By on June 25, 2015

Encore Trax sales chart

During a month in which American Honda reported the brand’s first 6,381 HR-V sales, a month in which Subaru and Mitsubishi reported record XV Crosstrek and Outlander Sport sales, a month in which Jeep sold another 4,416 Renegades, GM’s smallest crossovers combined for their highest sales total thus far, as well.

11,107 Buick Encores and Chevrolet Traxes (Traxi? Trai?) were sold in the United States in May 2015.

This required the biggest of six months so far for the Chevrolet Trax. Encore volume increased 28%, year-over-year, and crested the 5,000-unit mark for the third consecutive month and just the third time since the little Buick arrived at the beginning of 2013.

General Motors sold 102,547 SUV and crossovers in the U.S. in May 2015. The Encore and Trax accounted for 11% of those sales. In other words, significantly more than the just-launched Honda HR-V; not nearly as many as the Chevrolet Equinox. With 29,456 May sales, the Equinox ranks second among SUVs and crossovers overall.

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

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50 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: May 2015 Was The Best Month Yet For GM’s Subcompact Crossovers...”


  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    There are a lot of people who want something smaller but upright; I just had a conversation with some retirees who would have gone for a small car, but found that even a Corvette seemed ill-suited for driving on I-94 among the trucks.

    As another driver on the road, I just wish these things had Chevy Silverado 0-60 times from this or the last decade:

    0-60
    2015 Chevrolet Trax: 9.2
    2011 Silverado HD 2500 8.3
    2012 Silverado Z71 Crew Cab 7.0
    2015 Silverado High Country 5.7
    1999 Silverado 2500 Extended Cab 8.8
    1994 C1500 9.4

    The performance is like a product plucked from the early 1990s. Eventually even the buyers have to notice that Dodge Dart base models driven by people who don’t know how to shift a manual and stall it every traffic light are passing them.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    So, the HR-V had two weeks in the market and it’s already the best seller on a per diem basis.

    Too bad Honda wildly underestimated demand.

    It really makes you wonder, with products like the Crosstour and CRZ, who does the product planning?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “It really makes you wonder, with products like the Crosstour and CRZ, who does the product planning?”

      Rick Wagoner?

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I would dearly love to know the who, why and how of product decisions within Toyota and Honda.

      Presently, Toyota is beset by a CEO who likes sporty cars and thinks stiffer suspension is always the answer. Can’t do much about derp from on high like that. But which cohort at Honda is responsible for their execrable barfs like the CR-Z?

  • avatar
    319583076

    These are garbage vehicles although they serve as markers for irrational and uncritical thinkers. People who willingly buy these live in a world I’ll never know…

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I would argue that someone buying a car in the hopes of impressing others, fulfilling some goofy image of being a “purist” or as an act of rebellion at the expense of practicality and needs is the irrational and “uncritical” thinker. Are you really so stupid that you think the car you drive makes you special or better than others? What world do you live in lol.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        Do you happen to drive a Trax or Encore by any chance? If I hurt your feelings, I’m sure you’ll get over it eventually.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Nope, I have a Civic sedan, a Rabbit hatchback, and a motorcycle.

          My feelings aren’t hurt at all; just tired of garbage self-righteous posting, and the purporting of the idea that the vehicle one drives is wholly indicative of one’s value as a human being.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Sporty,
        The predictable anti-CUV vitriol is music to my ears!
        The usual providers wouldn’t be so extreme if they didn’t know they were losing :-D

  • avatar
    NN

    my 5 year old son saw a red Encore the other day and said “Hey Dad, look at that silly Buick.” I got a good laugh out of that.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Wouldn’t the plural be Chevrolets Trax, like Grands Prix?

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      No, “Traxes.” Not “Traxi”! If this were Latin (and, Author, you clearly don’t know Latin) it would be “Tracēs,” although, as a proper name, I don’t believe it’d be pluralized, anyway.

  • avatar
    udman

    I can really understand why these little CUV’s are selling, and I am seriously considering an Encore. So, why are they selling as fast as they are? As the population continues to age, the car buying public will keep preferring taller vehicles, just for the ease of getting in and out of them.

