General Motors recently unveiled all-new Buick Encore GX and Chevrolet Trailblazer in China, with both models expected to serve as replacements for the Buick Encore and Chevy Trax sold in North America. But now, based on new information obtained by GM Authority, the outgoing Encore and Trax will stick around for the 2020 model year at the same time as their Encore GX and Trailblazer replacements launch.
The strategy of continuing of continuing to sell outgoing versions of a model while launching a replacement model during the same year is not new for General Motors. In fact, the Detroit-based automaker just executed the same plan with its full-size pickup trucks, rolling out the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra on the T1 platform while continuing to produce and market the outgoing, last-generation models on the K2 platform. GM followed a similar strategy with the Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia crossovers, producing and marketing the first-generation Traverse and Acadia as “Limited” models while launching all-new, second-generation versions during the same timeframe for the same, 2018 model year.
The strategy allows GM to smooth out the steep decrease in sales volume and associated revenues typically associated with launching an all-new model. Instead, production and sales volumes remain at relatively healthy levels thanks to the last-gen model, while rolling out the replacement model with the necessary levels of quality control at the plant. A secondary yet equally important benefit of the strategy is the ability to delay the introduction of incentives on the all-new model, thereby maintaining high transaction prices and associated profits on those vehicles.
While GM will follow this strategy in North America, it will not do so in China – where the all-new Chevy Tracker and second-gen Buick Encore (non-GX) will replace the entry-level Trax and first-gen Encore, respectively.
As for the first-gen Trax and Encore, we’ve learned that both will be getting a few minor changes for the 2020 model year, comprised of new colors and a few other small feature-level changes. We will have more info on those changes and updates in the very near future.