The compact crossover segment is the largest in the US as nearly 1 in every 4 cars sold every year is a compact crossover at about 24.2% of the total US car market. Not only is it the largest in terms of sales at over 4.1 million annual sales (down 3% on 2018), but also in terms of nameplates with no less than 43 different models in this class. We have one member of the 400k club on top of the ranking, followed by three models over 300k and two over 200k, as these six best sellers represent nearly half of all the sales in the segment (48.5%), and that includes luxury brands. The Toyota RAV4 by itself holds a nearly 11% share of America’s largest segment, as it improves 5% to set a new annual sales record at almost 450,000 sales. Also with record annual sales of over 384,000, the Honda CR-V reclaims the #2 spot from the Nissan Rogue, down 15% on its record of 2018 to drop below 400k. The Chevrolet Equinox makes it three out of the top-4 to set a new annual sales record in 2019, with sales up 4% to just over 346,000 to miss out on a segment podium by 4,400 sales. The Ford Escape is down 11% as it prepares for a redesign in 2020 and the Jeep Wrangler is down 5% on its record year 2018, potentially cannibalized by the Gladiator pickup truck. The Jeep Cherokee is the biggest loser in the top-15 with a loss of 20% to drop below 200k while its smaller sibling Jeep Compass loses 16% as Jeep is struggling in this popular segment. We see record annual sales for the Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5 in 8th and 9th place respectively, while the Hyundai Tucson dips 3% on its annual record in 2018 and the Subaru Crosstrek and GMC Terrain are down 9% and 11%, also on their annual record in 2018. The Tucson’s sibling model Kia Sportage peaks in 2019 at nearly 90,000 sales. The Volkswagen Tiguan breaks the 100k barrier for the first time, as the smaller first generation never even broke the 50k mark. Biggest loser in the non-luxury segment is the Dodge Journey at -21% but that shouldn’t be surprising considering it hasn’t been redesigned since its launch in 2008.
We welcome the Chevrolet Blazer with over 58,000 sales in its first year, ahead of the Toyota C-HR and Mitsubishi Outlander, both virtually stable, while the smaller Outlander Sport dips 14% before a facelift in 2020. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross in 32nd place may also have stolen some sales from the Outlander Sport. The Buick Envision rebounds slightly on its troublesome 2018 with a 10% gain but is still below its 2017 peak of 41,000 sales as President Trump’s import duties on Chinese-made cars are hurting the model. In November 2019 we welcomed the Mazda CX-30 to the segment, a model which should be good for a top-25 position in 2020.
In the luxury part of the segment, which makes up 13.3% of total compact crossover sales, the German Big 3 rule in the US as they do in Europe, with the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and Audi Q5 now taking the top-3 spots ahead of their Japanese rivals Acura RDX and Lexus NX. Of these five models, only the GLC (+6%) and the X3 (+14%) manage to improve their sales of 2018 and in fact both set new annual sales record for their nameplates. Keep in mind that GLC sales figures include those of the GLC Coupe, while BMW reports sales of the X4 separately, so in reality the X3 is the bestselling luxury compact crossover in the US. The Cadillac XT5 is down 18% and is losing connection to the top players in the segment. The Volvo XC60 is down 6% but stays ahead of the Lincoln Corsair, down 2%, and the Porsche Macan, down 4%. The Infiniti QX50 is the biggest loser of the segment with a 27% loss despite being one of the freshest models after its 2019 Model Year redesign. The Range Rover Velar is stable, while its platform sibling Jaguar F-Pace gains 5% and the Land Rover Discovery Sport is up 3%. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio loses 22%, while the BMW X4 sets a new annual sales record thanks to its redesign. The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace remains a niche player in the segment, as all non-Tesla EVs are having a hard time breaking through in the US.
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