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Buick's Best-Selling Model Isn't Going Anywhere Just Yet

Crossover / Comments

Looking at the sales figures, it's easy to see why.

Last month, Buick debuted the all-new Encore at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show in two flavors: the subcompact Encore and the larger Encore GX. Only the latter will be sold in the US while the GEM-based Encore will be sold in China. While you would logically assume the new model will replace the original Encore, it turns out the first-generation subcompact crossover isn't going anywhere just yet.

Sources "familiar with the future GM product cadence" have told GM Authority that General Motors will continue selling the current, first-generation Buick Encore in the US for the foreseeable future. The Buick Encore GX, on the other hand, will launch as an all-new model slotting between the Encore and Envision.

This move makes sense since the new Encore GX is larger than a typical subcompact crossover, while the Buick Envision is a true compact crossover and will slot above the new Encore GX. Essentially, GM is replicating its two-model family strategy in China by keeping the first-generation Encore on sale, while the new GEM-based Encore being sold in China was specifically engineered for emerging markets.

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The Encore is also still a strong seller for Buick in the US, so it doesn't warrant a replacement just yet. According to data collated by Carsalesbase, annual sales of the Encore are continually rising. Last year, Buick shipped 93,073 units of the Encore in the US compared to 88,035 in 2017 and 78,565 in 2016. In fact, sales have nearly tripled since the Encore first went on sale, as Buick sold 31,956 units in 2013.

Starting at $22,990, the Buick Encore is offered in the US with a choice of two 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinders units producing 138 hp and 153 hp (though the more powerful engine is rumored to be discontinued for 2020). Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, and buyers can choose between front- and all-wheel drive.

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