Potential Buick Regal-based SUV Reportedly DOA, But We’ll Always Have the Regal TourX

It was to be called the Monza.

GM Europe expected to assemble the Opel Insignia-based SUV, roughly the size of the Ford Edge, right alongside the Opel Insignia at its Rüsselsheim, Germany, assembly plant. Which is in Rüsselsheim.

But development of the so-called Monza was either lost in the shuffle or used as a bargaining chip, depending on whom you ask, when Groupe PSA (Peugeot and Citroën) announced the $2.3-billion purchase of its European brands, Opel and Vauxhall. Now it appears the Monza project is suspended, according to AutoExpress, as PSA decides to “freeze all GM-related projects.”

What’s it mean for Buick?

The Opel Insignia, you’ll recall, is the Buick Regal, which will be sold stateside in next-gen form in both Sportback and TourX variations. While Buick is still very much a General Motors entity, Opel is now part of an entirely different automaker.

Was the Monza bound for Buick’s U.S. showrooms? Was it intended to squeeze between the Envision and Enclave, or to replace the rather premium-priced Envision? Is PSA’s product freeze the Buick Monza’s death knell? And how does the Opel Grandland X fit into the picture, as it was a GM Europe vehicle riding on the PSA EMP2 platform even before the French purchase of GM’s European outlets?

We reached out to Buick, but the company declined to speak about vehicles that are (or are not) under development. According to spokesperson Stuart Fowle, however, Buick’s “SUV lineup is broader and better than ever and the Opel sale won’t change our dedication to offering the right products for our customers going forward.”

In July, a higher percentage of Buick’s U.S. sales volume than ever before was generated by its trio of utility vehicles. 85 percent of the Buicks sold in America last month were Encores, Envisions, and Enclaves. Nevertheless, the trio’s total volume slipped 13 percent, year-over-year, as the Enclave enters a replacement, the Encore dipped to a six-month low, and as Envision volume (while double last July’s total) likewise plunged to the lowest level in six months.

Buick will expect to see moderate improvements in car sales health once the new Regal arrives, bolstered by an SUV-ified wagon that features a surprisingly decent $29,995 base price. Distinctly more powerful and with 22-percent more cargo volume than the Envision, the Regal TourX is also $8,650 less costly than the least expensive all-wheel-drive Envision.

Yet the Regal TourX, barely lifted and far more obviously a wagon than Subaru’s Outback, doesn’t play in the SUV pool in the same way a dedicated Monza crossover would.

Then again, Buick wouldn’t name it the Monza. Goodness no. We’ve called for a Buick Encounter(Encompass? Ennui? Entrapment?) in the past. Just when it seemed like, shall we say, the Buick Enchantment was around the corner, its arrival suddenly seems less likely.

The Monza name was last used on an Opel concept at 2013’s Frankfurt auto show. Although the production SUV was predicted to feature similarly dramatic styling, marketplace trends now dictate that many performance coupes must become “four-door coupe SUVs.”

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