    Here are a couple of real world examples that I have just experienced. Looking at and driving a 2010 Mercedes-Benz C300, I was struck by how low that car really is, and it was a struggle (for me at least) to make any kind of graceful entry or exit. Now I know what you’re thinking that I must be grossly overweight, or incapable of doing anything… However, I weigh all of 155 pounds, but my mobility has been hurt slightly by a stroke I went through a couple of years ago. I still drive without any problems, and I can get in and out of my present car (A GMC Envoy) with no problems whatsoever. But the C300 was a struggle..

    So was a 2013 Honda Accord… though not as much of a struggle. A 2015 Ford Taurus was a lot better, but is still not as easy as some of the CUV’s I’ve driven.

    I did try out a Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec, and it was magnificent, but as a 2012 used vehicle (with over 50,000 miles), the price was still heart stopping (at $46,000!)

    Which brings me back to the Encore. It sits higher than the Jeep Renegade, Looks OK, has acceptable performance for me, and is available with AWD. The Chevrolet Trax doesn’t interest me as much because of the dash layout (it is quite different…) and as a late Baby Boomer…. Buick seems to fit very well (or at least I fall into that category…)

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      If you have trouble getting into and out of a normal passenger car, a CUV will make your life easier, true. But wouldn’t it be better to address the source?

      People of all ages got into and out of passenger cars for decades before SUVs showed up en mass around 1993 or so. So maybe you should ask why you’re having this kind of trouble. Get in better shape. Change your diet, exercise more. There are people in their 70s who run marathons. So just getting in shape isn’t impossible. An hour a day of exercise plus watching your portion sizes will do wonders.

      I’m not trying to be self righteous — you’re entitled to buy what you want and do with your body as you choose. But this kind of justification seems rather silly to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Veee8

        Easiest car to enter/exit for me was the forgettable Ford Freestyle, I tried it out just by chance at a car show, almost exactly hip height…more wagon than CUV and truly bland, but the seat was near perfect for ingress/egress.
        I will still take a true wagon over it or any modern iteration of CUV/SUV..

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You really should have read what he wrote before going off on your little self righteous tirade. He had a stroke, not a sedentary life.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          That’s unfortunate and I feel for him. I truly do. But it sounds to me like he has no problems with driving or getting into and out of most vehicles.

          Besides, I have heard this justification uttered by people without disabilities or health conditions that should prevent them from getting into a normal passenger car. If you accept it all of it at face value, it’s a wonder that our species survived without these tall blob vehicles to protect us from having to bend our poor creaky knees. That wasn’t meant to be a tirade, just helpful general advice.

          • 0 avatar

            If you don’t need the performance why not a car that’s easier to get in and out of? Minivans have been top sellers to empty nester for years due to the step in height. Now they can get the same in a more economical package. If your like my wife who only leaves town in her car 2-3 times a month and most driving is short errands ease of entrance and exit actually moves to the top of the list.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Well Mr. Purist, autos had a much higher seating position until the late ’50s when longer-lower-wider came into play. A ’55 Chevy or Ford? Hip position probably equivilent to the HR-V/Trax.

        I love the age of crossovers, certainly more than the age of SUVs, and 10X more than the age of low-slung cars where your legs were splayed out in front of you. Crossovers are more comfortable, have better sight lines in many cases, and carry more cargo if necessary.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Well when they depreciate into the realm of a Saab enthusiast’s budget, about $4,000 or so, you’ll be all set.

          Have proof for your claim that hip height on a 55 Chevy or Ford is equivalent to a new HR-V or Trax? Not saying you’re wrong. Just curious.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “have better sight lines in many cases”

          I might get my eyes checked if I were you.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        Super, talk to me when you hit 70. I have always liked small sports cars, or small sedans, especially English ones. However, a life lived wide open has encumbered me with bad arthritis. Too many years of racing motorcycles through the woods doing enduros and motocross. Too many years of racing sailboats. Too many years of being active. I don’t regret any of it. I enjoyed it all. I wish that I still was doing it, but age has a way of slowing you down Don’t look down your nose at others. You may be in their shoes one day.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Excellent post Superdessucke. I have nothing to cite, but my general observation is the baby boomers are a much sicker generation than their parents before them (may of whom easily lived to their 80s and 90s). The tinfoil hat on my head wants to suggest this is by design, but again I have nothing specific to cite.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Super, for those decades, most cars were full-size, taller (63″), and had higher, mostly flat, bench seats. When the SUVs showed up in ’93 (+/-) the compact models replaced tall wagons that were much easier to get into than the small cars of the time, and were popular among less mobile older folks.

