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 2017-Q1 Premium Mid-sized SUV segment

US premium mid-sized SUVSales in the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment rose by 12.5% in the first quarter of 2017, to top 101,497 units. That puts it just 7,000 units behind the premium midsized sedan segment which loses 2.1%. That shows the crossover segment continues its steady growth rate after already gaining close to 15% in 2016, as buyers are switching from sedans to crossovers and SUV, which in then attracts new models to the fast growing segment. The two new nameplates in the segment are storming up the charts, as well as a number of facelifted models, while there will be plenty of news again this year, with an all-new Volvo XC60 coming up in a few months, as well as the new generation BMW X3. Compared to the full year 2016, the entire top-6 is shuffled up, showing how this is one of the most dynamic and competitive segments, with 6 models challenging for the lead.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2017-Q1 Premium Compact SUV segment

US premium compact SUV 2Sales in the Premium Compact SUV segment in the US rose a very dynamic 39.2% in the first quarter of 2017, after already gaining 24.2% in 2016. Total sales in Q1 were 30,286 as only one model in the segment lost sales: the Mercedes-Benz GLA. With the new generation Mini Countryman in showrooms now, and the arrival of the Volvo XC40 by the end of the year (or perhaps early next year), the segment is bound to continue on this path of growth.

 

Highlights for Q1 2017

  • The new generations BMW X1 helps the nameplate hold on to the segment lead it already took for the full year 2016, after the model alreayd almost doubled its volume last year.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLA was the segment leader in the first quarter of last year, but is now relegated into third place by the model that is developed on the same platform, using the same engines and even shares some interior components: the Infiniti QX30. The newcomer comes out of nowhere and lands in the segment #2 spot, not even that far behind the leader. In fact, the QX30 was still in startup mode in January, but outsold the X1 in February as well as March when it started to gain traction, so it has a real shot at leading this segment by the next quarter. By all means its 2nd place is already an impressive performance, especially considering no Infiniti model has ever been this high up in any segment, but also considering it outsells its platform rival from a much more established brand by a large margin.
  • In fourth place we find the steadily improving Audi Q3 with sales up 20.8%, even though that means it loses share of the segment as its growth rate is half that of the entire segment combined.
  • Mini_Countryman-2017-US-car-sales-statisticsThe fastest growing model in the segment is the Range Rover Evoque, helped by its facelift in 2016, as it is closing in on the Q3.
  • The Mini Countryman has just been replaced by the new generation, which started deliveries in March, so its Q1 result is not representative for its potential. Expect the Countryman to at least double its 2016 volume of 12.706 sales, which would make this year the nameplate’s best ever, and deservedly so, as the new generation has grown in size to better suit the needs of buyers in this segment.


Note: Clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off

US sales 2017-Q1 Premium Large segment

After a 14.2% drop in 2016, the Premium Large segment is down by another 13.6% in Q1 of 2017, to just 53,278 sales. This means 2017 is likely to become the fourth consecutive year the segment loses volume after peaking at a record 334,298 units in 2013, losing a total of more than 100,000 annual units in this period, which would bring it back to its 2010 level. And the drop in sales comes at a time when there is still plenty of fresh product in the segment, with the new generation Mercedes-Benz E-class, Volvo S90 and V90 Cross Country, Lincoln Continental, updated Jaguar XF and Genesis G80 all less than 12 months in showrooms. Perhaps the new generation BMW 5-series can turn the tide when it arrives in Q2.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2017-Q1 Premium Mid-sized segment

Sales in the Premium Mid-sized segment fell by 2.1% in the first quarter of 2017, which is better than the overall market. It’s also an improvement from the loss of 15.3% percent in 2016, and much better than the -19.2% of the mainstream midsized car segment. US dealers delivered a total of 108,281 premium midsized models, which is barely more than the almost 101,500 premium midsized crossovers they sold in the same period (an increase of 12.5%). If this trend continues, the crossover segment will soon be larger than the car segment. 8 of the 16 remaining models in the segment showed double digit declines, while just 2 showed double digit increases and another 2 were all-new. 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-Q1 Premium Compact segment

