Dealers across America have been waiting for Buick Encore shipments to arrive, as shipments have slowed since the January launch of the new subcompact crossover from the automaker. Shipments have slowed drastically in the past months, leaving dealers without product to sell, owing to constrained demands and worker strife in South Korea where it’s built.
Currently, there are 20 Encore vehicles being shipped to Chris Haydocy’s Buick-GMC dealership in Columbus, Ohio. This will mark the most vehicles he has receives in months. Hadocy told Automotive News that, “It was absolutely red hot when it first came out. Then there was this lag that kind of took the wind out of the sails. We’re finally getting adequate supply for the first time in three or four months.”
General Motors has underestimated demand in the U.S. for the small crossover, and production has recently been increased to better meet the rising demand. Part of the problem with slow production is that the Encore has had to compete with the European Opel Mokka, as they share assembly lines.
Although Buick may be one of the first to offer a small luxury crossover, within the next few years it will most likely have company from brands like Lexus, Audi, and Cadillac. Current competition includes the Acura RDX and Hyundai Santa Fe, if not smaller offerings like the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke. Some automakers are also entering the subcompact crossover game, such as BMW with its X1 and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA. The 2013 Buick Encore, which we thought was a luxurious little vehicle despite needing some more power when we drove it some months back, has already eclipsed sales expectations, which were set at 13,600 units for the year. Currently, sales total 15,428 for the first six months of the year.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)