For the World, a New Buick Encore; For China, Two

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
for the world a new buick encore for china two

General Motors’ best-selling Buick, the subcompact Encore, has a new face and body — and also a sibling. Both vehicles, each carrying the Encore name, saw the light of day Monday at Auto Shanghai, but only one will grace dealerships on this side of the Pacific.

Buick is a big deal in China, and today the SAIC-GM joint venture thrust four Buick-badged vehicles on that depressed, yet still largest auto market. One is an electric vehicle, the Velite 6 MAV (Multi-Activity Vehicle) — a four-door hatch that blends the boundaries of crossover and wagon.

Another, the GL8 Avenir concept MPV, is a high-end van that’s as close to production-ready as a van can get. The Avenir-sub-brand isn’t just for North Americans, you know; Chinese buyers would also like to shell out more dough to attain that status-elevating label. The GL8, if you weren’t aware, debuted in 2016.

Now, the 2020 model-year Encores. GM teased the models earlier this year, leading to some confusion as to which Encore would eventually become the American Encore. Until now, both Chinese and North American Encores were the same vehicle, but GM decided to split the nameplate, adopting the emerging-markets GEM platform for the more affordable of the two.

It now seems that the longer-wheelbase Encore GX (seen at the top of the page) is the one we’ll get, as that model rides atop familiar architecture. According to GM Authority, the Encore GX adopts GM’s VSS-F platform and is classified as “subcompact plus,” thus implying additional interior volume versus the outgoing generation.

GM filed a trademark application for the Encore GX name in the U.S. last year.

Beyond this, there isn’t much else to go on. This was a Chinese debut, and the automaker would only say that both models make use of eighth-generation Ecotec engines, as well as a nine-speed Hydra-Matic transmission or continuously variable automatic.

Encore sales rose 5.7 percent in the U.S. last year, with 93,073 units sold. Compare that to the second best-selling Enclave, which moved 49,647 units in 2018. In the first three months of 2019, Encore sales slipped 3.4 percent.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • MrIcky Out of the possible Jeep recalls to bring up on this site, I'm surprised it's this one and not round 2 of the clutch recall.
  • Dukeisduke I saw a well-preserved Mark VII LSC on the road not too long ago, and I had to do a double-take. They still have a presence. Back when these were new, a cousin of mine owned an LSC with the BMW turbo diesel.
  • Dukeisduke I imagine that stud was added during the design process for something, and someone further along the process forgot to delete it after it became unnecessary.
  • Analoggrotto Knew about it all along but only now did the risk analysis tilt against leaving it there.
  • Mike Beranek Funny story about the '80 T-bird. My old man's Dart Sport had given up the ghost so he was car-shopping. He & I dropped my mom at a store and then went to the Ford dealer, where we test-drove the new T-Bird (with digital dash!)So we pull up to the store to pick mom up. She walks out and dad says "We just bought it.". Mom stares at the Mulroney- almost 13 grand- and just about fell over.Dad had not in fact bought the T-Bird, instead he got a Cordoba for only 9 grand.