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.
Highlights for January – September 2016:
- The segment leader Chevrolet Tahoe remains undisputed, even if it was the second-slowest growing model of the segment in Q3, with an 18% increase. Its larger sibling Suburban added a third to its volume and their cousins GMC Yukon and Yukon XL showed increases of 27% and 32% respectively. So the bigger the car, the bigger the sales growth in Q3 apparently. At least as far as General Motors goes. A sign that consumers expect gas prices to remain low for a longer term?
- One of the biggest winners of the segment both in Q3 and year-to-date is the Ford Expedition, with an 84% gain in the third quarter and adding almost 50% to its volume in the first nine months of the year, which is pretty impressive considering the basic design of the model is already more than 20 years old by now.
- The Toyota Sequoia is the only large SUV to lose volume in Q3 with a loss of 12%, pulling the model in the red year-to-date with a 2% loss. The Sequoia outsells the Nissan Armada by just 5 units in Q3 as the latter rebounds with a 9% growth thanks to sell-out pricing as the new model will arrive in showrooms soon.
- The biggest gainer of the segment, but still in a distant last place is the facelifted Toyota Land Cruiser, up 89% in the quarter and +45% YTD.