Sales 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. [Read more…]
Sales 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. [Read more…]
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 LS, Audi 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. [Read more…]
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.
Sales in the premium large segment fell by 18% compared to Q1 2015, a performance almost as bad as that of the premium mid-sized segment. However, with the new Mercedes-Benz E-class, Volvo S90 and Jaguar XF picking up steam it is reasonable to expect for the segment’s fortune to look up in the second quarter of the year. [Read more…]
Sales in the premium mid-sized segment fell by 20% compared to Q1 2015, worse than any of the other premium segments; in fact, from among all mainstream segments only the minicar segment did worse this quarter. Things may pick up a bit once the new Audi A4 hits its stride, and the Jaguar XE hits the dealerships, but overall 2016 could prove to be quite a dark period for the premium mid-sized segment. [Read more…]
Sales in the premium compact segment rose by 2% compared to 2014, a considerably lower growth rate than the 30% rate it experienced in 2015. However, this performance was better than seems at first. First, the growth rate last year was driven by introduction of the Audi A3 sedan and the new BMW 2-series, while so far this year there have not been any developments in the four-strong segment. As such, the growth rate pretty much equalled the 3% rate for the industry as a whole, a decent performance for a “stable” segment. Second, the premium compact was the only premium segment to grow in Q1 2016, with the other three segments shrinking between 10% and 20%. It would be interesting to see how consumers would have taken to the V40, had Volvo decided to introduce it in the US, though that probably won’t happen until the next generation debuts, possibly reverting back to its original sedan form.
Sales in the minivan segment grew by 30%, an unexpected performance for a segment that struggled throughout 2015, when sales fell by 8%. Interestingly, the upswing in sales is not thanks to the eagerly-anticipated new Chrysler Pacifica, which has not gone on sale yet, but rather due to the sell-off of its ancient predecessors: the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. It will be interesting to see whether these models will continue gaining sales once the Pacifica hits the market.
Sales in the large segment rose by 14% compared to Q1 2015, a considerably better performance than over the course of 2015, when sales fell by 12% overall. This makes the segment one of only two mainstream segments that grew over the course of the last year, with sales growth behind only the minivan segment. What’s more, the growth is not based on the success of one or two new models, but rather sales growth among most models. 2016 promises some new metal in the form of the new Kia Cadenza and, eventually, a new Buick LaCrosse, though there is no indication that the quickly-aging FCA twins, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, will be replaced anytime soon. [Read more…]
Sales in the mid-sized segment fell by 3% compared to Q1 2015, pushing this once-largest segment further behind compact SUV cars as families’ wheels of choice. That said, it did better than the smaller mainstream segments, again showing how cheap gas is pushing consumers to buy larger cars. The good times are likely to continue rolling for the segment, too, as sales of the new-for-2016 Chevy Malibu and Kia Optima come fully on-stream, while brings the facelifted Ford Fusion to market. [Read more…]