Buick Encore Shortage Caused by Unforeseen Demand
Sales of the Buick Encore compact CUV are “triple or quadruple” what the automaker initially expected, Buick spokesman Nick Richards tells Automotive News. The demand has exceeded GM’s projections, which has led to a shortage of the Korea-assembled small crossover.
The Buick Encore sold 12,252 units in the first six months since its arrival in January. That number exceeds that of the Buick Verano’s first six months on the market, and the Encore’s pace far exceeds analysts AutoPacific’s and IHS Automotive’s annual estimates of 13,600 units and 18,500 units, respectively. Through July, Encore sales reached 15,428 units and Buick says that July sales were the best yet for the crossover.
GM has acknowledged it underestimated U.S. demand for the Encore, and that the shortages are primarily due to that miscalculation. Production has been boosted, but capacity is limited because the Encore shares the assembly line with its platform-mate Opel Mokka, which is itself a hot seller in Europe.
“We’re kind of creating this segment,” Richards told Automotive News. “We’re learning as we go.”
That segment is about to grow, as the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and rumored Mercedes-based Infiniti QX30 will soon join the entry-level premium small crossover party, though it’s unclear how expensive those vehicles will be. For now, though, Buick can enjoy being one of the few brands to offer a genuinely subcompact CUV.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)