Buick has unveiled the all-new Encore last week at the Shanghai Auto Show in two versions: the subcompact Encore and the compact Encore GX.
Everyone expected at least one of them to eventually make it Stateside, and many saw the small Encore as a safe bet. However, the U.S. market will only get the larger GX model instead.
As reported earlier this year, Buick is looking to China to develop and expand its U.S. lineup and the new Encore GX fits perfectly into this plan.
Sources familiar with the matter told Autonews that the Encore GX is indeed coming to the United States. The new SUV will slot between the Encore and the Envision and should help Buick retain customers and, hopefully, bring in buyers from other brands as well.
For now, it’s not clear where the U.S.-spec Encore GX will be made, but, unlike the Envision, it’s not expected to be imported from China. Buick has already confirmed that a model would be added to its lineup later this year, and all signs seem to point to the Encore GX.
The new compact SUV is expected to go on sale in the States before the end of this year at the earliest and will be sold alongside the current Encore. That’s because the new Encore subcompact SUV unveiled in China will not make it to America, according to the same sources. Based on GM’s new Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform, the smaller crossover will be built and sold in China.
The current Encore has been a major hit for Buick in its home market, with annual sales nearly tripling since launch to more than 93,000 units in 2018 — which accounted for 47 percent of Buick’s total volume. In the first quarter of 2019, however, Encore sales were down 3.4 percent to 24,606 units, still scoring better than the brand’s overall U.S. sales, which fell 8.7 percent to 51,867 units during the same period.
Meanwhile, the Enclave SUV that was launched in the U.S. will make it to the world’s largest car market, as a locally built three-row version will go on sale in China later this year.