By on March 13, 2015

2013 Buick EncoreWhat is Buick in America without the Encore, the automaker’s most disparaged product on these pages?

Buick reported 16,114 LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, and Enclave sales in February 2014, a figure which fell 22% in February 2015, when the aging products were, quite obviously, one year older.

Year-to-date volume of non-Encore Buicks tumbled 20% through the first two months of 2015, a loss of 5441 sales across four nameplates.

So far this year, LaCrosse sales are down 17%. Regal volume is off by 32%. Sales of the Verano are down 18%. The Enclave is off last year’s two-month pace by 19%.

Yet the Encore, beginning its third full year, continues to thrive. One year ago at this time, Encore sales were up 179% compared with the launch period in early 2013. This year, January volume jumped 46% and February sales shot up 60%.

2013 Buick Enclave. Photo courtesy wikipedia.orgThrough two months, Encore sales are up 54%, an improvement of more than 2900 units. The Encore, an entry-level saviour for Buick dealers at the moment, represents 28% of Buick’s volume. (Buick’s two utilities are outselling Buick’s three cars by 1035 units in early 2015.)

The current Regal went on sale in the first half of 2010 and saw its role sorely diminished by the Verano’s arrival at the end of 2011. The LaCrosse, though refreshed for MY2014, was first sold for MY2010. 2015 marks the Enclave’s ninth year of availability.

The necessity of new products aside, can Buick continue to sell its freshest product, the Encore, at a rate of 4100 units per month with new competitors rising up from every corner of the industry? While it seems unlikely that the Encore can persistently add volume at the prodigious rates it has routinely achieved thus far, the increased appetite among new car buyers for this very type of vehicle should produce further Encore health.

Of course, Buick does need other products to step in and help out, because even the Encore’s rate of expansion hasn’t produced overall health for Buick over the last two months. Encore-inclusive Buick brand sales are down 8% through the first two months of 2015.

Buick EnvisionWith America’s car market failing to grow at anything like the pace of the overall new vehicle market, don’t expect revamped LaCrosses, Regals, or Veranos to do the trick, either. Don’t assume the Cascada will be a volume player. And don’t expect a production Avenir to drop out of the sky in the near future. No, like so many automakers, the Encore and Enclave will need help from yet another crossover: the Envision.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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34 Comments on “Hurry Up, Envision: Encore Isn’t Quite Able To Carry Buick On Its Back...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I like the Envision, I look forward to finding out more about it

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I know at least one person who loves the Enclave (but doesn’t have that kind of money to spend) and then thinks the Encore is too small.

      There’s your Envision customer right there. And if it has a small (but serviceable – say for kids 10 and under) 3rd row I think Buick will sell tens of thousands of them.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      It’s very BMW X3/X5 in profile. Derivative, perhaps, but upscale.

    • 0 avatar
      Giltibo

      Forget it. The Envision is not coming to America. It will remain a China exclusive.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “U.S. sales of the Envision are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2015, according to an industry insider with knowledge of the plans.”-Edmunds

        http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/buick-envision-compact-crossover-eyed-for-us.html?SID=i78w89imxb000b1p001ol&kw=flexibletexttool&PID=3193616&AID=10364102&mktid=cj260233&mktcat=affiliates

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Wasn’t there talk about a new Encore engine? I’m waiting on that, otherwise I’d snap one up in a heartbeat. Such a great package, just too slow.

    The Verano Turbo is not a good alternative, since the backseat is way too small. And the Regal GS needs to come with that gorgeous Cashmere interior. Finally, the Enclave second row is hard as a rock.

    In all, each Buick has a fatal flaw except for the LaCrosse.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I’m in the same boat. If GM put the 200HP 1.6 turbo 4 in the Encore I would be interested. I’m in the target demographic (45+ empty or almost empty nest, want an urban runaout with the creature comforts but don’t need the size and not hung up on logos)

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    I think that this alliterative naming concept is too clever by half. Outside of the enthusiast community, I think that buyers have trouble keeping model names straight when they are so alike, and I can’t see a big positive in making all of the CUV names start with “En”. It’s better than the alphanumeric soup that Lincoln and Cadillac are so fond of, but there are so many possible names that would be more romantic/aspirational.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Still have only seen a couple of the dorky Encores around here, and they really are awkward looking. Way more Trax but hardly an avalanche, heh, heh, but we’re poor in th.

    The Envision would seem to be the ideal basis for replacing the dog-eared twins GMC Terrain and Chev Equinox.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Buick Encore – The Empirical IQ Test

  • avatar
    shadow mozes

    Well, instead of rebadging Opels, actually get your a** of the chair and design a Buick in-house and make it unique! Make the cars look less ugly too, the Encore is just awful, nothing more than a chromed up trax.

  • avatar

    An off-lease Envision with technical ‘structural damage’ will likely be my girlfriend’s next car. She loves the Acadia and Enclave, but they’re just too darn big for her and the 7-passenger capacity is waaaay overkill.

  • avatar

    Yes yes. Buick is positioned well to lap up so many entry-lux buyers. I can’t believe how well the Encore and Enclave done, the Envision would be a licence to print money.

    While we’re at it, can GM get an Enclave/Acadia replacement out the door? I can’t believe how long such a large company takes to replace products that are so successful for them.

  • avatar
    thetallguy

    To begin with, I am 60 years old. The newest Buick of any kind that I have driven is a Lucerne. Yes, it was very quiet, but the roof was very low and it rode hard as a rock. I have also looked at all new Buick cars and the only one I could get into at all was the LaCrosse. I like Buick cars that ride soft and wouldn’t consider buying anything else. I drive an ’05 Park Avenue and don’t know what car I would buy new that I could afford and actually fit into. I am 6’5″ tall and have a 38″ inseam. Any car with a center stack is pretty much out of the running.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    If the Envision is manufactured in the USA or Canada I’m a buyer. Otherwise the Enclave is the best SUV on the market, period.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Not surprisingly, most of Buick’s lineup has been hit with old age and the CUV-craze (or both), but things should get much better as Buick will pretty much replace the LaCrosse, Regal, Enclave and Verano within the next 2-3 yrs, as well as adding the Envision.

    If GM wants to make the most out of the auto market’s continued move to CUVs, they should add a 4th CUV to their lineup (subcompact, compact, midsize, fullsize).

    In the meanwhile, Cadillac has been way too slow in expandig its CUV lineup which is why they have been struggling.

  • avatar

    Buick will just produce another Opel rebadge for people to hate. Why was this turkey division allowed to survive. When is the Buick enema coming out?.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    I love the Regal GS AWD, the huge problem with it was the mid $40’s price. The GS has it all for me! But for $15K less I got a 2015 Chrysler 200S AWD. My car has all the same stuff as the GS. Even after working a deal the GS was still $9K more…it was sad

  • avatar

    My aunt and uncle bought a new Enclave in 2013. They wanted something smaller, but were unimpressed by the Equinox/Terrain and found the Escape too small. They’re looking to replace the Enclave this year, and the Envision’s exactly what they need.

  • avatar
    Carlsberg1966

    Matt3319, I bought a 14 certified GS AWD with 3700 miles on it for $30,500, and it has a better warranty via CPO than a new one. I am very impressed with the car so far. It is very striking looking, well equipped, with nice fit and finish inside and out. Its no bruiser on the road, but plenty fast, quiet and comfortable. I agree Buick needs to find its way, and really its to find out why it exists in the first place. At least here, it exists for China.

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