The premium large SUV segment in Europe returns to growth in the first quarter of 2019, helped by the arrival of five new nameplates. Nearly 70.000 large luxury SUVs were delivered in Q1, and the BMW X5 is still the best seller of them all. A new generation X5 has picked up where the previous one finished its life cycle: on top of the ranking. A 6% increase in deliveries means the BMW has grown its share of the segment to 13,4%. In second place we find the Range Rover Sport, which hasn’t been this high in the ranking since 2015. It’s helped by the Plug-in Hybrid version which has a take rate of 24% and is therefore responsible for more than the 12% growth of the nameplate. That allows the RR Sport to move past the Volvo XC90, which is down 10% despite selling more PHEVs than Range Rover, with a take rate of 27,4% for the electrified Swede. This is the only luxury segment where the Germans don’t dominate the top of the charts, but just due to their large number of entrants (12 out of 24 nameplates are German), they still control more than half of its sales with a 56,3% share of the segment. BMW is the leader with 15,7% share with its three models, followed by Audi with 14,2% with its two models, and Mercedes-Benz is struggling at just 10,6% for its four models. This is due to the model changeover of its best seller GLE, which sees a 58% drop in deliveries just as the new generation is arriving in showrooms. The GLE is therefore down to #8 and is just slightly ahead of the G-Class, which even outsold it in February, for the very first time ever.
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
In fourth place we find the Volkswagen Touareg with sales up by more than threefold thanks to the new generation, making it the best seller of the VW Group SUV platform, well ahead of the Audi Q8 and Q7, with the former a new arrival cannibalizing its existing sibling which is down 28%. The Porsche Cayenne is way down to 13th place with a 45% decline in deliveries now that the brand has ended production of its diesel versions. The Range Rover is up 16% in 7th place, making Range Rover as a brand the best selling brand of the class at 18,3% share, but Land Rover is not the biggest manufacturer with its 21,8% share, as VW Group controls 30,6%. The all-electric Audi e-Tron lands at #9 with 3,8% share, not a bad start at all. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is up 25% thanks to the new generation. The Land Rover Discovery is down a painful 42% as the new generation has not lived up to the expectations. The Lexus RX is the only model outside the top-10 to improve its sales at +13% while all others are down by double digits. The biggest losers we haven’t yet mentioned are the Bentley Bentayga at -52%, the BMW X6 at -45% and the Mercedes-Benz GLS at -41%. We also welcome a few other newcomers, most notably the Lamborghini Urus, the BMW X7 and the Rolls Royce Cullinan.
In 2019 BMW will renew the X6 and at Mercedes-Benz the GLS is next now that the GLE has been renewed. Porsche has just launched the Cayenne Coupe and all eyes are on the new generation Land Rover Defender.
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