By on March 28, 2012

The “made for China” Buick Encore won’t be the last gawky micro-crossover put out by General Motors. In addition to the Encore and the Opel Mokka, it looks like Chevrolet will join the party too – perhaps what should have happened right from the start.

 Reconciling the notion of a strange mini-hatch-cum-SUV is difficult in the context of the Buick brand (at least on our shores) but as a Chevrolet, it makes much more sense. As these patent drawings from French outlet “L’Automobile” show, the Chevrolet version could be almost a baby Equinox, rather than just a bloated Sonic.

Yes, we know that our roads don’t need another crossover, let alone a small one, but for GM’s brand positioning outside the USA, a Chevrolet version of the more upmarket Opel Mokka makes a lot of sense. Chevrolet is being positioned as GM’s entry-level brand elsewhere, so a “world market” version of the car, rather than the more regionally focused Mokka and Encore, seems like a good fit.

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12 Comments on “Buick Encore May Get Chevrolet Variant...”

  • avatar

    I still maintain the Encore is worth a shot. No other automaker offers a car with the Encore’s (or Verano’s) precise combination of size, comfort, luxury, and price point. Not saying either will be anywhere near as successful as the Lexus RX 300, but that car seemed pretty ridiculous when it first went on sale in 1998.

    It’s interesting how they decided to go upmarket first with the Encore (unlike the Volt, which would have made more sense as a Cadillac at it’s price, in retrospect). The Encore is no “political lightning rod”, but hopefully it won’t be a wallflower, either.

    BTW, I’ve been seeing a lot of Chevy Captiva CUVs around my neck-of-the-woods. I initially thought these were rental-only, but it would seem some private citizens are getting their hands on the re-badged Saturn VUE.

    • 0 avatar

      I wholeheartedly agree on the Encore. I think it will really hit the swet spot for young folks with good jobs (of which there are plenty, see A4 leases). I have been wanting to upgrade my Fit with sound insulation and a touch more power. This looks like just the ticket.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think the Encore is such a bad idea, just ugly as sin.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        “Just ugly as sin.”
        –That would make it a bad idea hehheh.

      • 0 avatar

        Secret Hi5

        The Honda Element, first Generation Scion xB, and Chevy HHR all fall into the beauty is in the eye of the beholder category. None of them were massive huge sales successes but none of them could be called flops.

        While one box on wheels (Soul) sells as fast as they can build them, others (Cube) can’t be given away (no offense to the Cube owners/fans that post here to defend their vehicle of choice).

        I see no way to really tell what will be a hit or miss. Not only was the Element wasn’t just ugly as sin (and very poorly marketed), but had more plastic on it than a Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevy Avalanche, and Pontiac Grand Am – combined. Still sold well. Despite everything against it (and at the end really craptastic fuel economy) it still sold “respectably.”

        Stranger things can happen – and I think the baby Buick can sell.

      • 0 avatar

        @APaGttH: But the Element, xB and HHR weren’t sold by nominally “premium” brands, either.

        The Encore might sell, but it also might hurt Buick’s aspirations to be taken seriously as an aspirational car for non-geezers. Ditto on the Verano.

        Don’t believe me? See the Chrysler PT Cruiser, circa 2001.

      • 0 avatar

        Bah. That argument is worn out.

        Toyota and Honda went downscale on their C-segment cars. Ford, GM, Hyundai, Kia, VW, and Mazda all went upscale (well VW went downscale on the parts customers don’t care about and added the stuff as optional that they do).

        It isn’t a complete bloodbath for Toyota or Honda but both the refreshed Corolla and Civic have been crucified for being at the bottom of the pack in content, material quality, MPG, horsepower and features. They said a $26K Cruze wouldn’t sell either – and it has (Ford has had less success with $29K Focii).

        The US market is ready for smaller cars with richer content – the buying public is making that very clear with their wallets. This is something that Ford, GM, Hyundai, Kia, and to a lesser extent Mazda seems to understand very much (I say lesser extend because the fun to drive Mazda2 is pretty sparse compared to the Fiesta, Sonic, Accent and Rio)

  • avatar

    I guess the Chevy version of the Encore will rather be a baby Captiva, since these small SUV’s are being developed by GM Korea

  • avatar

    Bring it on. This may be just the vehicle that satisfies an awful lot of peoples’ needs that don’t want a Honda, Toyota, Kia or Hyundai. It really doesn’t matter where it’s sourced or built – some just want that bowtie on the grille.

    Me? I’ll stick to cars.

  • avatar

    I guess this is old news really.

  • avatar

    The Chevy version looks much better than the Buick. Not that it is particlarly good looking but this seems like a better fit. What will they call it? I hope they go with Tracker.

  • avatar

    It was already almost confirmed that the Encore would get a Chevy version, since Chevrolet desperately needs an Ecosport-killer in South America, and the development of a Chevy CUV for emerging markets was known for a long while. According to some rumors, this new Chevy model will be named Envoy. There’s also going to be a minivan version, developed by GM Brazil, which will be called Spin, and already being tested as we speak.

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