If you thought (or were hoping) the SUV-boom is going to end anytime soon, think again. Sales of the biggest and most expensive Off-roaders that hardly ever actually go off road rose by another 19% in 2016, which makes this the third consecutive year of double digit growth for the segment. That means in those three years European buyers have scooped up an additional 100.000 large premium SUVs annually to a total of almost 290.000 per year. If there was a clear and dominant leader the year before, in 2016 the #2 and #3 were within 10% of the leader. The BMW X5 still tops the charts but lost 3 percentage points of share as the competition has reloaded with fresh models. In fact, the X5 was in third place in Q4, behind the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7, albeit by a tiny margin. The Swedish SUV is up 73% to take 2nd place while the Q7 gains 61% to move into 3rd place, both helped by their new generations which replace models that were first launched in 2002 and 2005 respectively. For the XC90 2016 also sets a new volume record, selling just 300 units more than in 2005.
Sales of large premium SUVs in Europe are up 25% in the first three quarters of 2016, significantly faster than the overall market at +7,5%, and at double the rate of growth in the US, where this segment grows 13%. However, in Europe this segment takes only 1,9% of total market volume, compared to 3,4% in the United States. The podium remains unchanged from the first half of the year, with the BMW X5 still in the lead, ahead of the two newest entries in the top-10: Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7, unable to fight for the lead despite being much fresher than the X5. In fact, the Mercedes-Benz GLE also outsold them both in Q3 and moves into fourth place year-to-date, passing the Range Rover Sport. The entire top-4 of the segment is available with a plug-in hybrid option, which has helped popularity of the segment as a whole.
The large premium SUV segment is one of the fastest growing in Europe, with sales up a booming 31% in the first half of 2016, a figure only beaten by the mainstream large MPV segment. And like that segment, this is a direct result of the renewal of a few key players: two thirds of the segment growth can be attributed to just two models: the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7. These two redesigned SUVs are still unable to knock the ruling leader BMW X5 off its throne, despite losing a big chunk of the segment share with sales flat at just +2%. The two newcomers take the bottom steps of the podium but will surely attempt another coup in the second half of the year. The Range Rover Sport also has stable sales but is relegated to fourth place ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the facelifted and renamed M-Class. Behind these five theres a wide gap to the second tier of the segment, led by the aging Volkswagen Touareg ahead of its platform sibling Porsche Cayenne, both losing double digit volume in the first half of the year.
Sales of Premium Large SUVs in the US rose by 10 percent in the second quarter of 2016, exactly the same rate of growth as in the first quarter. What is impressive is that for all the trend in downsizing, this is exactly the same rate of growth as that recorded by the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment, and only a bit slower than the Premium Compact SUV segment.
Sales of premium large SUVs in Europe are up by more than a third in Q1 of 2016, boosted by the thunderous arrival of two renewed models which will fight for podium positions the rest of the year and may even threaten the leader of the segment. For now, the BMW X5 holds on to its title despite sales stable at +1%. Behind it, the new generation Volvo XC90 surges to the #2 spot after already outselling the X5 in February. In third place we find another newcomer, the Audi Q7 which led the segment in January and will continue to challenge both the Volvo and the BMW for the rest of the year. Especially the plug-in hybrid versions of these three SUVs have quickly gained popularity, and that may help the Mercedes-Benz GLE move past the Range Rover Sport this year as well.[Read more…]
Sales of Premium Large SUVs in the US rose by 12% in Q1 2016 to 139,709 vehicles – a slower rate of growth than in both smaller Premium SUV segments, but still considerably faster than the average 3% growth rate experienced by the industry as a whole. Similarly to the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment, most of the high growth happened among models that ranked in the middle of the standings, while some of the highest-selling models experienced a fall in volume.
