GM hikes output of Buick Encore to cater to higher demand

Article by Anita Panait, on August 8, 2013

General Motors admitted underestimating demand for its Buick Encore small crossover in the United States, but is now making moves to address the shortage for the unit at its dealerships across the country.  One of those dealerships is Chris Haydocy's, located in Columbus, Ohio. His dealership is now bound to receive around 20 Buick Encores.

Following a hot launch in January 2013, shipments of the small crossover to US dealership have slowed down. Haydocy, dealer principal at Haydocy Buick-GMC, remarked to Automotive News that the Buick Encore was “absolutely red hot” when the unit first came out." But then came what he described as a “lag that kind of took the wind out of the sails.”

He said they are finally getting adequate supply for the first time in three or four months. GM said that it recently boosted Buick Encore’s production in South Korea to make up for its demand in the US. The Encore is being built alongside the Opel Mokka in GM’s Korean assembly lines, as they share the same platform. The Mokka is also gaining popularity in Europe.

Some US shipments of the Encore were held at a port in New Jersey for several weeks in May "pending a retrofit," some dealers were told in a memo at the time, worsening the already tight supplies for the small crossover. Buick spokesman Nick Richards said the retrofit was "inconsequential" to the vehicle's availability. He instead blamed supply shortages on underestimated demand, saying that sales of the vehicle were "triple or quadruple" GM's expected growth in the first few months.

Richards said they already increased production of the Encore, which means dealers who didn’t receive enough of the small crossover in the previous months “should be on their way to getting plenty." The Buick Encore is considered a pioneer in the emerging market for small premium crossovers, but other brands like Audi, Lexus, Lincoln and Cadillac are mulling to make similar offerings in the next two years.

Topics: gm, buick, buick encore

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