General Motors plans to sell the new Buick Encore GX alongside the current, first-generation Buick Encore in the U.S. market, with the Encore GX slotting into the “white space” between the Encore and Envision.
That much we already knew, but what we don’t know is how GM plans to strategize sales of the Encore and Encore GX. The automaker is currently offering heavy discounts on the aging Encore, making us wonder if it plans to continue offering the subcompact crossover for a discount, while selling the newer, more up-to-date Encore GX for full price. This would give Buick a two-pronged small crossover approach, with buyers having the option of a cheaper budget-friendly model or a slightly larger, more content-rich and more expensive model.
No matter what GM’s plan is, it’s quite easy to see why the automaker is hesitant to kill the crossover off. Encore sales are up half a percentage point through the first six months of 2019 and jumped 4.85 percent in Q2. While these sales are in-part fuelled by GM’s deep discounts on the model, a good amount of customers are still flocking to the vehicle. We would not be shocked to see sales stay even or climb in Q3, either, with GM offering a steep 20 percent discount on the Encore in August.
As you’ll see in the sales chart below, Encore sales are up at a time when much of the segment is trending downward – save for newer entries like the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Kicks and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Sales Numbers - Mainstream Subcompact Crossovers - Q2 2019 - United States
|MODEL||Q2 19 / Q2 18||Q2 19||Q2 18||Q2 19 SHARE||Q2 18 SHARE||YTD 19 / YTD 18||YTD 19||YTD 18|
|MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SPORT||-29.76%||6,311||8,985||3%||4%||-16.27%||18,768||22,415|
|MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS||+55.38%||3,594||2,313||2%||1%||+324.51%||12,591||2,966|
GM’s sales strategy for the Buick Encore and Buick Encore GX should come into focus closer to the Encore GX’s market launch early next year. It will also be interesting to see if GM continues to off deep discounts on the vehicle throughout Q3 2019 and into Q4 and if this continues to drive strong sales of the vehicle.