While we liked the Encore when we first drove it, we'll admit, we weren't sure how the tiny CUV would do. In fact, the first thing Executive Editor Chris Paukert wrote about the Encore was, "We admit it. We have no earthly idea how this whole thing is going to shake out." But it's done well, and has been subject to heavy demand over the past year, blowing away the estimates of analysts, who, according to an August story from Automotive News, projected no more than 18,500 units would be sold in 2013.
"Right out of the gate, demand for the Encore was high," Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing said in a statement. "It accounted for most of the segment's growth last year and that's because it offers the right safety, technology and features in the right-sized vehicle for many customers."
Take a look below for the official press blast from Buick.
Positive consumer reaction and sales for the luxury small crossover
DETROIT– Closing its first full year, the Encore became the Buick lineup's fifth model and second crossover, ringing up sales success in one of the industry's fastest-growing segments.
Entering the small SUV and small luxury SUV segment in the U.S. at the end of last January, the Encore helped boost sales in a rapidly expanding market that just last year alone, grew by 52 percent from 2012.
"Right out of the gate, demand for the Encore was high," said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. "It accounted for most of the segment's growth last year and that's because it offers the right safety, technology, and features in the right-sized vehicle for many customers."
As one of the first luxury crossovers of its size, Encore's U.S. retail sales reached 31,046 units during its first full year of sales. Globally, the Encore sold 97,311 vehicles in calendar year 2013, helping Buick set its global sales record of 1,032,056 last year.
"The small SUV segment looks like the next hot spot in the new-car market," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "The combination of functionality and fuel efficiency offered by models like the Buick Encore makes them a compelling value equation for consumers. We're seeing rising research activity in these models from users of KBB.com, and we expect sales to grow in the coming months and years."
Encore's early entry to these segments is significant. Combined, the segments are expected to more than double in sales between now and 2018.
The Encore earned an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2013 Top Safety Pick and 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It also ranked highest in the Sub-Compact CUV segment in the 2013 J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM and among others, was named the winner of Kelley Blue Book's 2014 5-Year Cost to Own awards in the Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover category.
Encore customers cite good fuel economy, high quality and exterior design as the top reasons for purchase, with one in two buyers coming from a non-General Motors brand.
Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Pinterest or at www.facebook.com/buick