The midsized premium SUV segment in Europe falls into decline in the second quarter of 2019 with a 9% loss to just over 125.000 sales, after a 1% growth in the first quarter. As a result, the first half figure is down 4% to just over 260.000 deliveries. Among brands, BMW is the big winner after replacing its two entries into this segment last year as both are up by large double digits. The Mercedes-Benz GLC stays on top of the ranking, even accounting for the GLC Coupe version of which sales are included with the regular GLC. Mercedes-Benz sells 410 more cars than BMW but is losing ground quickly with a 20% drop in sales, compared to +47% for the X3 and -12% for the former segment leader Volvo XC60, which has a take rate of 17,7% for the PHEV version. However, the German brands are launching their full electric crossovers this year, with the Mercedes-Benz EQC already in showrooms, the BMW iX3 coming early next year just like the slightly larger Audi e-Tron, to which Volvo does not yet have an answer. The Audi Q5 is down 18% but holds on to 4th place as there’s a significant gap to the rest of the segment.
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 Land Rover Discovery Sport has just been renewed and saw stable sales in Q2 after a double digit decline in the first quarter. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio continues to struggle in terms of volume but at least jumps back ahead of the Range Rover Velar. The BMW X4 is the big winner of the segment thanks to the new second generation, but it was outsold in the second quarter by the recently facelifted Porsche Macan. The Macan was down 8% in the first quarter and down to 10th place, but it scored a 6th place in Q2 and is quickly closing in on its rivals with a 24% improvement in the second quarter. That leaves the Jaguar F-Pace down in 10th place with sales down 22%, ahead of the Lexus NX also down by 20% which was nearly outsold in Q2 by the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace.
As mentioned above, in 2019 we’ll welcome the EQC as a rival to the I-Pace, and the brand will also update the GLC. The Stelvio will become available as a PHEV as well.
One segment smaller, sales continue to rise even faster at +20% to over 338.000 units, helped by a 22% increase in Q2 as the premium compact crossover segment clearly outgrows that of the premium midsized crossovers. We combined these segments in one analysis when there were only three players in this smaller class. Now there are 13, with more on the way. The BMW X1 is still the class leader despite an 8% drop in sales for the first half of which sales in the second quarter were stable. Its share of the segment shrinks by 5,1 percentage points to 16,9%. Second place is now back in the hands of the Audi Q3 thanks to that model’s all-new second generation, helping sales up by more than a quarter on last year. The Q3 was only 1.200 sales behind the X1 in the second quarter and may be looking to reclaim the segment title it last held in 2015. As a result, its smaller sibling Audi Q2 is down into third place despite holding its volume up relatively well at just -5%. The Volvo XC40 in fourth place also stays close behind and outsells the Mercedes-Benz GLA which is due for a replacement. The Mini Countryman was outsold by the BMW X2 in the second quarter but stays ahead for the first half, while the all-new second generation Range Rover Evoque still needs to gain traction. Perhaps the upcoming PHEV version will boost the model, as the Countryman has a take rate of over 28,5% for the plug-in version. The DS7 Crossback moves past the Jaguar E-Pace while the flamboyantly styled Lexus UX is still a bit timid in terms of sales. We also welcome the DS3 Crossback to the segment, and whereas the DS7 is a bit of an in-between model in terms of size and price, the DS3 competes directly with cars like the GLA and Q2.
Later this year Mercedes will bring a new generation GLA and will add the GLB, including the only 7-seat model in this class. Audi will expand its line-up with the Q3 Sportback to compete head-on with the X2. The DS3 Crossback will be available in a fully electric version, a first for this segment, while its larger sibling DS7 will have a rival to the Evoque PHEV.
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