Sales in the compact SUV segment rose by 15% between 2014 and 2015, considerably faster than the industry average of 5% – not bad for what is the largest segment in the US by quite some margin. In addition to being the largest by volume, it is also one of the largest by number of models offered: 22 distinct models were offered over the past two years. Its success, and the proliferation of offering from carmakers, is driven by a long-term trend wherein mainstream consumers are moving away from the traditional “family car”, a mid-sized sedan, towards crossovers which offer greater practicality, flexibility and desirability. In fact, many offerings in this segment are little more than slightly taller, slightly butcher wagon version of mainstream models: the Honda CR-V was the first and remains the prime example of this kind of approach. On the other end are cars like the Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser, attempts by those carmakers to appeal to the outdoor, adventure-seeking crowd with funky styling and sturdy, body-on-frame construction; however, these models have long been losing popularity and will most likely be discontinued before long.
Car sales statistics for the compact SUV / crossover segment in the US, updated every quarter.
The Compact SUV segment grew by 13% over the period Q1-Q3 compared to the same period in 2014. As such, it is still the second fastest growing non-premium SUV segment, after the Subcompact SUV segment, and easily retains its mantle as the largest single segment in the US, widening its gap to the Mid-sized and Compact car segments (down 2% and up 2%, respectively, on Q1-Q3 2014). [Read more…]
One of the biggest success stories of 2015 in the US has been the Nissan Rogue (X-Trail in other markets). Whereas the previous generation in its first year (2007) sold only 30% as many units as the leader of the Compact SUV segment, the Honda CR-V, in 2015 so far it’s sold more than 80% as many units, and may yet finish the year in 4th place if it can overhaul the Chevy Equinox over the past 3 months of the year. By all rights, Nissan should be very happy with how the new Rogue has performed, however there is one version of the car that Nissan has so far denied that US, but which could cement the model’s success and make a true push for class leadership: the Nissan Rogue Hybrid. [Read more…]
The Compact SUV segment grew by 13% compared to the first half of 2014, a very strong performance given the size of the segment – annual sales are more than 2.5 million, and it accounts for more than half of all SUV sales. In fact, in H1 2015 it surpassed the Mid-sized segment to become the largest single segment in the US by sales, and one with the largest number of models offered. Given how US customers substitute SUVs for family wagons it should not come as a huge surprise that the a Compact SUV has become the default go-to family car.
The Honda CR-V remains the market leader, with sales rising by 5% following a facelift late in 2014. The ever-popular Honda distanced itself from the second-placed Ford Escape which came within 2,000 units of dethroning the Honda this time last year, but whose sales fell by 4% this time around. It may yet get another shot at the top spot when the extensive facelift arrives later this year, due to give the Escape a much tougher look inspired by its larger brother, the Edge, although whether that will turn out to be a winning move in this family-friendly segment remains to be seen. Close on the Escape’s heels in #3 is the Chevrolet Equinox, enjoying a healthy 21% growth in sales, a pretty remarkable performance given that at 5 years it’s one of the oldest models in this segment. It is closely followed by the Toyota RAV4 in fourth.