Sales of premium large SUVs in Europe are up by more than a third in Q1 of 2016, boosted by the thunderous arrival of two renewed models which will fight for podium positions the rest of the year and may even threaten the leader of the segment. For now, the BMW X5 holds on to its title despite sales stable at +1%. Behind it, the new generation Volvo XC90 surges to the #2 spot after already outselling the X5 in February. In third place we find another newcomer, the Audi Q7 which led the segment in January and will continue to challenge both the Volvo and the BMW for the rest of the year. Especially the plug-in hybrid versions of these three SUVs have quickly gained popularity, and that may help the Mercedes-Benz GLE move past the Range Rover Sport this year as well.
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
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Touareg is kicked off the podium it held in 2015 and is down to 6th place with sales down 11%. The Land Rover Discovery is surprisingly stable for such an experienced model which has never been the most refined of its class. The Range Rover is down to 8th place, but the Porsche Cayenne does even worse, losing a quarter of its volume and dropping from #5 to #9, despite also having a Plug-in Hybrid version available. The second generation BMW X6 manages to fend off the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe while the traditional segment leader in the US, the renewed Lexus RX is finally trying to connect to the top-10 of the segment in Europe. However, the Jaguar F-Pace is making its first appearance in the ranking and will storm up the charts from the next quarter, aiming for a top-8 position at the very least.
We also welcome the long-awaited Maserati Levante in the ranking with a first 33 demo sales in March, as well as the Bentley Bentayga with 100 sales. In the coming months the Levante, which costs less than half the price of the Bentayga, will easily move ahead, as Bentley has a limited production of 5.000 units worldwide, which have already been sold out for the first year. Maserati is aiming for a multitude of that figure, but it remains to be seen if they can hit their target of 75.000 total brand sales worldwide in 2018.
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