Rebadge all the things!
About a year ago we shared news that GM was thinking of rebadging the Chevrolet Trax, which started life as the Buick Encore, as a GMC model. At the time we wondered how the move made sense, especially since Buick and GMC dealerships share space. Well apparently that's not a big concern for the head honcho at GMC. Small SUV sales are at an all-time high, meaning a GMC Encore/Trax/??? could very well be in the making. This sentiment was relayed to Automotive News (AN) via GMC boss Duncan Aldred.
Aldred is apparently looking for an SUV to compete in the size category of the Jeep Renegade and other similarly small models. To be fair his line of reasoning makes sense from a business standpoint. "That segment has grown so fast. I keep telling everyone, 'How can General Motors' truck brand not be in the fastest-growing segment in the industry, an SUV segment?" Yes, Aldred has a point: GMC is missing out on sales because it doesn't offer up a baby SUV. Still, is rebadging a car currently sold in existing dealerships the smartest ideas? Consumers aren't exactly idiots after all. One thing worth noting is that Aldred is also the boss of Buick, so it's not like he doesn't see or understand the cannibalization aspect.
We've got to build world-class brands. If the first thing we do is ask, 'Well, hasn't Buick got one?' Then we're constantly suppressing one brand for another," he told AN. The Encore has enjoyed brisk sales this year and could potentially see 70,000 units moved by the end of 2015. If Aldred can add to that by offering the Encore as a GMC model then why the hell not?