March 22, 2016 / 6:08 PM / 3 years ago

General Motors unveils updated Buick Encore SUV in U.S

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Warren Transmission Operations Plant in Warren, Michigan October 26, 2015. Photo taken October 26. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) on Tuesday unveiled a refreshed Buick Encore small sport-utility vehicle ahead of the New York International Auto Show as sales of larger U.S. vehicles soar amid low gasoline prices.

SUV sales accounted for 60 percent of Buick’s 2015 U.S. sales including the larger Buick Enclave - up from 34 percent in 2007. This summer, GM will begin selling a new Chinese-made compact Buick Envision SUV in the United States alongside the new 2017 Encore.

The Envision is GM’s first China-made vehicle that it will export to the United States for sale. It is larger than the Encore but smaller than the Enclave.

Buick brand chief Duncan Aldred said he expects at least 70 percent of Buick U.S. sales this year will be SUVs, including the addition of the Envision.

The new Encore has a new, fancier interior, exterior styling changes and upgraded entertainment systems.

Buick, which is GM’s third-largest U.S. brand, saw U.S. sales fall 2.6 percent last year to 223,000, accounting for 7 percent of GM’s sales.

Press previews for the New York auto show are on Tuesday and Wednesday. The show opens to the public on Friday and runs through April 3.

Reporting by David Shepardson in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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