The midsized premium SUV segment continues to outgrow the overall market with a 12% increase in Q2 and a 20% increase in the first half of 2017, to 276.300 sales. The two segment leaders consolidated their grip on the segment as both showed double digit growth while their closest four rivals all showed double digit declines. As a result, the #1 and #2 hold a combined 40% of the segment in Q2 and 37,3% in the first half. Amazingly, the Volvo XC60 reclaims the top spot it lost to the Mercedes-Benz GLC in the first quarter. Keep in mind that almost all of these sales are the outgoing model, as the new generation had only just arrived in showrooms by the end of the first half. And the GLC figures also include sales of the GLC Coupe, which makes the Volvo figures even more impressive. If the changeover to the new generation happens smoothly, the XC60 could finish on top of the ranking for the fourth consecutive year, and potentially with more than 100.000 sales for the first time ever. The Audi Q5 took third place in the second quarter but still lost 17% on the sales figures of its predecessor in the same period last year, and it’s not enough to kick the Range Rover Evoque off the year-to-date podium.
Fastest growing segment in the US, now larger than premium compact car segment
The Premium Compact Crossover segment saw its sales increase 15% in Q2 of 2017, which is a slowdown of the booming 39% growth in the first quarter, which brings the year-to-date increase to 27%, still an improvement over the 24% increase in all of 2016. Total sales in the first half were 56,667 which is more than the sales figure of the Premium Compact Car segment. 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 Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 by the end of the year (or perhaps early next year), the segment is bound to continue on this path of growth. Next year, Audi could bring the Q2 to the States as well, although this has not yet been officially confirmed, nor has Acura hinted at the possibility that the China-made CDX is coming to the US. If so, it won’t be for at least another year.
Sales of midsized premium SUVs remain in booming growth mode in the first quarter of 2017, with an increase of 27% to 142.000 sales. The overall market is up just 7,8% in the same period. All but one remaining nameplate in the segment grow their volume, but the biggest gainer also takes the top spot for the first time ever. The Mercedes-Benz GLC has quickly helped to forget its unsuccessful predecessor GLK and has stormed the ranking to levels never achieved by the brand in this segment. But there’s a sidenote to its achievement, as we only have combined sales figures which include the GLC Coupe version, whereas BMW splits out these versions into the X3 and X4. Without the GLC Coupe included, the Volvo XC60 would still be in the segment lead. Nonetheless, a #2 spot for the already 9-year old model whose successor has already been revealed is very impressive whichever way you look at it. With the new generation in showrooms within the next few months, Volvo should be able to keep challenging for the lead the rest of this year.
Sales 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.
The midsized premium SUV segment is one of the fastest growing in Europe, with sales up 29% in 2016 compared to an overall market up 6,2%. All remaining models improve their sales and 9 out of the top-10 set new sales records, but Mercedes-Benz and the British brands are the biggest winners this year. Still, the Volvo XC60 holds on to its segment lead and scores a record volume for the third year in a row, even though it’s the oldest model in the segment and about to be replaced in 2017. Sales of the Swedish model were up 20% in Q4, perhaps because some prospective buyers for a V70 or XC70 found these to be out of production. The new #2 of the segment is the Mercedes-Benz GLC, more than doubling the sales record of its predecessor GLK, whose design just didn’t vibe with customers in this segment. Needless to say this is also the highest position the brand has ever finished in this segment. The GLC (which includes the Coupe version) will be aiming for a top spot in 2017 as Volvo may lose some sales during the changeover to the new generation XC60, but there will be competition from the all-new Audi Q5, which had held on to its 2nd place until November and lost out by just 83 sales.
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). [Read more…]
Sales of midsized premium SUVs in Europe keep growing even faster, at +44% in Q3, bringing the year-to-date tally for the first three quarters to +31%. None of the remaining nameplates has clocked a loss, but five out of ten show only single-digit gains, as over 40% of the segment growth can be attributed to a single brand: Mercedes-Benz. After years of slow sales due to a product that didn’t match the preferences of most buyers (the GLK), the German brand is now playing catch-up with the new GLC and GLC Coupe, immediately storming to third place of the segment. Ahead of the GLC are two elderly models, both about 8 years old already but still selling well in the final stages of their life cycle. The Volvo XC60 grows just 3% which means it loses about 4,5 percentage points of share, and the Audi Q5 improves 5% and loses 3,6 percentage points, but climbs back onto the podium after being relegated to 4th place in the first half of the year. [Read more…]
Sales in the Premium Compact SUV segment in the US rose by 11 percent in the third quarter of 2016, slightly slower than in either of the previous two quarters, bringing the YTD growth rate down to 18 percent. This was nonetheless enough to keep the segment ahead of either the Premium Mid-sized SUV and Premium Large SUV segments. [Read more…]
There is a general consensus that the second-generation BMW X1 is a very good-looking car, mostly because (whisper it) the primarily FWD platform endows it with much nicer proportions than its predecessor, whose 3-series-derived RWD platform gave it an awkward long-nose, cab-backward stance that did not look good on a crossover. However, if there is one way in which the new model is not great is the detailing, which looks a bit fussy in places, making the whole car look cheaper than it ought to. One such example is the taillights, whose amorphous shape not only lacks distinctiveness, it actually bears more than a passing resemblance to a car less than half its price…
The hybrid trend may have started in Japan, but it is really US customers that were first to wholeheartedly embrace the technology, making the Toyota Prius the giant success that it is today. Ever since it became clear that the technology had the power to lure customers into the showrooms, and, more importantly, open their wallets wider than they would for conventionally-powered cards, carmakers have been trying to offer hybrid cars of their own. Some, though surprisingly few, have taken on the Prius directly (the poor Honda Insight, now Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Nero). Others, primarily Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus, have made good money of offering hybrid options on their luxury cars – a bandwagon that the German luxury brands have belatedly caught onto. Others still have tried to offer hybrid versions of mainstream cars, mostly meeting with moderate to no success (Honda, Ford, Nissan, VW). But the one niche that has not yet truly been tapped in the US, unlike in Europe, is that for smaller cars where a hybrid drivetrain can be used to give normally FWD cars a second set of driven wheels. [Read more…]