Convertible attracts new Buick customers ahead of three more launches

(May 20, 2016) DETROIT — Shattering expectations has led to three consecutive years of Buick global sales growth, and that momentum is carrying through into 2016. Last month, Buick reached an all-time high in conquest sales, or customers trading in models from competitive brands. Two models — the new Cascada convertible and the popular Encore crossover — have been growing the Buick community the fastest. In 2016 alone, more than 35,000 new customers have switched to the brand.

Through April, 64 percent of Cascada buyers traded in vehicles from outside Buick or any other General Motors brand. Previous Audi, Toyota and Honda customers have been among the most common. Demand for the Cascada has outpaced supply with 2,487 sales year-to-date through April and 1,090 sales in April alone.

“The lasting impact of the Cascada will be a change in perception that only a sexy, sleek convertible can provide,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Global Sales, Service and Marketing. “It’s changing minds and attracting customers in the country’s biggest convertible markets, with nearly half of sales coming from New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas and California. These are all key markets for Buick’s continuing success.”

The Cascada is the first of four new vehicles arriving in U.S. showrooms for Buick and one of two in new segments for the brand. The first-ever The Envision compact crossover vehicle is now arriving at dealers and will have a 2017 model year starting price of $34,990. In the industry’s most popular segment, Envision will offer the longest available list of standard safety and a starting price $1,300 below the Acura RDX and $6,000 less than an Audi Q5.

More than 57 percent of Encore customers in 2016 have come from competitive brands, with customers citing value, quality and exterior styling as the top reasons for purchase. Priced to offer a premium entry point into the brand, the Encore, pictured at right, now represents 40 percent of Buick sales.

As some competitors prepare their first entries into the small SUV segment, Buick is already doubling down on the Encore with an updated 2017 model available later this year. In addition to more sophisticated styling, it offers the connectivity features customers want most, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to seven devices.

Positioned as attainable luxury, Buick’s pricing strategy gives customers the refinement and technology expected in the luxury market with starting prices closer to that of mainstream competitors. This approach has earned Buick recognition as Kelley Blue Book’s “Best Value Luxury Brand” four years in a row.

“With the 2017 Encore, along with an all-new LaCrosse sedan, the Envision and the Cascada, Buick will have four new vehicles this year in U.S. showrooms alone,” said Aldred. “It’s a year in which we’ll stop asking customers to question their preconceptions of the brand and instead make a strong statement about what the brand is today.”