Sales of full-sized pickup trucks were down by 2% in Q3 of 2016, after an increase of 5% in the first half of the year. For the first nine months, the segment is up 3% to 1,640,674 sales. With relatively high brand loyalty in this segment, there are no big shifts in the performances of individual models, with only two out of the six models making double digit moves in Q3 and only one in the first three quarters of the year. With both the large SUV segment and the small pickup segment surging in Q3, the contrasting loss of the full-sized pickups may have another reason than gas prices. It could also indicate a lower confidence in the US economy and especially the housing market by construction companies, since sales of work trucks are historically linked to real estate prices in the United States.
Sales in the small pickup segment grew by 40% in the third quarter of 2016, as a sign the segment resurrecting from being considered dead just a few years ago when it was abandoned by the Detroit 3. With one of them (GM) having returned two years ago and one of the other two planning to return within the next few years (Ford), the segment is looking more than healthy again. Year-to-date, the segment is up 24%, which means more than half of the growth in the first nine months of the year can be attributed to the third quarter. Each of the segment’s five models improves on last year’s Q3 and year-to-date volume, and all but one do so with double digits or better. That compares to a loss of 2% for the full-sized pickup truck segment in Q3.
Sales of Large SUVs surged 32% in the third quarter of 2016, which brings the year-to-date increase to 15%, up from 5% in the first half of the year. With 92,630 sales, the volume in Q3 was so impressive that it accounts for 40% of the segment volume so far this year (233,971 sales), compared to 35% last year. And the sudden spike in popularity of these juggernauts of the streets can’t be attributed to a single model, as only one of the segment’s eight players shows a loss of volume in the quarter, and all but one of the rest improves with double digits.
Sales of Mid-sized SUVs increased by 2% in the third quarter of 2016, similar to the second quarter and bringing the year-to-date increase to 1.359.559 sales and up 3%, which is still faster than the overall market. In the segment top-10, only three models lost volume, including the best selling model of the segment as the biggest loser of the top-10. [Read more…]
Sales of Compact SUVs in the United States increased 5 percent in the third quarter of 2016, exactly the same rate of growth it achieved in each of the first two quarters of the year. This steady sales growth achieved a total volume of almost 2.3 million sales so far this year, which means the compact crossover segment widened its lead over the shrinking Mid-sized sedan segment as the largest segment in the US.
The booming sales growth of the subcompact crossover segment is starting to flatten out, with “just” 18% growth in Q3 of 2016, compared to almost doubling in size in the first half of the year. Of course, as successful newly released models celebrate their first anniversary, and no new models hit the market, it’s only natural for sales to stabilize somewhat. Still, the segment outgrows the overall market fairly and squarely, and only two out of the seven models in the segment lose volume, with four out of the remaining five still in double or even triple digit growth. The segment leader Jeep Renegade is starting to lose its dominance, with just 25 sales separating it from the segment #2 in the third quarter. [Read more…]
Sales in the US Minivan segment grew by 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016, as growth slowed down from the +21 percent in Q2, which was artificially boosted because of the plant shutdown at FCA in the second quarter of 2015, which hampered sales of two of the best selling models in the segment. In Q3 of 2016, five out of the eight models in the segment lost volume, although that needs a sidenote that two of those are discontinued nameplates. One of the most important questions about the minivan segment is whether the all-new Chrysler Pacifica is able to fill the large shoes of its predecessor, and so far the signs are positive. [Read more…]
The drop in sales of large sedans in the US accelerated to -13% in Q3 of 2016, pulling the segment into the red year-to-date with a 3% loss. That means the large car segment is heading in the same direction as the mid-sized segment, but oppositely of the subcompact and compact segments, which are starting to recover from their losses earlier in the year. Only three out of the ten models in this segment increased their volume on last year and did so with double digit growth, while the other seven all showed double digit losses. The segment leader Chevrolet Impala drops to third place in Q3 and is under serious threat of losing its top spot by the end of the year as Chevrolet is cutting down on fleet sales and has ended production of the rental-only previous generation Impala “Limited” in May. [Read more…]
Sales of Mid-sized cars in the United States fell by 16 percent in the third quarter of 2016, as the freefall of sales in the segment accelerates. Midsized cars used to be the segment where the money was made, even when SUVs and crossovers started to gain a foothold in the US car market during the 1990s and early 2000s. But that boom has started to pick up speed this year, fueled by hot new models and affordable gas. In contrast there haven’t been many major model updates in the midsized segment lately. As a result, compact crossover are expected to become the biggest segment this year, with even the full-sized pickup truck and the compact car segments closing in on midsized cars in recent months and even threatening to push the segment to fourth place. Until the segment gets an injection of fresh product, for example from the next generation Toyota Camry next year, there will be little that can turn this fate around. Out of the 14 midsized models, only 3 improved their sales in Q3, with 9 models showing double digit losses.
Sales in the compact segment slightly improve to a loss of 3% in the third quarter of 2016, as the year-to-date loss stays at -6%. The top-3 of the segment remains fairly stable, but most of the “challengers” is having a hard time keeping up, as consumers still favor crossovers over the traditional sedans. Still, after only 4 out of the segment 17 models improved year-over-year in the first half, that figure improved to 7 models in Q3. [Read more…]