US sales Q1 2016 Premium Large SUV segment


US Premium SUV Large 2Sales of Premium Large SUVs in the US rose by 12% in Q1 2016 to 139,709 vehicles – a slower rate of growth than in both smaller Premium SUV segments, but still considerably faster than the average 3% growth rate experienced by the industry as a whole. Similarly to the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment, most of the high growth happened among models that ranked in the middle of the standings, while some of the highest-selling models experienced a fall in volume.

Highlights in Q1 2016:

  • The new Lexus RX, which hit the market in 2016, has not so far resulted in a large growth in sales for the model (2% sales growth was below segment average), but so far it retains the segment lead
  • The facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLE did much better – its sales grew by 18%, party on the back of the newly-introduced GLE Coupe, which allowed the German model to claim second spot in the segment by vaulting Acura MDX, whose sales fell by 17% in anticipation of the facelifted model hitting the market next quarter, and its arch-rival BMW X5, whose sales fell by 15%
  • The top 10 sees the entry of new models which experienced great growth compared to Q1 2015: Volvo XC90 (sales up almost 7,000%, up to sixth spot), Lincoln MKX (sales up 81%, up to seventh spot) and Audi Q7 (sales up over 100%, up to eight spots). In fact, with sales of 6,993, Q1 2016 marks the highest quarterly result for the large Audi, showing once again that good looks are not necessary to succeed in this segment
  • Interestingly, despite continuing low gas prices, most of the largest models in the segment recorded a fall in sales: Range Rover Sport (down 11%), Lexus GX (down 5%), Mercedes-Benz GL (down 39%, presumably in anticipation of the incoming GLS facelifted model), as well as Range Rover (down 1%) and Infiniti QX80 (down 5%). The only exception to this was the Lexus LX, whose sales were up 76% on the back of a recent facelift
  • The sportiest models in the segment, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6, did well for themselves with a 14% and 16% growth in sales, respectively
  • Land Rover Discover continues to increase in popularity despite the new model being just around the corner, with sales up 68%
  • Tesla Model X continues to rise in the ranks, and is now up to 19th spot with sales of 2,425

US sales Q1 2016 Premium Mid-sized SUV segment

US premium midsized SUV 2

Sales of Premium Mid-sized SUVs in the US rose by 24% in Q1 2016 to 91,701 vehicles – a slightly slower rate of growth than the smaller Premium Compact SUV segment, but faster than the Premium Large SUV one. Growth in the segment was driven both by new models (Mercedes-Benz GLC, Land-Rover Discovery Sport) and existing models enjoying better sales (BMW X3, Porsche Macan, Infiniti QX50). That said, despite sales in the segment booming, some big players lost more than 30% of sales, most notably Volvo XC60 and Range Rover Evoque. While these two models will have to soldier on for a while longer before their replacements arrive, 2016 will see the release of a two major new models: Cadillac XT5, which is about to hit the market any month now, and Audi Q5 Mk II, which will join it later in the year.


Cadillac SRX

Highlights in Q1 2016:

  • The race for the segment leader intensified, as 2015’s segment leader Cadillac SRX (sales up 5% to 12,866) is being reeled in by Acura RDX (sales up 8% to 12,212) and Lexus NX (sales up 25% to 11,375). It will be interesting whether SRX’s replacement, the XT5, will be enough for Cadillac to hold onto the segment lead in 2016
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC almost doubled on the sales the GLK captured in Q1 2015, lifting the model from seventh to fourth spot, vaulting it past its homegrown competitors: BMW X3, which held station in fifth spot despite sales rising 70%, and Audi Q5, which ranked only sixth despite finishing 2015 in second spot
  • Despite sales falling by 2% Lincoln MKC actually gained a spot in the rankings on the back of Volvo XC60 losing 39% in sales, and falling from sixth to tenth. Volvo will hope this is a temporary downturn, as its recent renewal of the 90 family means that the new XC60 is at least a year away from market
  • The new Land-Rover Discovery Sport is gaining pace, rising to eight spot, the highest it, or its Freelander/LR2 predecessors, have ever ranked. Unfortunately for its parent company, the model seems to be gaining sales at the expense of its Range Rover Evoque cousin, which lost 31% of sales and fell three spots compared to Q1 2015
  • Hot on the heals of the Discovery Sport is the newly resurgent Infiniti QX50, whose sales rose 570% compared to the pre-facelift, shorter-wheelbase model. It will be fascinating to see whether the eight-year-old model can break its quarterly sales record from Q4 2008 (4,036 units), as it came mighty close this quarter
  • Porsche Macan was another model enjoying a good quarter, with sales up 39% to 3,604, putting it further clear of its closest competitor BMW X4 (sales practically flat at 1,473)
  • Audi Allroad once again brought up the rear of the segment, with sales falling 29% in anticipation of the arrival of the new Allroad based on the latest A4

US sales Q1 2016 Large SUV segment

US SUV LargeSales of large SUVs in the US are back into positive territory as volume increased by just 1.2% in Q1 of 2016, after dropping 4.5% in 2015. The dominant brand in this segment is losing share as both of its entries lost volume, with the Chevrolet Tahoe down 3% and the Chevrolet Suburban down 10%. The Tahoe is still firmly in the lead of the segment, selling almost twice as much as its nearest competitor, but the Suburban’s #2 spot is now threatened by the Ford Expedition, helped by a recent facelift to gain 11% on last year. However, Chevy’s losses are offset by increased popularity of the GMC versions, and as a result total GM sales of large SUVs are virtually stable, and the company still controls almost 73% of the segment. That also means General Motors will be making more money on them, as the GMC Yukon (up 11%) and Yukon XL (up 12%) demand higher transaction prices and thus fatter margins than their Chevy twins, especially in the popular top-of-the-line Denali versions.

