Sales of large SUV are up 8.8% in the last quarter of 2015 to soften the full-year loss to 4.5%, up from -10% after the first three quarters. The GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are to thank for that year-end rally as they were up 16% and 14% in Q4 respectively. That makes them the only two models in the top-5 to improve their volume on last year as they both score their highest sales since 2007. It also helps the Yukon move past the Ford Expedition for the very first time ever to make it an all-GM podium, also a first. General Motors’ share of the segment remains stable at over 75%.
Funnily enough, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the cousins of the Yukon twins, are down the hardest of all players in the segment, at -10% and -7% respectively. This may be simply down to General Motors cutting down on sales to daily rental fleets as they’re looking for more profitable and sustainable volume. The Tahoe and Suburban are popular SUVs for rental companies, while the GMC models have a higher share of wealthy private buyers, and may be less hurt by the fleet cuts. In the end, General Motors may sell fewer vehicles, but make more money off the ones they sell, while keeping resale values up, which means lower monthly payments for the buyers.
A facelift helped Ford Expedition sales in 2014, but it is down again as it can’t hide the fact that the model is one of the oldest in the segment. The Nissan Armada is surprisingly stable for a model of its age, and the new generation has just been revealed at the Chicago Auto Show. The new Armada is already sold in other parts of the world (most notably the Middle East and Australia) since 2010 as the Nissan Patrol and it’s very successful at competing with the hugely popular Toyota Land Cruiser 200. It’s more similar to its luxury cousin Infiniti QX80 than the outgoing Armada. The Toyota Sequoia may be renewed as well on the platform of the new generation Toyota Tundra, but this hasn’t yet been confirmed by the Japanese brand.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off