Coming off a strong 2017, Buick momentum continued into 2018’s first quarter with global sales up 9 percent year over year. This growth comes as new products such as the LaCrosse Avenir and updated Envision have begun arriving to customers globally, and amid the launch of an all-new family of Regals. Demand for the Regal has grown rapidly in China since the new model launched last summer, with sales up 35 percent year over year, while Regal Sportback, GS and TourX (U.S. only) availability continues to ramp up in North America.
Buick’s family of three SUVs fueled the brand’s first-quarter growth, with Encore sales surging in the U.S. and Canada and strong Enclave sales in Mexico. Encore had its best retail sales quarter ever in the U.S., and Encore retail sales were up 32 percent year over year in Canada. The 2018 Enclave launch momentum continues to build, bringing in a growing number of new Buick customers and more affluent customers in the first quarter, with U.S. average transaction prices (ATPs) up more than $5,000 year over year. Total Enclave sales in North America were up 8 percent year over year in the first quarter.
Enclave’s shift upward in the market demonstrates the early popularity of Avenir, Buick’s new luxury sub-brand. More than 22 percent of Enclave North American retails sales have been Avenir models. An Avenir variant of the GL8 is also showing early success in China, while the LaCrosse Avenir just entered the market globally.
Initial owner feedback and solid sales growth indicate the Buick Envision is delivering the luxury and features desired by compact SUV customers. Refinements across the 2019 Envision are aimed at providing the best that the vehicle offers, plus the flexibility and options customers desire most at a price point true to Buick’s attainable luxury promise. Pricing starts at $32,990 (excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment). All trim levels have been adjusted toward the heart of the premium compact SUV market, further positioning the Envision to capture the interest of loyal Buick owners looking to move up to the next-sized compact SUV and conquest buyers who are considering Buick for the first time.
“The Envision brings a tremendous growth opportunity for the Buick brand,” said Sam Russell, Buick marketing director. “The new pricing strategy not only puts the Envision in the heart of the industry’s largest segment, but also better positions it in relation to Encore, our top-selling nameplate.”
Nearly 60 percent of all Encore buyers come from outside General Motors. These new-to-Buick customers are increasingly return buyers, with nearly half of them likely to trade in their vehicle to buy another Buick SUV. In addition to attracting new customers to the Buick brand, the 2019 Envision is designed with these existing Encore customers’ evolving needs and preferences in mind.
With the arrival of the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir, Buick’s new sub-brand expands its offerings and provides customers a way to experience the highest expression of Buick luxury, regardless of whether they’re shopping for a car or SUV. First introduced with the 2018 Enclave that went on sale in October, Avenir features unique styling cues, an extensive set of standard features and exclusive premium materials for customers who want more.
“Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels — customers are signaling they want more from Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC. “With even more content and an elegant look, Avenir adds a unique name and appearance for those who want the best of our attainable luxury.”
Like the Enclave Avenir, the LaCrosse Avenir’s design details were channeled from our award-winning concept cars for a more dramatic look, expressed through a unique three-dimensional mesh upper and lower grille paired with chrome wings. Avenir script badging on the front doors and exclusive 19-inch Pearl Nickel or available 20-inch Midnight Silver wheels create a commanding road presence and complement the LaCrosse’s timeless design.