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Review: FIAT Toro Compact Pickup

By Jean-Philippe Launberg, and in partnership with Escopo Automotivo.

Despite a severe market downturn, there are 3 products doing really well in the Brazilian market nowadays. Two ― the Honda HR-V and the Jeep Renegade ―  are “no brainers”: Small Crossover sales are increasing (as in every other major market) despite an overall market drop of roughly 50% over the last two years. The third, FIAT’s Toro (Bull, in Italian), is more of a surprise.

The Toro is FIAT’s first modern Pickup, and it was launched in Brazil early this year. It’s the brand’s largest and most expensive locally-made vehicle. It is also a kind of “tweener”: a Crossover Pickup.

Fiat Toro pick-up

The Toro’s design manages to be both sleek and muscular, and is a strong selling-point.

Fiat Toro pick-up rearContinue Reading …

US sales Q1 2016 Mid-sized SUV segment

SUV mid-sizedDespite the cheap gasoline prices and an overall shift towards crossovers and SUVs across the board, we can still see a growing preference for smaller sizes: the larger the mainstream SUV segment, the slower its growth rate in the first quarter of 2016. If sales of subcompact crossovers in the US boomed with an increase of 162,5% and sales of compact crossovers in the US outgrew the market with a plus of 4.9%, midsized SUVs added just 3.7% to their volume in the same period of last year. Total segment sales stood at 412,039 units. And while the two smaller segments both welcomed a new leader, the Ford Explorer still tops the charts for midsized SUVs in the US, thanks to sales up 8%, a similar growth rate as its nearest two competitors Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander.… Continue Reading …

US sales Q1 2016 Premium Compact SUV segment

US premium compact SUV 2

Sales in the Premium Compact SUV segment in the US rose by 29% in Q1 2015 to 19,104 vehicles, propelled primarily by the success of the new BMW X1. Such a prodigious rate of growth was the highest from among all Premium SUV segments, beating out the fast-growing Premium Large SUV segment (sales up 24%). With the Mini Countryman due for a replacement this year the segment should continue growing nicely in 2016, and could even acquire a new entrant if Acura decides to bring its new CDX to the US.… Continue Reading …

US sales Q1 2016 Compact SUV segment

SUV compactSales of compact SUVs and crossovers in the United States keep outgrowing the overall market in the first quarter of 2016, although growth has slowed from 15% over the full year 2015 to 4.9% in Q1 of 2016, compared to +3.3% for the overall market. Total segment volume for Q1 was 681,068 sales. Like in the subcompact crossover segment, there’s a new leader, and it’s actually an earthshaking phenomenon, because the Honda CR-V has led the segment since its first full year of sales, 1998. The first generation Toyota RAV4 came to market in 1996, followed by the CR-V a year later, and in that first partial year the Honda sold 66,752 units vs. the Toyota’s 67,487 but the next year the figures were 100,000 vs 65,000 and the CR-V hasn’t let go of its leadership since. Until this quarter, when the Honda was the only model in the top-4 to lose volume, giving the RAV4 the chance to take control while the Ford Escape held on to its second place to drop the perennial leader into third spot with the Nissan Rogue breathing down its neck, still plagued by supply shortages.… Continue Reading …

US sales Q1 2016 Subcompact SUV segment

US-car-sales-subcompact-crossover-segment-2016-Q1Sales of subcompact SUVs and crossovers are booming in the US as they are in Europe, helped by an influx of new models as the segment has grown from just three players in the first quarter of 2015 to seven this year. Total segment sales grew 162,5% to 83,163 units, by far the fastest growth of all mainstream SUV segments, but it’s also still by far the smallest segment in terms of volume. We also have a new leader in town, as the Jeep Renegade is an instant blockbuster. It finished its introduction year in third place behind the two General Motors models, but has taken firm control of the segment in 2016, selling 27% more than its closest competitor, the former segment leader Buick Encore. Not that Buick, or GM for that matter, has anything to complain about: the Encore still added almost a quarter to its volume of last year, and that’s before it’s being facelifted later this year. The Chevrolet Trax drops from second to fourth place but manages to improve 42% on its volume of Q1. As a result, General Motors is still the leader of the segment with its twin models, ahead of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with its two models.… Continue Reading …

US sales Q1 2016 Limousine segment

US limousine segment

Sales in the premium limousine segment fell by 11% compared to Q1 2015, continuing the trend from 2015 when sales fell by 12% compared to the year prior. While sales of the new BMW 7-series are usefully up, there are still many models which are awaiting replacement and whose sales are suffering as a results: Porsche Panamera and Hyundai Equus will be replaced this year, but models such as Lexus LSAudi A8 and Jaguar XJ, despite getting really long in the tooth, won’t be replaced till 2017 at the earliest. It will be interesting how much the new Cadillac CT6 will managed to sell in the coming quarters, too, as its sales barely begun in March 2016.… Continue Reading …

Acura CDX: the next frontier for the brand? [w/ poll]


As has become customary, weeks before a car premieres the first pictures have leaked onto the internet. Unusually, they are actually of decent quality, which is why I think it’s OK to post them, especially that they bring up an interesting question.

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