Archives for July 2017

US sales 2017 first half: Limousine segment

Big shifts in the ranking as double digit growth or double digit decline is the norm among limousines

US limousine segmentSales in the Limousine segment edge up 2% in Q2 of 2017 and grow by 3% in the first half of the year, to 28,587 units. That may seem very stable, but there are big shifts in the ranking as individual models either show double (or triple) digit growth or double digit declines. Actually, there are only three nameplates (four if you include the Hyundai Equus -> Genesis G90 which is basically the same car) that improve, while the other eight decline. And if it weren’t for the Cadillac CT6, the segment would’ve been down 9%. Besides the new Porsche Panamera which arrived in Q1, we’ll also welcome new generations of the Audi A8 and Lexus LS this year, which should help give the segment another boost as the Panamera has done in Q2. But don’t expect them to threaten the dominant segment leader anytime soon.

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US sales 2017 first half: Premium Large segment

Only the 2 segment leaders grow volume in Q2, all others lose double digits or are new

US-sales-premium_large_car-segmentAfter a 14% drop in 2016 and a 13% loss in Q1 of 2017, the Premium Large segment remains consistent with another decline of 14% in Q2, to just 54,915 sales. That makes it unlikely the 3-year losing streak for the premium large cars will come to an end in 2017. In fact, the segment is likely to end this year with a loss of 100,000 sales compared to 2013, when a record 334,298 units were sold. As for the other premium car segments, the main reason for this crash landing is the rising popularity of crossovers, although sales growth is slowing down for these models as well. What’s more worrying, is that the decline happens while quite a few models in the segment are still relatively fresh. The new generation Mercedes-Benz E-class, Volvo S90 and V90 Cross Country, Lincoln Continental, updated Jaguar XF and Genesis G80 all less than 18 months in showrooms. The new generation BMW 5-series arrived too late in Q2 to make a real difference, but should help soften the decline in the second half of the year.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2017 first half: Premium Mid-sized segment

Segment stabilizes decline, helped by coupe models as sedan sales continue to sink

US-sales-premium_midsized_car-segmentSales of Premium Mid-sized cars increased 3% in the second quarter of 2017, which makes it the best performing premium car segment and beats the overall market. For the first half of the year, sales are up 1% to 235,759 units. That’s a significant improvement from the loss of 15.3% percent in 2016, and much better than the -16% of the mainstream midsized car segment, although that segment remains 4 times as large in the US. However, the premium midsized crossover segment increased 11% to almost 214.000 sales and is closing in. If in the first quarter 8 of the 16 remaining models in the segment showed double digit declines, in Q2 there were only 5 double-digit losers and 2 single-digit losers, while the remaining 9 models improved. One sidenote to the ranking: the Mercedes-Benz C-class is the only model in the segment for which sales of the coupe and convertible are included with those of the sedan/station wagon, as all others have distinctive names for their sexier models: 3-Series/4-Series, A4/A5, Q50/Q60, IS/RC. That’s why we’ve decided to give you 2 rankings this time: the blue graph with the split figures and the green graph with the combined figures. As you can see, that makes the difference between having a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW on top.

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US sales 2017 first half: Premium Compact segment

Segment down 22% in Q2, oldest 2 models perform bestUS premium compact

The Premium Compact segment was the fastest declining segment in the US car market in the first quarter with sales down 27%, and the situation only gets worse with a 31% decline in Q2. That brings the first half figure to just 42.519 units, down 29% on the same period in 2016, which means it remains the fastest declining segment in the US so far this year. The main culprit for this demise is the premium compact crossover segment, which grows 27% in the first half of the year and becomes larger in volume than the regular sedans, hatchbacks and station wagons. Only two out of the 8 players in the segment show single-digit growth in Q2, while all others lose volume by at least 25%. These two happen to be the oldest of the bunch, as the Lexus CT200h has been on the market virtually unchanged since 2011 and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class was first launched that same year, even though sales in the US only started in 2014 as an electric-only model.

Even with the addition of the Infiniti QX30 the segment would be deep in the red. The Qx30 is marketed as a crossover, while in fact it’s really just a hatchback. Then again, following the same reasoning the Mercedes-Benz GLA should be classified as a hatchback as well, so we’re not sure how to classify it. We’re interested in what our readers have to say about this matter. In Europe, it is sold under two different names for both segment: the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover, even though the only distinction between the two is the higher ground clearance of the latter. In the US, the Q30 is sold as the QX30 Sport, but Infiniti does not specify the take rate on that version, which would have made things a bit easier for us. For now, we’ll display it here for reference (it would instantly have become the segment leader), but keep it officially in the small SUV segment. 