Highlights in Q1 2016:
- The new Lexus RX, which hit the market in 2016, has not so far resulted in a large growth in sales for the model (2% sales growth was below segment average), but so far it retains the segment lead
- The facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLE did much better – its sales grew by 18%, party on the back of the newly-introduced GLE Coupe, which allowed the German model to claim second spot in the segment by vaulting Acura MDX, whose sales fell by 17% in anticipation of the facelifted model hitting the market next quarter, and its arch-rival BMW X5, whose sales fell by 15%
- The top 10 sees the entry of new models which experienced great growth compared to Q1 2015: Volvo XC90 (sales up almost 7,000%, up to sixth spot), Lincoln MKX (sales up 81%, up to seventh spot) and Audi Q7 (sales up over 100%, up to eight spots). In fact, with sales of 6,993, Q1 2016 marks the highest quarterly result for the large Audi, showing once again that good looks are not necessary to succeed in this segment
- Interestingly, despite continuing low gas prices, most of the largest models in the segment recorded a fall in sales: Range Rover Sport (down 11%), Lexus GX (down 5%), Mercedes-Benz GL (down 39%, presumably in anticipation of the incoming GLS facelifted model), as well as Range Rover (down 1%) and Infiniti QX80 (down 5%). The only exception to this was the Lexus LX, whose sales were up 76% on the back of a recent facelift
- The sportiest models in the segment, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6, did well for themselves with a 14% and 16% growth in sales, respectively
- Land Rover Discover continues to increase in popularity despite the new model being just around the corner, with sales up 68%
- Tesla Model X continues to rise in the ranks, and is now up to 19th spot with sales of 2,425
The Large Premium SUV segment in the US has picked up its growth in the fourth quarter of 2015, as it finishes the year with an 8.2% increase over 2014, totaling 557,982 sales. Only 4 models of the 22 that are continued in this segment lose volume, while 8 enjoy sales records. The traditional leader of the segment, the Lexus RX is due for a new generation, but manages to keep its sales relatively stable at just -6%. In 2016 the redesigned RX will undoubtedly break its 2005 record of 108,775 US sales. The second place of the Acura MDX is under fire as the Japanese #2 loses 11% while the BMW X5 in third place improves an impressive 17% to come within 3.300 sales of the MDX. This is the second consecutive year that the X5 breaks its US volume record for the 17 years it’s been sold here. [Read more…]
Sales of premium large SUVs has risen sharply in 2015 at +27% to 242.863 sales, the best figure since 2008 and only the sixth time this segment tops 200.000 units, after the 2004-2008 stint. For the sixth time in the eight years the BMW X5 is the leader of the segment, although it loses 4,3 percentage points of share as it is up by just a single unit last year. However, the X5 was so dominant in 2014 that it still has an advantage of almost 10.000 units to the #2 in 2015. The Range Rover Sport in up 10% and holds on to its second place, while the Volkswagen Touareg benefits from an increase of 24% and the name change of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class to GLE, and climbs onto the segment podium. When calculated together, the GLE and M-Class would still be ahead of the Touareg.
The Large Premium SUV segment grew by 3% in Q3, and 6% since the beginning of the year, compared to the respective periods in 2014. This makes it the slowest-growing SUV segment bar the non-premium Large SUV segment, suggesting that consumers are slowly but surely moving to smaller SUVs and crossovers. [Read more…]
Sales of premium large SUVs in Europe continue to boom, as the segment grew by an impressive 38% in Q3 and +18% year-to-date, helped by a number of model changeovers and continued popularity of existing models. While the leader of the segment BMW X5 loses some market share, it remains unchallenged this year, as it adds over 2.500 units to its lead over the #2 Range Rover Sport. The Volkswagen Touareg has an impressive quarter as it consolidates its third place, outselling its corporate sibling Porsche Cayenne by more than 1.700 units. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class loses another position as it is being facelifed and renamed Mercedes-Benz GLE, which makes its first appearance in the ranking at #14 at just one month of sales.
However, by the end of the year these last three models are in danger of losing out to the surging Audi Q7, whose new generation scored an impressive 2nd place in Q3 and if it continues like this, the Q7 will take the bottom spot of the segment podium for 2015. That also means the Q7 leaves the Volvo XC90 far behind, taking a 3.200 unit advantage in the last three months alone. [Read more…]