        As far as getting into shape is concerned, no amount of exercise will improve an artificial hip or knee, or debilitating conditions (like arthritis) common to people who are probably much older than you are.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Cadillac needs to bring out a version of one of these.

      Maybe they could call it “Cimmaron II” since it would be badge engineered from a lesser GM vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        They’re not yet convinced they should go back to names. It would have to begin with “CT” followed by a number. That would make it something like “CT-2”, read as “minus two”.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Lexus does more of that these days than Cadillac.

        The decision-makers at GM muffed up by shelving the GMC Granite (which actually looked good as opposed to the Encore or Trax, or for that matter, the HR-V).

        Chevy has pretty much its entire car lineup (sans the Impala) launching new models within the next 16 months, but they would be better served if they got replacements to the long in the tooth Traverse and Equinox.

  • avatar
    r129

    I will never understand why anyone would ever buy one of these, and this is a blatant example of badge engineering, but this chart goes to show that when the product is in demand, GM’s multiple brands do have some value. Everyone says “Kill Buick!” and “Kill GMC!” However, the Trax was able to come onto the market and not cannibalize the Encore’s sales. If they were selling this vehicle under only one brand, I doubt that the sales would ever equal the combined total.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Can’t say I’ve seen one in the rural area of Texas west of Houston. I did a see a car carrier filled with HRVs, so maybe only a matter of time.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    If these are having big sales, I’m not really seeing it where I live. Not sure if I’ve ever seen more than 1-2 Buick/Trax ever, so I guess that’s a bonus.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    We cross-shopped these with the Cruze/Verano and the biggest negative I saw was the almost total lack of cargo room behind the second row. The sedans give you a substantial trunk. Of course at age 67 I’m still OK with the ingress/egress on my Miata so the Cruze is no sweat at all.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Cruze Verano are Delta II

      Trax Encore are Gamma II

      Gamma is a totally different platform shared with the Sonic and Spark so they are smaller than the Cruze and Verano.

      Delta 2XX will combine Delta and Theta together.

      The new Cruze (posted TTAC today) is Delta 2XX. The upcoming Cadillac SRX is also Delta 2XX.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I live near the beach in LA and have seen 5 new, non-rental Traxes with dealer paper plates on them over the past 2 weeks. I have also seen 2 HR-Vs in that time, the latest just yesterday.

    So these things are selling. I’ve seen ads on TV for the HR-V, but none for the Trax. I’ve also seen many, many (non-rental) Encores. Even one driven by a young millennial girl! “I’m outside…in the Buick”

    The Encore is a bit silly-looking, but so are all of these tiny CUVs. I was not impressed with the HR-V in person; looked better in photos. Just as ugly as the Encore IMO.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I think Honda is really happy that GM pioneered this market in the US, and can’t wait to get an Acura version of the HR-V to market ASAP to take over all these Encore sales.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Even the run-of-the-mill Trax(es) with the plasticky-fantastiky trim are going for $26k – man, GM is raking it in (for now).

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      And that’s with something like 70% Korean and 20% Chinese content. I’ll pass. On both the Encore and Trax.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Check your inbox. Korean stuff is really good these days. And nobody/nothing can avoid some Chinese content.

        Encores are becoming ubiquitous at the old-folks restaurants I frequent (I like being the youngest:-) If Encores are good enough for all those Korea, Vietnam and Peak America folks, they’re good enough for me.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    How many Trax were rental sales? We had a Trax rental a while back, what an unhappy car. Engine and transmission were not a good match. Do they have vinyl interiors? Or was the leather really that bad? This is way GM makes crappy cars, they have no problem selling them.


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