In this section of the blog, you can find information and opinions about car sales in the United States. Stay up-to-date with which cars are selling the best and what we think future models will do.
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US sales 2016 Premium Small Sports segment


Sales in the Small Premium Sports segment fell yet again in 2016, this time by 1.8 percent, making it one of the segments that have seen the most consecutive years of decline (others that share this dubious distinction are the Large and Alternative Power segments). All in all, the segment is only about half of the size it was a decade ago, when BMW Z4 on its own sold almost as many as the combined number of sales in the segment 2016. The prospects for this segment in 2017 now rest on the incoming BMW Z5 (returning to a soft-top setup), and how well the customers will take to the newly-facelifted Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman (now with the “718” prefix), and whether the new Audi TT can continue growing its sales.

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US sales 2016 Small Sports segment

US Small Sports

Sales in the Small Sports segment fell by 6.5 percent in 2016 to 319,406 – a useful 40 percent higher than during the sector’s low in 2009, but still some 30 percent below where the segment was a decade ago. The decline is faster than for the Premium Small Sports segment, but almost identical to that for the Premium Large segment. The segment’s prospects don’t look that great for 2017, either: the big-selling new muscle-cars are losing customers (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro), many of the models are getting on in age but are unlikely to be replaced anytime soon as manufacturers put their efforts and resources into SUVs (Dodge Challenger, Nissan 370Z, Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ), while the demise of the Scion brand will see the end of the well-selling Scion tC. Probably the only truly new model that will arrive in 2017 will be the new Toyota Supra, co-developed by the Japanese brand with BMW.

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US sales 2016 Premium Large SUV segment

US Large Premium SUV
Sales in the Premium Large SUV segment rose by 8.7  percent in 2016 to 616,093, allowing the segment to retain a healthy margin ahead of the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment. The growth figure becomes an even-more-impressive 10.0 percent with the inclusion of the Tesla Model X, which is listed in the Alternative Power segment – impressive in this era of downsizing. The popularity of this segment is borne out in the sheer number of models offered by manufacturers: with a total of 25 models following the introduction of Maserati Levante and Bentley Bentayga, this segment is now one of the most populous. 2017 will see the introduction of the newest versions of the BMW X5Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne, as well as the new Land Rover Discovery which should reintroduce the Discovery name in the US.

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US sales 2016 Premium Compact SUV segment

US premium compact SUV 2

Sales in the Premium Compact SUV segment in the US rose by 24.2 percent in 2016 to 87,391, making it the fastest-growing from among all Premium SUV segments, and the second-fastest segment overall, after the Subcompact SUV segment. 2017 should continue this trend, with the arrival of the new Mini Countryman, the facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLA and, possibly, the baby brother to the Volvo XC90 (thought a 2018 on-market date seems more likely).… Continue Reading …

US sales 2016 Limousine segment

US limousine segmentSales in the Premium Limousine segment rose by 8.3 percent in 2016, a remarkable performance given that all the other Premium non-SUV sectors saw their sales fall by 10 percent or more. This remarkable headline figure relies heavily on growth achieved by the new Cadillac CT6, without which sales in the segment would have fallen by 7.2 percent. Still, this fact should not take away the shine from the sector, which in 2017 will further be bolstered by the arrival of the new Audi A8, Lexus LS and Porsche Panamera. 

As a side-note, following feedback from our readers the Tesla Model S, part of the Alternative Power segment, is now presented for comparison in the Premium Large segment, rather than here.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2016 Premium Large segment

Sales in the Premium Large segment fell by 14.2 percent compared to 2015, the second largest decline from among all segments, with all but two of the continuing models experiencing a drop in sales. Moreover, the absolute value of sales, at 288,222, was only a little higher than half of the 510,852 sales achieved by the sector in 2006. Nonetheless, there is hope on the horizon for the segment – 2016 saw the introduction of numerous new models (Jaguar XFLincoln ContinentalMercedes-Benz E-class and Volvo S90) that are yet to fully hit their stride, sales-wise, and 2017 will mark the sales debut of the new generation of the all-important BMW 5-series.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2016 Premium Mid-sized segment

Sales in the Premium Mid-sized segment fell by 15.3 percent in 2016 to 437,011 cars, the lowest level since 2011. This marks the fastest sales decline from among all segments, not just the Premium ones. As noted in the analysis of the Premium Compact segment, the decrease in sales in the Premium Mid-sized segment is driven primarily by consumer switching over to crossovers – in a neat bit of symmetry, sales in the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment rose by an almost identical 15.1 percent, and almost matched the absolute sales volume of the non-SUV sector with 434,412 sales . While the new Audi A4 enjoyed positive sales growth, and the all-new Jaguar XE helped bring in some new customers, these were the only two flickers of optimism in a segment that saw every other model lose sales compared to 2015. The only truly new entrant to the segment lined up in 2017 is the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which is unlikely to set the charts alight due to the brand’s obscurity and almost non-existant dealer network in the US.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2016 Premium Compact segment

US premium compactFollowing a steady first half of the year sales in the Premium Compact segment fell by a substantial 19.5 percent in the second half of 2016, resulting in a 10.0 percent fall in sales over the course of the year. Nonetheless, this rate of annual decline was still lower than that for the Premium Large and Premium Mid-sized segments (14.2 and 15.3 percent, respectively), reflecting the fact that all Premium segments were affected by consumers’ migration to the Premium SUV segmentsall of which recorded positive growth sales. In fact, it’s interesting to note the symmetry of how the two sets of segment diverged: in 2015 both recorded around 1 million sales, but the non-SUV Premium segments then lost around 130,000 sales (13.0 percent) in 2016, while the SUV Premium segments gained around 120,000 sales (rise of 11.9 percent), results in a net fall in all Premium segments of only 1 percent. 

But, back to the Premium Compact segment – its outlook for the near future is rather bleak, as none of the four models that currently make up the segment likely to receive any substantial upgrades in 2017, though Acura would do well to replace the ILX which has fallen from segment leader in 2013 to last spot in 2016.

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US sales 2016 Large Pick-up segment

US Large Pickup

Sales in the Large Pickup segment grew by 2.5 percent in 2016, a slightly faster rate than the market overall, but considerably slower than the Small Pickup segment. That is to be expected – with total sales of 2,242,282 the segment is the third largest, following the Compact SUV and Mid-sized segments, and as such it would be unreasonable to expect double-digit rates of growth. Still, with slowly rising fuel prices pushing customers towards smaller pickups and nothing in the way of new metal arriving anytime soon (other than the continued rollout of new versions of the new-for-2016 Nissan Titan), it’s entirely possible the segment may not gain many sales at all in 2017, or even losing sales for the first time since 2010.

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US sales 2016 Small Pickup segment


Sales in the Small Pickup segment grew by 25.5 percent in 2016, making it the second-fastest-growing segment, and significantly outpacing the 2.5 percent growth rate of the Large Pickup segment. Morevoer, there is much more scope for growth in the segment, a fact recognized by Honda when it decided to develop the second-generation Ridgeline that went on sale in 2016. Still, with 448,399 sales in 2016 the segment was only a fifth of the size of the Large Pickup segment, and remains smaller than it was a decade ago (sales in 2006 were 562,657). With the recent introduction of the Ridgeline and the heaviliy-modified-for-2016 Toyota Tacoma 2017 is unlikely to bring new metal, with Nissan taking its sweet time with the replacement for the Frontier and Jeep with the long-awaited pickup version of the Wrangler.

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