Why Buick's Encore wasn't a Chevy
Buick Encore forums
October 31, 2012
by Chris Paukert
Buick is taking a gamble with its 2013 Encore. General Motors' near-luxury brand has enjoyed great success attracting conquest buyers to its larger Enclave crossover, but it has never offered something quite like this small CUV.
Very early signs suggest that the gamble might be working. According to Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, the automaker expected about 1,500 initial orders from its dealers for the Encore, but it's tracking closer to 9,000 units. Alluding to the fact that historically, Buick has shared similar products with GM's other brands, Reuss says that Buick dealers are "thrilled to have an exclusive." The automaker already markets almost identical models in other markets as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and Chevrolet Trax, but The General's other brands won't offer a twin to the new baby Buick.
Some industry watchers have openly wondered whether the Encore is a good fit for Buick, as GM has been steadily working to turn the brand into a more premium marque to tackle the likes of Acura and Lexus. Those same pundits have suggested that the Encore's small size and limited power would perhaps play better under the Chevrolet banner, especially as there would appear to be enough white space below Bowtie's very popular Equinox CUV. Autoblog approached Reuss with this notion at a media roundtable today, and the executive bristled, stating categorically that the Trax "would have never worked" in North America because of financial and packaging reasons, not to mention the fact that the model doesn't wear Chevrolet's new design language (as seen in the 2014 Impala).
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