US premium compactSales in the Premium Compact segment are the fastest declining segment in the US car market, as sales are down 27% in the first quarter of 2017, following a 19.5% decline in the second half of 2016. Five out of the segment’s eight models show double digit declines, of which the entire top-4. The only way to give this segment some positive news is that it would be down by “just” 2.8% if we considered the Infiniti QX30 to belong here as well. 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-Q1 Large Pick-up segment

US Large PickupSales in the Large Pickup segment grew by 5.7% in the first quarter of 2017, which again beats the overall market, just like it did in all of 2016. And thanks to the crisis in the midsized sedan segment, US consumers (and businesses) bought more full-sized pickup trucks in Q1 2017 than they bought midsized sedans, until not long ago the bread-and-butter segment of the US car market. That means this segment, with only 6 players, it the second largest segment in the market. In fact, just the four top selling large pickups sold over half-a-million units in the first quarter, more than the entire 17-vehicle midsized car segment. Last year, the segment recovered to 2006 levels after gaining volume for 7 straight years and it look like low gas prices are going to give it an 8th year of growth, even though the only product news in the segment is the new-for-2016 Nissan Titan.

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US sales 2017-Q1 Small Pickup segment

US-sales-small_pickup_truck-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Colorado-Nissan_Frontier-Toyota_Tacoma

The Small Pickup segment was the fastest growing segment in 2016 with a gain of 25.5%, but it has stabilized in the first quarter of 2017 with an improvement of just 2.6% to 98,668 sales. That still compares favorably against an overall market that’s slightly down, but the segment has clearly lost its mojo. And if we zoom in on the individual models, we see that all of the segment growth can be attributed to a single model: the all-new Honda Ridgeline, as all other players lose volume. Since Nissan still haven’t given any updates on the arrival of the next generation Frontier and the eagerly awaited Jeep Wrangler pickup is unlikely to make it to dealerships this year, the success of the segment depends on the return of the Ford Ranger later this year.

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US sales 2017-Q1 Large SUV segment

US SUV Large

Sales in the Large SUV segment increased by 25.9% in Q1 of 2017, after already improving more than 20% in 2016. A total of 80,604 large SUVs were sold in the US in the first three months of the year, making it the second-fastest growing segment overall and the fastest growing mainstream segment. Still, it’s a far cry from the 750,000 annual units the segment sold in the first few years of the new millennium so there’s plenty of room to grow, especially with continued low gas prices. Each of the segment’s 8 models increased its volume, of which only one with single digits. The Nissan Armada even more than doubles up thanks to the new model generation, while 2017 will also bring an all-new Ford Expedition.

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US sales 2017-Q1 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 7.3% in the first quarter of 2017, following a 4.4% gain in 2016. Total volume for Q1 was 445,875, which means it’s closing in on the midsized sedan segment. Of the 18 models in this segment, 7 showed double digit growth or better, 8 showed double digit declines, 2 showed single digit declines and only one model increased by less than 10%. This year we’ll see the introduction of the new, super-conservative VW Atlas, as well as the second-generation Buick EnclaveChevrolet Traverse and the smaller (“right-sized”) GMC Acadia and an updated Ford Explorer. Next year Subaru will join the party too with its Ascent.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2017-Q1 Compact SUV segment

US-sales-compact_SUV-segment-2016-Subaru_Forester-Nissan_Rogue-Chevrolet_Equinox-Mazda_CX5-Honda_CRV-Toyota_RAV4-GMC_Terrain

After a 3.9% increase in 2016, sales in the Compact SUV segment pick up steam and improve 9% in the first quarter of 2017, to 742,230 units. This makes it by far the largest segment with a comfortable lead of more than 200,000 sales over the second-largest segment, that of large pickup trucks. It’s also 270,000 sales ahead of the midsized sedan segment, which used to be the biggest segment until 2013. A whole bunch of new or redesigned models will hit the market this year or already have in the first quarter, which should only help the cars in this segment consolidate its position as the family-hauler favorites.

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