US car sales analysis 2018 Q2 – Premium Large SUV segment

Growth halts in the second quarter, as segment readies itself for new models in the fall

US Large Premium SUV

Sales in the US Premium Large SUV segment rose by 3.6% to 244,48 in the first half of 2018, as growth fell from a healthy 6.8% in the first quarter down to just 0.6% in the second quarter. As a result, the segment was overtaken by Premium Mid-sized SUVs as the largest Premium SUV segment for the first time. While new models such as BMW X5Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne should help bring the segment back to healthy growth, it hard to see it retaking the lead anytime soon.


  • Lexus RX further extended its lead over the outgoing BMW X5, whose sales actually rose despite the model’s replacement arriving in the market shortly
  • Infiniti QX60 could not repeat its almost-40% growth from Q1’18, resulting in the model falling back behind the soon-to-be-replaced Mercedes-Benz GLE, despite that model’s 20% sales drop in the second quarter, and only just staying ahead of the Acura MDX

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

  • Audi Q7 once again saw its sales rise slowly, keeping it ahead of the faster-growing Volvo XC90, as well as the Lincoln MKX, which could not regain the places it lost to its two competitors despite arresting its sales decline in the second quarter
  • Both the Range Rover Sport and Lexus GX enjoyed strong, double-digit growth, helping to keep the models ahead of the Tesla Model X
  • Porsche Cayenne saw its sales plunge by over 40% in the second quarter, ahead of the arrival of the all-new model, resulting in the model almost being overtaken by the new Land Rover Discovery
  • Towards the end, BMW X6 saw its sales growth dip into the red in the second quarter, although it was still a better performance than the steady, double-digit decline in sales experienced by the Maserati Levante and Lincoln MKT

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts earlier – access previous years using slider on bottom