Sales of premium large SUVs in Europe continue to boom, as the segment grew by an impressive 38% in Q3 and +18% year-to-date, helped by a number of model changeovers and continued popularity of existing models. While the leader of the segment BMW X5 loses some market share, it remains unchallenged this year, as it adds over 2.500 units to its lead over the #2 Range Rover Sport. The Volkswagen Touareg has an impressive quarter as it consolidates its third place, outselling its corporate sibling Porsche Cayenne by more than 1.700 units. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class loses another position as it is being facelifed and renamed Mercedes-Benz GLE, which makes its first appearance in the ranking at #14 at just one month of sales.
However, by the end of the year these last three models are in danger of losing out to the surging Audi Q7, whose new generation scored an impressive 2nd place in Q3 and if it continues like this, the Q7 will take the bottom spot of the segment podium for 2015. That also means the Q7 leaves the Volvo XC90 far behind, taking a 3.200 unit advantage in the last three months alone. I had expected the Volvo, which has been renewed at the same time as the Audi, as both had been in business for over 10 years, to remain closer to the Audi and perhaps even outsell it. The XC60 is ahead of the Q5 this year as well, and the XC90 looks better in my opinion than the Q7 which has evolutionary design. Plus the T8 plug-in hybrid version should boost the Swede some more. However, Volvo is restrained by capacity and unable to respond quickly enough to peak demand, so we may see the XC90 show stable sales and may catch up on the Q7 by this time next year. In the short term, there’s a 7th place in sight for the XC90, as its looks set to pass the Range Rover and the new BMW X6 in the next quarter, despite the latter tripling its volume of its previous generation last year. The latter has gotten a new rival in the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, which is starting to gain traction as well.
Behind the Jeep Cherokee in 10th place, the grandfather of the segment Land Rover Discovery is enjoying a second wind with sales up 14%, and the same can be said for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class in 16th place at +12%. Land Rover is working on an all-new Discovery and a new Land Rover Defender is also on the way. But so are the Maserati Levante and the new über-SUV Bentley Bentayga.
For next year, expect the GLE to fight for segment leadership with the Q7, while the X5 and the XC90 should battle for third place.
2015 January – September premium large SUV sales Europe
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2014 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.
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