US car sales by segment

Is Nissan right to replace the Juke with the Kicks? [w/ poll]

To me one of the biggest surprises of the LA Auto Show was Nissan’s announcement that the Kicks will replace the Juke in the Subcompact SUV segment. Is this a copout for the once-bold manufacturer, or an astute business decision?

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US sales 2017 Q3: Commercial Van segment

The segment grows slowly thanks to a halt in the small vans sales decline


Overall sales of Commercial Vans in the US recovered a bit in the third quarter, with sales of large vans growing by 2%, and sales of small vans not changing much compared to Q3’16. This is a big improvement especially for the latter subsegment, which saw double-digit declines in the first two quarters. Still, because of this decline earlier in the year the overall segment is down 2% on where it was this time last year, with large vans up 1% and small vans down 13% YTD.
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US sales 2017 Q3: Sports Large and Exotics segment

Sales collapse of segment-leading Chevy Corvette leads segment to unexpected Q3 sales dropUS large sportsSales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics suffered an unexpected collapse in the third quarter of the year – after declining by around 5% in the first two quarters of the year they fell by 23% in the third quarter. Time will tell if this is a sign of tough times ahead, or possibly a temporary correction after two strong quarters. The lack of new metal won’t help – while the new Lexus LC is proving a big hit with buyers, many of the segment stalwarts are rapidly moving past their “sell by” date (Mercedes-Benz SL, Maserati GranTurismo).

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US sales 2017 Q3: Mid-sized Sports segment

The segment and the new Ford Mustang continue their double-digit declines

US Small Sports

Sales in the Mid-sized Sports segment continued falling in the third quarter of 2017 as they had so far this year, resulting in a YTD fall of 14.9%. As we had mentioned before, while the headline figure is mainly the result in falling popularity for the segment leader Ford Mustang, in fact most cars in the segment, even the newest ones, have seen their popularity fall in 2017 so far. Clearly the allure of alternative “emotional purchases” such as 4-door “coupes” (BMW 4-series GranCoupe, Audi A5 Sportback) and sporty SUVs (BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Porsche Macan) is eating into the traditional segment in which rich 50- and 60-year-olds used to treat themselves.

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US sales 2017 Q3: Small Sports segment

Mazda MX-5 narrows in on the lead as segment sales collapse by half in Q3’17The decline in Small Sports car sales went from troubling to almost catastrophic, as sales fell by almost half in the third quarter of 2017, worse than even the perennially underperforming Minicar segment. Although there is some hope in the form of the new Hyundai Veloster, that car won’t arrive until sometime in 2018 – until then, it’s likely sales will continue declining.

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US sales 2017 Q3: Small Pickup segment

The segment with the highest growth in 2016 registers its first quarterly loss in years

After barely growing in the first two quarters the Small Pickup segment shrank by 1% in the third quarter of 2017, a substantial climbdown for the hefty 26% growth rate the segment registered in 2016. Moreover, with the replacement for the Nissan Frontier, the eagerly-awaited Jeep Wrangler pickup and the return of the Ford Ranger still a while away, it is unlikely the segment will see a huge upturn anytime soon.

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US sales Q3 2017 Large Pick-up segment

US Large PickupSales in the Large Pickup segment grew by 6% in the third quarter of 2017, slightly faster than in the second quarter and pretty much the same as in the first, giving this large segment impressive consistency. With the new RAM Pickup and Chevrolet Silverado on the horizon, things may kick up the gear for the segment in 2018, as it continues to claw back ground it lost in recent years to the Small PIckup and Commercial Vans segments.

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US sales 2017 Q3: Premium Full-size SUV segment

Slowdown in the sector almost pushes it into the clutches of the Premium Compact SUV segment
Sales of Premium Full-Size SUVs were down 1% in the third quarter of 2017, a slight slowdown relative to the 3% growth in the second quarter, and a considerable slowdown relative to the 19% growth recorded in the first quarter. With 92,052 sales since the beginning of the year, the segment remains slightly ahead of the Premium Compact SUV segment, but with the latter growing at double-digit rates it seems likely it will become the smallest among the Premium SUV sectors in 2018, unless the new Lincoln Navigator and upcoming Cadillac Escalade can somehow bring back the era when bling dinosaurs ruled the earth.

Note: after lumping really models as disparate as the Lincoln MKX and Bentley Bentayga under the Premium Large SUV banner for a long time, we have decided to split the segment into two: Premium Large SUV and Premium Full-size SUV. The difference between the two will hopefully be self-evident, but we’re aiming for the latter segment to capture models that are ahead of the more homogenous Premium Large SUV pack either through their size (Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX), price (Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz G-Class), or both (Bentley Bentayga). Let us know what you think of this new split.

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US sales 2017 Q3: Premium Large SUV segment

Segment recovers as some of the newcomers see good sales growth

US Large Premium SUV
Sales of Premium Large SUVs were up 5% in the third quarter of 2017, a slightly recovery from the gently 2% sales decline over the first two quarters of the year. With a total of 366,324 units this still makes this the largest from amongst the Premium SUV segments, but the lead it has to the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment continues to shrink. 

Note: after lumping really models as disparate as the Lincoln MKX and Bentley Bentayga under the Premium Large SUV banner for a long time, we have decided to split the segment into two: Premium Large SUV and Premium Full-size SUV. The difference between the two will hopefully be self-evident, but we’re aiming for the latter segment to capture models that are ahead of the more homogenous Premium Large SUV pack either through their size (Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX), price (Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz G-Class), or both (Bentley Bentayga). Let us know what you think of this new split.

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US sales 2017 Q3: Premium Mid-sized SUV segment

Stability in a segment normally full of surprises

US premium mid-sized SUVSales of Premium Mid-sized SUVs in the US were up 3.9% in Q3 of 2017, a slowdown compared to the first two quarters of the year, when the segment recorded robust double-digit growth. Still, sales are up 8.9% since the beginning of the year, to 328,025, meaning the segment continues to (slowly) close the gap to the Premium Large SUV segment, which is still the largest from among Premium SUV segments at 458,376 units for the first three quarters of the year. With the new Audi Q5Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Range Rover Velar still building sales, and the new BMW X3, Infiniti QX50 and Volvo XC60 coming to market soon, the segment is bound to grow robustly in the next year.… Continue Reading …