Buick Enclave in Short Supply

2008buickenclave0801

Imagine a domestic vehicle in such short supply that there are 3,000 people on a waiting list just to get one.

And imagine that the domestic in high demand, but low supply, is a Buick — the 2008 Enclave crossover.

The only thing that would be more surprising is if the car was an Oldsmobile.

"We have 3,000 Enclaves on a waiting list nationwide,” said Buick spokesman Dave Darvitz. “Demand has been a pleasant surprise."

Darvitz said Buick will employ a third shift at its Delta Township, Mich., plant for six months to boost crossover output, with most earmarked for the Enclave. GM doesn't want to overbuild the vehicle and then get stuck offering incentives to move unsold inventory. Enclave is one of three new midsize crossovers at GM all built on the same assembly line. The others are the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia.

A waiting list is an out of the ordinary event for Buick.

"Demand is unbelievable. If you ordered an Enclave today, it would be about two months to take delivery," or sometime in September says Steven Hill, North Central regional manager for General Motors, headquartered in Naperville.

Originally, GM said it expected the crossovers to attract buyers moving out of big, low mileage full-size SUVs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the Enclave. "We aren't seeing as many full size SUVs in trade as we are people moving out of minivans," Hill said.

Supply in inventory is only 20 days nationwide, versus the national average of 51 days. The turn rate, or time an Enclave spends on the showroom floor, averages five days from the time off-loaded from the truck to the moment the car is driven away by a consumer.

Buick said buyers are loading the crossover with high priced options, with 50 percent sold with all wheel drive and 60 percent with power sunroof, for example. 

"Enclave … shows what happens when you do a new vehicle right, says John Wolkonowicz, senior analyst for Global Insight. “It also is important that it sells well because it's GM's highest priced, highest profit crossover, so that means it is making money for GM."

"Enclave is the right size, the right look, and the right vehicle that has started the turnaround at Buick just like the CTS sedan did at Cadillac. It's getting people into the showrooms who haven't been there in a long while and, I suspect, many are younger," Wolkonowicz said.

The average age of the Enclave buyer has been 53, far below the average age — 65 — of the typical Buick buyer.

"What it will take to keep the turnaround going is more new cars from Buick,” Wolkonowicz said.

He points to a replacement for the LaCrosse sedan coming for 2010 that will be called Regal, and a rear drive replacement for the Lucerne sedan coming for 2011 that probably will be called Park Avenue or Wildcat with a choice of V-6 or V-8 engines. The Enclave may just be the beginning for Buick.

Related
More Buick Enclave News (KickingTires)
2008 Buick Enclave Expert Review (Cars.com)

By Jim Mateja | August 1, 2007 | Comments (9)
Tags: Buick, Car Buying

Comments 

matt

"a rear drive replacement for the Lucerne sedan coming for 2011 that probably will be called Park Avenue or Wildcat"
Wildcat?!?!?!

happymantis

I hope this is a new beginning for GM, and I hope they make vehicles good enough to give Toyota and Honda worthy competition, because the next time I buy a car, I hope that I can include a GM, Ford, or Chrysler and not think about reliability problems.

dave

thank GOD for the success.

Good job, GM!

Jay

This is great overall for GM. Now you have Buick stealing customers away from Cadillac's SRX (ugly) and some experts have said the V-8 Lucerne is mechanically the same as the DHS. Maybe GM plans to make Buick the new "luxury" flagship line. They have the better looking product planning right now.

Infosaur

matt, Wildcat is a name Buick has used on concept cars for over 50 years. I don't think they've EVER sold one though.

Jay, you think the SRX is ugly? hmmm. Okay. (I like it just peachy)

I think they got their names wrong though. If ANY Buick is RWD it should be called Regal GNX? Nah that's just too much to hope for. I think the GNX should go down in history as that one period in the 80's where somebody spiked the punch at Buick and those wild and crazy guys decided to go racin'.

Still I think Buick should target the ES350 for there sedans. Nothing wrong with the well put together "soft" luxury sedan.

(I tried to think of other luxury sedans than the ES and all I could think of; Acura, BMW, Benz, Audi and Infinity have all gone for Sport/luxury.)

Steve

The Wildcat was also a production model in the middle of the full size range for several years, starting in late 1962 with a coupe and adding sedans and a convertible the next year. MEEEEE-YOW...bring it on back!

505Accent

To add to Infosaur's comment, all I can say to Buick is the following: please don't pull a "GTO" and name some car Regal, GNX or Grand National that looks nothing like or doesn't personify the '80s Grand Nationals/GNXs, which to this day are probably the only Buicks I'd ever lusted after. (did I just type that?!?)

Juan Carlos

great, thinking of buying the lacrossse super and get its 300hp and just when i have two years left of paying $350 a month there will be a replacement. the chinese park avenue loosk awesome, but not as good as the asian riviera concept.

Mr Lutz:
I have always been a die-hard fan of yours. And I agree whole heartedly for the strategy that you have set for GM. There is one comment that you had met which I do not see any execution on. You had said that

"Pontiac and Buick are damamged brands"
I think they are 2 extra brands that General Motors can do without. Pontiac should be scratched and I will like to create a New Chevrolet line called "Chevrolet Redline". These should include all the Chevy Sportscars with lead by the corvette."

The Enclave is just overbearing. The Buick logo is too big, excessive chrome. The chrome bands are too wide. On the contrary the execution on the GMC version has been on the Money, tastefull, aggressive...just right. Buick keeps missing the mark, not to mention the old geyser image. It makes no sense to me having 3 brands of the same vehicle. Given that I don't have not looked up the true sales. I do not however think that the sales will hit DRI volume forecast. There should have been only two versions of this vehicle. A Cadillac and a GMC version.


Now, Let's take Toyota, with just 2 key lines Lexus and Toyota they do a great job beating every car company in sales.

Mr. Lutz, You killed the overdesigned GM Styling making it once again a car enthusiast want a GM car. The ugly interior is replaced with a classy and elegant Delphi black tie radio.

Reducing GM brands and hiring a solid Marketing team should make GM vehicles #1 again.

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