent of total vehicle sales.
The wagon has, effectively, carved its own niche in the market. However, more sales can be attributed to a larger selection. More brands than ever now offer wagons. More choices often mean more sales.
Chief among affordable wagons is the Buick Regal TourX. Although sales started off roughly, TourX sales have grown over the past 12 months, per the report, and the brand believes it’s begun to conquest more affluent buyers. Specifically, BMW drivers appear drawn to the Regal TourX and the German luxury brand announced it will drop the 3-Series wagon from its lineup with the latest-generation model launching this year.
Buick marketing director Sam Russell offered a sliver of marketing insight on wagon buyers and said, “There’s a group of consumers who are greatly interested in the versatility and capability of an SUV, but they don’t want to be seen as someone who just goes with the flow.”
“They are almost violently opposed to being mainstream,” he added.
He also shared that most Regal TourX are more affluent (read: wealthier) than Enclave buyers. It’s unclear how long the Regal and its TourX cousin have to live, however. After the Buick LaCrosse exits production later this year, Buick will be left with only the Regal sedan in its lineup. And the car is currently assembled under a licensing contract via PSA Group, which purchased the Opel and Vauxhall brands responsible for the car.