US sales Q3 2017: Premium Mid-sized segment

The segment dips into the red but still outperforms other premium car segments

US-sales-premium_midsized_car-segmentSales of Premium Mid-sized cars fell by 9% in the third quarter of the year, down to 316,919, erasing the sales gains recorded over the first half of the year. Still, the segment is still the best performing from among all premium car segments, with all the other ones losing more sales since the beginning of the year. A big reason for is that over the past year a lot of new metal has hit the market (Audi A5, Infiniti Q60Alfa Romeo Giulia), while a few other models are still fresh and growing strong (Audi A4Jaguar XE). With the new BMW 3-Series around the corner, and a new Lexus IS and Volvo S60 not far off, the prospects are pretty good for this segment, despite the onslaught from premium SUVs.

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US sales Q3 2017: Premium Compact segment

Every single model loses sales, with the exception of the new Mini Clubman
US premium compact

The decline in the Premium Compact segment in the US slowed down in the third quarter of the year, but the segment still shrank by 5% over the period, bringing the YTD decline to 18.1% – worse only than the Minicar, Subcompact and Small Sports segments. While the one new entrant, Mini Clubman, has done reasonably well to bring in new customers, as did the Infiniti QX30 (which we officially classify as a Premium Compact SUV, and only include here for reference) , every other model in the segment saw its sales fall by 20% or more since the beginning of the year. With the new Mercedes-Benz A-class and BMW 1-series sedans still at least a year away from market, the prospects for this segment are not looking very bright.

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US sales Q3 2017: Large SUV segment

Sales of the new Nissan Armada soar as those of other models shrink

US SUV Large

Growth in the Large SUV segment in the US went into full reverse in the third quarter – after growing by 26% in the first quarter and marginally shrinking in the second, sales fell by 11% in the latest quarter. While YTD growth remains positive at 2.5%, the total number of cars sold over the first three quarters of the year remained below quarter million at 239,815, making this the smallest from among non-luxury SUV segments. The all-new Nissan Armada is now the only model whose sales have been growing all year long, though this may change as it is about to be joined by an all-new Ford Expedition in the showrooms this fall.

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US sales Q3 2017: Mid-sized SUV segment

Strong growth from segment leaders and new models

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 9% in the third quarter of 2017, perfectly in line with the growth rate so far this year. Sales YTD now stand at  1,447,356, making this the fifth-largest segment, and only some 60,000 cars behind the rapidly-shrinking mid-sized car segment. If the trend condinues like this, the mid-sized SUV segment will jump ahead if not by the end of 2017, then most likely in 2018. That said, with Buick EnclaveChevrolet TraverseGMC Acadia and VW Atlas having hit the market recently there is a surprising dearth of new metal coming in 2018, the only exception being the new Hyundai Santa Fe, with the aging Ford ExplorerJeep Grand CherokeeToyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder all still some way off from being replaced.

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US sales Q3 2017: Compact SUV segment


Sales in the largest of all segments, the compact SUV segment (2,379,590 sales YTD), grew by 4% in the third quarter, a better pace than the 1% registered in the second quarter, but some way off all the other SUV segments. Still, this still means that the segment grew by 4% YTD compared to a 3% decline for the market as a whole, as one would expect given the continued shift towards crossovers among the buying public. And with a ton of new models in the market (Honda CR-VChevrolet Equinox, Mazda CX-5Jeep CompassKia NiroGMC Terrain, Subaru XV Crosstrek, VW Tiguan L) it is reasonable to expect the segments dominance will continue for a long time.

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US sales Q3 2017: Subcompact SUV segment

Honda HR-V outsells the Jeep Renegade for the first time in Q3’17


After seeing its growth dip into the single digits in the second quarter of the year, the subcompact SUV segment rebounded in style in the third quarter – with sales 15% higher than in Q3’16 it was the second-fastest growing segment over the past quarter (second only to premium compact SUVs). With 12% growth YTD, highest among the non-premium SUV segments, the subcompact SUV segment registered 320,899 sales in the first three quarters, not far off the 376,213 registered in the subcompact segment, which suggests that the two could be neck-and-neck in 2018. With the new Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic coming to market soon, and the new Toyota C-HR still building up its sales, the segment’s healthy growth is likely to continue in the near future.

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Mitsubishi presents ambitious plan for growth, neglects Europe

Mitsubishi_Eclipse_CrossMitsubishi Motors has presented an ambitious growth plan for the next three years, called “Drive for Growth”. According to this plan, the brand will invest more than 600 billion Yen (€ 4,5 billion / US$ 5.3 billion), of which R&D spending will increase by 50% to € 1 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) to develop six all-new models (including the recently launched Eclipse Cross crossover for the US and Europe, and the Xpander MPV for Indonesia) and significantly update five existing models. As a result of this product offensive, worldwide sales should increase by 40% to 1,3 million units in 2020 and the company expects to return to profitability with a profit margin of 6% by the 2019 fiscal year. This is the first business plan by Mitsubishi since Nissan took a controlling 34% share in its struggling rival in 2016. According to Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko “this is an ambitious program to maximize our strengths in growing product segments, especially four-wheel drive, and to pursue growth in markets where our brand has strong potential, particularly the ASEAN region.”… Continue Reading …

US sales Q3 2017: Minivan segment

Toyota Sienna reclaims second spot as the segment’s double-digit sales decline continues

US-sales-minivan-segment-2016-Honda_Odyssey-Toyota_Sienna-Kia_Sedona-Nissan_Quest-Dodge_Grand_CaravanThe US Minivan segment continued its steady double-digit sales decline in the third quarter of 2017, losing 13% of sales in Q3 and ending the period on 382,294 sales YTD. Interestingly, that puts it ahead of the subcompact segment so far this year, and if it finishes ahead it’ll be the first time since 2010 that the minivan segment was ahead. Still, despite the momentum of the new Chrysler Pacifica, the segment is a long way from its hay day, when over 1 million cars were sold each year.

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US sales Q3 2017: Large segment

Decline in the large segment slows as segment leaders enjoy a good Q3
US large segmentSales in the large car segment in the US fell by 6% in the third quarter, to a total of 291,456 units so far this year. The segments performance in the third quarter was not as bad as in the first two quarters of the year, when sales fell by 18%, and in fact was the second-best (least bad?) performance from among the mainstream segments, just behind the 2% sales fall of the compact segment. However, the prospects for the segment are still grim, among rumors circulating that Ford may abandon the market altogether and not replace the Taurus.… Continue Reading …

US sales Q3 2017: Mid-sized segment

Every mid-sized model bar the Subaru Outback has lost sales in 2017 so far


Sales of Mid-sized cars in the US fell by 10% in the third quarter of 2017: still in the double-digits, but less severe than the declines in the first and second quarters. This relative upturn is mostly due to the entry of the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord into the market – it helps because customers are excited about the new model, but primarily because dealers want to empty their forecourts from the old model, and are offering bigger-than-before discounts. Still, with recent new models underperforming relative to their previous generations (Chevy MalibuHyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima), it remains to be seen if the new, bolder Toyota and Honda have what it takes to lure customers back into a segment that has become very unsexy over the past few years.

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