Think it'll be a sedan?
Last week, the all-new Buick Encore debuted at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show in two flavors: the subcompact Encore and the larger Encore GX. At the time, it wasn’t clear which model will be sold Stateside, but Automotive News now has the answer.
Sources have told the publication that the larger Encore GX has been given the green light for the US market. The compact SUV will slot between the Encore and the Envision and should help Buick retain customers and attract buyers from other brands. It’s expected to go on sale in the US later this year to help the brand make up for lost volume from the discontinued Cascada and LaCrosse cars, and it makes sense for Buick to fill the gap with a compact SUV given the increasing demand for this segment. These plans also confirm an earlier report that Buick will utilize its China operations to help fill the automaker’s US lineup.
The Encore GX will also be sold alongside the current Encore in America since sources have confirmed the all-new Encore subcompact unveiled in China won’t be coming to the US. Based on GM’s new Global Emerging Markets platform, the smaller crossover will be built and sold in China.
It isn’t yet clear where the US-spec Encore GX will be made, however. Unlike the Envision, it’s not expected to be imported from China. According to the source, China will also be getting a smaller three-row version of the Enclave, extending the reach of Buick's other popular nameplate.
The current Encore has been a huge hit for Buick in the US, with annual sales nearly tripling since it launched, to more than 93,000 units in 2018. Impressively, this accounted for 47% of Buick’s total volume. That said, Encore sales were down 3.4% to 24,606 units in the first quarter of 2019, while the brand’s overall US sales which fell 8.7% to 51,867 units during the same period.