US car sales analysis 2019 Q2 – Premium Compact SUV segment

Cadillac XT4 is a hit but segment sales stagnate as Audi Q3 and BMW X1 sales slump

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Sales in the US Premium Compact SUV segment rose by 2.6% to 71,927 in the first half of 2019, a considerable slowdown relative to the 8.4% sales growth the segment experienced in 2018, and the double-digit sales growth the segment experienced in prior years. This lackluster performance is all the more baffling given the amount of new metal that has debuted in the segment over the past 12 months, and interestingly seems to be all down to two models.

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 new Cadillac XT4 became the new segment leader, outselling the second most popular model by over 3,500 units
  • Interestingly, it was the about-to-be-replaced Mercedes-Benz GLA that claimed the second spot in the segment, thanks in part to a reasonably mild 13% sales decline, but mainly due to the halving of sales of the BMW X1 and Audi’s decision to stop selling the outgoing Q3 before the new model comes to market
  • The much-heralded Volvo XC40 did well enough to rise to third in the segment, outselling the aforementioned X1 and the similarly-new Lexus UX
  • The still-fresh Mini Countryman Mk II saw its sales decline by almost a third, although that was still less bad than the almost-halving of sales of the Infiniti QX30
  • The new Range Rover Evoque arrived in the market in the second quarter, resulting in sales almost 75% higher than in Q2’18, and allowing the model to handily outsell its cousin, Jaguar E-Pace (whose sales in Q2’19 were the lowest they had been in a year, suggesting the model is already running out of steam)

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

    1. Mini offers expensive cars compared with mainstream models in the same segment so they operate as a luxury brand. Jeep’s most expensive car, the Gladiator, starts at 33.5k dollars. The XT4 and XC40 for example, Cadillac and Volvo’s entry models, are more expensive. Jeep cars are much closer to mainstream competitors concerning their price range.

      1. I understand your point, however priciest is not the only driver, there will always be a cheapest and priciest car when you make a group.

        What I mean is that Jeep Renegade is for example the premium version of Fiat 500X, even if Jeep Renegade is not the most expensive in its group.

  1. Generally speaking in Europe, Jeeps are perceived premium, specially on high-end versions such Trailhawk ones, where people put a lot of money on features they will never sure.

    1. Not by me, mostly because I think ‘premium’ stands for paying more and getting less than what you should/would expect. As for Jeep, they simply don’t offer luxury models. 500X and Renegade are interchangeable to me. The poor build quality and same entry-level engines of the Renegade are enough for me to not consider this car to be a luxury model. At best, Jeep tries to earn more money per car like other brands through their Trailhawk label and Trail Rated badge, but that’s to emphasise the off-road ability of Jeep models and not so much the luxury features.

      1. Still, the author defines Mini brand as premium, I dont think they deserve more than Jeep.
        Eventually they are young and trendy, but not Premium !

  2. @Kasper
    Mini’s position is questionable, that is true. But unlike Jeep, they do offer expensive cars compared with mainstream competitors.

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