By Richard Truesdell
Following the lead of other manufacturers with active Facebook pages, Buick is using the popular social media network for an upcoming reveal.
A teaser puzzle on Facebook introduces the company's new compact crossover, the 2013 Buick Encore, in advance of its full unveiling on Tuesday 10 January 2012 at the North American International Automobile Show.
The Encore is a premium compact SUV based on the same global Gamma Plus platform that will underpin the Opel Mocha to be revealed in Geneva in March. It is part of GM's program to globalize its platforms for all its key markets in North America and Europe--and, in Buick's case, to leverage it in China where it sells more vehicles than in the United States.
When the teaser program began, talk was that the Encore might be a variation of the popular Chevy Equinox. As Buick released more details, however, it became obvious the 2013 Encore is a much smaller crossover. Less than 180 inches overall, it is based on the B-segment Opel Corsa and the just-introduced Chevy Sonic.
Given its tidy dimensions and the lack (at least initially) of an equivalent small Chevy crossover, the 2013 Encore will give Buick a North American-exclusive vehicle for its showrooms.
Yet with its smaller size and four-cylinder-only engines, it remains to be seen if the Encore will be a breakthrough product for Buick here in the U.S. market, or if China is really where the Encore will make its mark. We'll start to get the answer to that question in Detroit on 10 January.