Sales growth of premium large SUVs in Europe continues to outpace the overall market, although at a lower rate than in the previous years. In the first quarter of 2017, the segment grew 9% to almost 80.000 sales in a total market up 7,8%. Only one model managed to op 10.000 sales this quarter, the BMW X5 thanks to sales up 10%. That means the X5 consolidates its leadership as the #2 Volvo XC90 sees stable sales compared to last year. Unlike its smaller sibling XC60, the XC90 is unable to grab the top spot in its segment, although Volvo points out to supply issues as a result of high global demand for the model. Range Rover is one of the big winners of the segment this year, with its models the two fastest growing nameplates in the segment, and the Range Rover Sport jumps up to third place at the expense of the much fresher Audi Q7 and the regular Range Rover climbs to 6th place.
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
The Q7 and XC90 are among the freshest models in the segment, but their predecessors maintained popularity even in the last few months of their lifecycle, which results in relatively slow growth even for the new generations. The Mercedes-Benz GLE also loses slightly and is now the last of the top-tier sellers. The all-new Land Rover Discovery only arrived in March but still manages to improve on the volume of the last generation a year earlier. Expect this model to storm up the charts in coming months, as it already was the #2 best seller in March, even though that was artificially boosted by the huge UK volume that month. The BMW X6 manages to stay ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, which is under serious threat of the all-electric Tesla Model X. Mercedes’ Range Rover fighter GLS grows fast but remains a niche player with just over a quarter of the volume of its target. Big losers in the segment are the aging Volkswagen Touareg and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Maserati sold 2.000 units of its new Levante and the Bentley Bentayga sold just over 400 units.
Later this year, VW Group will launch the third generations Touareg and Cayenne on the same platform as the Q7. We’ll have to wait until 2018 for the highly anticipated replacement to the legendary and therefore almost irreplacable Defender, but the brand has just revealed plans for a Range Rover Velar, which appears to be intended as a rival to the GLE Coupe and X6. Mercedes-Benz will update the G-Class one last time.
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