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