Supported by an effective marketing blitz, GM is having trouble keeping up with demand for the Buick Encore small crossover and the Detroit automaker “acknowledges that it underestimated initial U.S. demand for the Korea-built” vehicle and “recently boosted production,” according to an Automotive News report.
GM reports Encore sales of 12,252 units over its first six months, higher than similar figures for the first six months of the Buick Verano compact sedan launch. U.S. sales through July were at 15,428 units. Before the launch, AutoPacific Inc. predicted 13,600 units this year. IHS Automotive pegged the figure at 18,500.
The Encore is manufactured alongside the Opel Mokka, which is gaining traction with buyers in Europe. Some U.S. shipments were held back in New Jersey in May, further limiting the inventory at dealerships.
Buick spokesman Nick Richards told Automotive News that the shortages were due to unexpected demand – sales exceeded GM’s projection by almost four times. David Ferraez, dealer principal at Green Brook Buick-GMC in New Jersey and a member of the Buick-GMC National Dealer Council, told the website he believes there is “huge upside in this segment,” adding that “the demand far exceeds the supply right now.”
As the first small premium crossovers to gain widespread popularity in the market, Automotive News suggests Audi, Lexus, Lincoln and Cadillac are going to come to market with similar models in the next two years.
Photo Credit: Buick