Segment recovers as some of the newcomers see good sales growth
Sales of Premium Large SUVs were up 5% in the third quarter of 2017, a slightly recovery from the gently 2% sales decline over the first two quarters of the year. With a total of 366,324 units this still makes this the largest from amongst the Premium SUV segments, but the lead it has to the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment continues to shrink.
Note: after lumping really models as disparate as the Lincoln MKX and Bentley Bentayga under the Premium Large SUV banner for a long time, we have decided to split the segment into two: Premium Large SUV and Premium Full-size SUV. The difference between the two will hopefully be self-evident, but we’re aiming for the latter segment to capture models that are ahead of the more homogenous Premium Large SUV pack either through their size (Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX), price (Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz G-Class), or both (Bentley Bentayga). Let us know what you think of this new split.
Highlights for Q3 2017:
- The undisputed segment leader Lexus RX recovered after two quarters of falling sales with sales growth of 9% in the third quarter, putting its YTD growth at 1%
- In fact, the Top 5 all saw their sales rise or fall by no more than 5% since the beginning of the year, which is remarkable seeing that the group includes the about-to-be-replaced Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5
- Close on the heels of the Top 5 is the new Audi Q7, which saw a very healthy 41% sales rise in the third quarter, allowing it to outsell the BMW X5 for the first time ever
- By contrast the much-vaunted Volvo XC90, Audi Q7’s contemporary, is still unable to recover from its 42% sales decline in the first half of the year – the modest 2% sales growth in the third quarter is unable to bring the model anywhere close to being in the black
- Other models that did not do that great in the third quarter are the Range Rover Sport (down 16% in Q3’17), clearly suffering from the introduction of its sexy new Velar sister, and Porsche Cayenne (down 24% in Q3’17), whose sales are down in anticipation of the new model
- By comparison, Tesla Model X continued gaining sales in the third quarter (albeit at a slower 9% pace), while the new Maserati Levante outsold the BMW X6 and almost outsold the Infiniti QX70
- Finally, the new Land Rover Discovery is beginning to find its feet, and while its sales in the third quarter were still 14% lower than in Q3’16, this is a huge improvement over the over two-thirds collapse in sales the model saw in the first two quarters. It will be interesting how far the model can climb in the final quarter of the year
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