As one of the first players in the entry level luxury crossover segment, Buick seems to have sent a compelling message about the segment and about the brand in general: the rebadged Chevy Trax sold 97,311 copies during 2013 and half of the buyers came over from another brand. Buick tries to cite exterior design as one of the reasons for the car’s sales, but I think that the significant selling points of this car are likely its 33 mpg fuel economy rating, sub-$25K starting price and $27,460 entry fee for a luxury SUV with leather. The car offers a very competitive price of $1,500 for an all wheel drive package, ideal for those either frightened by snowflakes, the use of anything other than all season or summer tires, or a combination of both.
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As indicated by the folks at Kelley Blue Book, the compact luxury SUV segment is a pretty hot market, and until BMW completely saturates it with their rainbow of competing entries, it will likely be an excellent source of profit for those engaged. Buick’s reign in this sector will likely last even longer if they choose to offer a greater selection of engines. For now, it’s only the 1.4-liter, turbocharged four making 140 hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
DETROIT– Closing its first full year, the Encore became the Buick lineup’s fifth model and second crossover, ringing up sales success in one of the industry’s fastest-growing segments.
Entering the small SUV and small luxury SUV segment in the U.S. at the end of last January, the Encore helped boost sales in a rapidly expanding market that just last year alone, grew by 52 percent from 2012.
“Right out of the gate, demand for the Encore was high,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. “It accounted for most of the segment’s growth last year and that’s because it offers the right safety, technology, and features in the right-sized vehicle for many customers.”
As one of the first luxury crossovers of its size, Encore’s U.S. retail sales reached 31,046 units during its first full year of sales. Globally, the Encore sold 97,311 vehicles in calendar year 2013, helping Buick set its global sales record of 1,032,056 last year.
“The small SUV segment looks like the next hot spot in the new-car market,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “The combination of functionality and fuel efficiency offered by models like the Buick Encore makes them a compelling value equation for consumers. We’re seeing rising research activity in these models from users of KBB.com, and we expect sales to grow in the coming months and years.”
Encore’s early entry to these segments is significant. Combined, the segments are expected to more than double in sales between now and 2018.
The Encore earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2013 Top Safety Pick and 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It also ranked highest in the Sub-Compact CUV segment in the 2013 J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySMand among others, was named the winner of Kelley Blue Book’s 2014 5-Year Cost to Own awards in the Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover category.
Encore customers cite good fuel economy, high quality and exterior design as the top reasons for purchase, with one in two buyers coming from a non-General Motors brand.