Buick incentive spending skyrocketed 104 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2023 as sales also surged toward pre-pandemic levels.
While Buick incentives have increased strongly since last year, they remain half of what they were in Q3 2021, when incentive spending for the brand attained $4,019 per vehicle, and a third of the Q3 2020 figure of $6,007 per vehicle.
The brand’s incentives were also below the overall $2,299 per vehicle averaged out across GM’s four major brands, a figure that was up 56 percent compared to last year. Despite this, sales growth of Buick vehicles outpaced the other three brands in percentage terms, surging to 43,978 units sold, a 54 percent gain over Q3 2022.
The study noted that “Buick is headed back toward its pre-pandemic, pre-chip shortage volume,” with the Buick Encore GX spearheading its recovery as Q3 sales soared 104 percent to 20,060 units. The Buick Enclave gained 34 percent, achieving 10,553 quarterly unit sales, though the UAW strike at the GM Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan where the Enclave is produced could be a speed bump hampering near-future sales growth for the nameplate.
Sales of other major models are stable or declining. Sales volume of 7,279 units for the Envision was unchanged relative to Q3 last year, while sales of the now-discontinued Encore shrank, dropping 80 percent year-over-year to 701 vehicles. Cox Automotive hasn’t yet started publishing data for the all-new Buick Envista coupe-like crossover.
Turning to the company as a whole, The General not only saw significant incentive increases but also a strong rise in sales. Q3 sales increased 21 percent relative to 2022, reaching 669,199 vehicles.
Incentive spending for GMC rose even faster than Buick’s, climbing 145 percent to $2,567 per vehicle in Q3 2023. Cadillac incentives surged 58 percent to $3,296 per vehicle, while Chevy trailed the other three, with its $2,166 average incentive growing 35 percent.
Incentives continue to rise vigorously across the automotive sector as the industry rebounds from the shocks of COVID-19 and the subsequent chip shortage. GM and its brands are in sync with the trend, with The General now approaching its pre-pandemic market share.