US sales 2015 first half Premium Midsize SUV segment

The Premium Midsize SUV segment grew by 26%, less than the smaller, Compact segment but faster than the Premium Large SUV one. The main driver of this growth has been the introduction of new models such as the Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC and BMW X4, though most existing models also experienced a healthy growth rate. With the new Mercedes-Benz GLK about to go on sale, and the new Audi Q5 and Cadillac SRX just around the corner, all signs point to growth in this segment continuing for a while yet.

Cadillac SRX

Cadillac SRX

The Cadillac SRX remains the market leader, even adding 5% more sales year-on-year despite being a 5-year-old design whose replacement is ready and waiting. In fact, I would not be surprised if Cadillac was in no hurry to replace the SRX, given how well this model has been selling – 2015 is likely to be its best year yet. In #2 is the Acura RDX, clearly resonating with the consumers more than its more idiosyncratic, turbo-powered predecessor. Closing off the podium is the Audi Q5, still gaining sales in its seventh year on sale, and selling substantially more than either Mercedes-Benz or BMW can manage. In fact, this is one of the few segments (the other being the Premium Compact) where Audi outsells its German competitors in the US.

2015 H1 SUV Premium Midsized

In #4 is the first new entrant, the Lexus NX. That this Toyota RAV4-based model shot right up the sales charts the way it did proves that Lexus really should have entered this segment earlier, as consumers have clearly been clamoring for a smaller version of the beloved (at least in the US) Lexus RX. In fact, it did so well that it jumped right past the Mercedes-Benz GLK and BMW X4, both of whose sales have fallen substantially year-on-year. While the slump is to expected for the GLK, whose much better-looking replacement the GLC is about to go on sale, it is altogether more worrying for BMW, which is not as old and whose sales seem to have been badly cannibalized by the sister X4 model (opening in #10).

In seventh is the European segment-leader, the Volvo XC60, enjoying the highest growth rate in sales from among the established market models at 36%. Sure, the models that trail it in the sales charts, the Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan, have both seen crazy triple-digit sales figures, but that is because both only went on sale in May 2014 and thus should be really viewed as new entries. Especially impressive are the figures posted by the Porsche, outselling its more mainstream, sporty competitor the BMW X4 by two-to-one.

Closing off the sales charts are the Infiniti QX50 (née EX) and Audi Allroad, both interesting cases of models failing because they cannot deliver what the buyers expect in this segment – interior space. Infiniti especially could, and should, do better than the hatchback-wagon-crossover QX50, and I have no doubt that its replacement will more squarely target the heart of the market (the kind of re-focussing that Acura did with the RDX). And while the Audi A4-based Allroad model clearly aimed to imitate the sales success of the Subaru Outback in the Premium segment, its failure suggests that consumers simply prefer its more spacious, more “SUV” sister, the Q5.

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. Dear Sir
    I could not find Jeep Grand Cherokee in tables of US Sales figures (Either Mid Side SUVs nor Premium Mid Size SUVs) Is the problem cause of Grandy selling too much ? An Idea ! Divide sales of grand cherokee to two put Laredo and limited trims in mid size suvs and put Overland and Summit trims in premium mid sized suvs tables

    Thanks

  2. Krzysztof Wozniak says:

    @Onder – you’re right, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was incorrectly missing from the mid-year sales reports, but I corrected that for the Q1-Q3 sales data – it’s in the mid-sized SUV bucket. See: http://carsalesbase.com/us-sales-2015-q1-q3-mid-sized-suv-segment/

    As for splitting up the sales into two categories, Premium and non-Premium: while that might reflect the fact that the Grandy manages to play in two segments at once, the sales data are unfortunately not broken out by trim levels

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