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US sales 2017 first half: Large SUV segment

Despite slowdown in Q2, full-sized SUVs the fastest growing mainstream segment, GM still dominant

US SUV Large

The Large SUV segment stalled in the second quarter with a sales decrease of 1%. However, Q1 volume was so good that the segment is still the fastest growing mainstream segment in the US with an increase of 11% to 157,084 units. And though that may seem like a lot, remember that 15 years ago GM alone sold more than half a million units of its Chevy and GMC full-sized SUVs in a full year. In Q2, all but one of the models in this segment lost volume, but 5 out of the 8 nameplates are still in the positive for the first half. The all-new Nissan Armada is the fastest growing model in the segment by far and the only nameplate in the positive for Q2, followed by the Ford Expedition, even before the all-new generation arrives in showrooms this fall

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US sales 2017 first half: Mid-sized SUV segment

US-sales-midsized_SUV-segment-2016-Kia_Sorento-Chevrolet_Traverse-Ford_Explorer-Dodge_Durango-Nissan_Pathfinder-Honda_Pilot-Toyota_HighlanderSales in the Mid-sized SUV segment increased by 9.5% in the first half of 2017, an improvement on the 4.4% gain the segment experienced in 2016. What’s more, the absolute volume of 952,645 put the segment once again within spitting distance of the mid-sized car segment, underlying how the market has shifted in favor of crossovers in the past two decades. That said, 2017 does not seem like the year that mid-sized crossovers overtake the mainstream cars, for while there is plenty of new metal coming to the market (Buick EnclaveChevrolet TraverseGMC Acadia and VW Atlas), none of these models are likely to trouble the segment leaders or add that greatly to the segment total.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2017 first half: Compact SUV segment


Sales in the Compact SUV segment grew at a leisurely 1.4% pace in the second quarter of 2017, a step down from the rate of growth the segment enjoyed in the first quarter (7.8%). Taken together, the segment grew at an average 4.4% in the first half of the year, a much better performance than the market as a whole (sales fell 2.3% overall), but still a slower rate of growth than the other three non-premium SUV segments, all of which grew at around 10%. Still, the segment is assured in its utter dominance of the market, and its sales of over 1.5 million in the first half of the year are 36% higher than in the next-largest segments: compact car and large pickup. What’s more, with a raft of new models either already on the market (Honda CR-VChevrolet Equinox, Mazda CX-5Jeep CompassKia Niro) or hitting the market in the next few months (GMC Terrain, Subaru XV Crosstrek, VW Tiguan) it would take a brave person to bet against the segment continuing to thrive in 2017.

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US sales 2017 first half: Subcompact SUV segment

Segment no longer enjoying rocket growth, but new models can be expected to lift sales in the second half of the year


After registering the fastest rate of growth from among all non-premium SUV segments for the past four years, the subcompact SUV segment has been locked in a tight battle so far this year. As it stands, with 10.6% of growth in the first half of the year, the segments falls right in between the mid-sized SUV segment (9.5% growth) and the large SUV segment (11.1% growth). With the new Toyota C-HR making waves, the still relatively new Honda HR-V gaining sales at a fair clip, and the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic joining the party, it is reasonable to expect the segment will, just about, come out top by the year’s end.

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US sales 2017 first half: Minivan segment

Chrysler Pacifica takes second spot but still lags some way behind “rental special” Dodge Grand Caravan

US-sales-minivan-segment-2016-Honda_Odyssey-Toyota_Sienna-Kia_Sedona-Nissan_Quest-Dodge_Grand_CaravanThe Minivan segment in the US continued its decline in the second quarter of 2017, and so far has seen total sales decline by 12.9% in 2017 to a total 264,237. However, with the Chrysler Pacifica hitting its stride, and the new Honda Odyssey about to go on sale, things may look up for the segment in the second half of the year.

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US sales 2017 first half: Large segment

Collapse of the Large segment continues, as fewer cars were sold in the first half of ’17 than in the first two months of ’06US large segmentSales in the Large car segment fell by 17.8% in the second quarter of the year, meaning YTD sales are still below 200,000 units – this is a huge tumbledown for a segment that used to sell more than that in two months a decade ago. With only two new model entering the market in 2017 (Buick LaCrosse and Kia Cadenza), no other new cars on the immediate horizon, and suggestions that Ford may abandon the market altogether and not replace the Taurus, the signs are that the segment will continue its tumble down the rankings.… Continue Reading …