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click above image to see more of the increasingly exclusive Buick Enclave

General Motors has a hit on its hands with the big, beautiful Enclave CUV. People all over the country are trying to get their hands on Buick's luxurious iteration of the Lambda Ute. Rather than follow the time-dishonored practice of running as many copies of a hot model out the door as possible, GM's keeping production on the Enclave under strict control. In fact, even though some dealers have sold out of their Enclave inventory, GM will be reducing shifts at the Lansing plant that builds the Enclave. Bob Lutz explained the restrictions thusly: "We want to keep [the Enclave] hot... Nothing destroys the value of a new product faster than over producing." That's it in a nutshell, right there. The practice of tying production to demand is what Toyota and Honda tend to do. Take the Fit, for example. Part of the allure of that vehicle is that buyers often have to wait to get one. The same kind of "best kept secret" mystique surrounds the Enclave - you don't see them everywhere, and they're rather opulent once you finally get a chance to check one out. Exclusivity can also spur customers into paying full price, where before a glut of product would mean heavy discounts. Of course, GM can't afford moves such as restricted production and labor layoffs at every plant and on every model, but we hope this new tack pays off in boosting the General's image as well as its bottom line.

[Source: WSJ]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM has discovered discipline.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you want to beat Toyota, you've got to take a lesson or two from their playbook.

      Kudos to GM for keeping inventory tight; it also makes sure you've got the quality right as you ramp production up.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, not over-producing is a good idea, but I don't like the practice of capping production too much. Seems shady.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dude...they finally got it.

      When I first saw the Enclave in person I came to the conclusion that it was one of the most enigmatic automobiles currently available. The car is a fat, morbidly obese, swath of curves and shiny metals. Yet, aside from that, its visible heft actually makes the car look planted and composed, especially from the rear...though it looks too similar to a Hyundai from that angle.

      Bottomline, I can't believe the Enclave sells the way some claim it does. But somebody should provide Buick leadership with a prize for something like "most significant GM marketing discovery of the 21st century."
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wonder where some of you have been. You do realize GM has been doing the same thing with the Sky and to a lesser degree the Solstice since their respective launches right?
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is definitely one of the, if not the best looking crossover available.

      GM is playing it very smart keeping supply tight. Even so, I see more Enclaves on the streets on the west side of Phoenix than the Acadia, Outlook and Ford Edge.

      Now if only all Buicks were as striking, maybe then it would be GM's best brand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The best part is that ....

      "In other news, brand new 08 Honda Accords are rotting unsold on the lot of the Honda dealer Ricardo Head passes on the way to work!"

      .... and that, in a Honda-friendly part of the country!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Just saying the new ones do not seem to be flying off the lot like I thought they would. Sales thus far are different than sales of the new model - and I'm already seeing some discounts. I think Honda missed the mark a bit (price hike, nothing else too special, mediocre mileage) but they are good at changing things on the fly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Surprising given how much Accord sales are up this year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Heh. After the better part of a century, GM discovers that product sells cars, not marketing BS. Congratulations on a truly beautiful and well-engineered (and probably reliable) product. I say this as a perennial GM-basher - the Enclave is gorgeous inside and out, and I'm frankly stunned that GM is building cars this good. The thing is, they need to keep doing this and avoid screwing up for probably another 15 or 20 years before their reputation is equivalent to Toyota's.

      If GM maintains its discipline and keeps production slightly below demand, dealers will make more money and the cars will hold their value better, and customers will happily pay close to sticker.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lambda FTW!!!! GM has a huge hit on their hands.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Devin: Did you leave quality off of your list of arguments intentionally?
      • 7 Years Ago
      What is the correct number to produce? GM would need to predict the number well in advance of the product launch, no way to get it 100% correct. If they produce to many everyone would be crying that GM is reducing the value by producing to many and forcing the market through incentives. I think they have a solid strategy for the entire line up and it will pay off in the long run.

      roar
      • 7 Years Ago
      With GM carefully restricting output instead of cranking them out as fast as they can, they should also have time to ensure quality control and possibly refine the Enclave over its product life cycle. This is a good thing for GM and about time they thought it through. Maybe there's hope for them yet...
      • 7 Years Ago
      And nobody thought in any of this that if a consumer couldn't get an Enclave, they'd just walk next door to the Toyota/Mazda/Infiniti dealer and get something else instead?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ben,

        No one in their right mind cross-shops a Highlander and an Enclave. That's like cross-shopping a Civic and a CTS.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Everyone is doing this now. Damn wal-mart still doesn't have a Wii for me.

        Ben,
        Apparently you are not in the market for a nice crossover.

        Toyota/Mazda - No. Period.
        Infiniti - 10k more, still doesn't look as nice.

        But by all means, go elsewhere.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ben,

        No... I'm saying that people (usually) shop luxury against luxury, or size against size. The Highlander doesn't measure up to the Enclave in either.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Toyota - yawn
        Mazda - Not even close to luxury
        Infiniti - 10k more, doesn't come close in looks

        But to each his own.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Some of you GM defenders are hilarious. Naext you'll start typing nonsense like "Cobalt sedan = wow; Infiniti G35 = yawn"
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