US car sales analysis 2019 Q2 – Premium Large SUV segment

Segment sales inch up towards a new record year as Porsche Cayenne sales surge

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Sales in the US Premium Large SUV segment rose by 4.0% to 246,795 in the first half of 2019, suggesting the segment may be able to recover from its mild -0.8% sales slump it experienced in 2018. If it does, it will set a new sales record, beating the 513 thousand record set in 2017. With plenty of new metal, including the new Audi Q8 and e-tron, BMW X5 and X6, Cadillac XT6, Jaguar I-Pace, Lincoln Nautilius, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne, the odds are stacked heavily in its favor.

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


  • Not much action happened in the Top 6, with most models’ sales ticking slowly up or down; the exception was the outgoing Mercedes-Benz GLE, which lost 44% of sales in Q1’19, resulting in the model dropping two places in the standings
  • The best performance in the segment came from the new Porsche Cayenne, whose sales all but doubled on the first half of 2018, suggesting it may be on its way to setting a new high watermark for the model
  • The Audi Q7 lost 10% of its sales and a spot to the Volvo XC90, although the imminent facelifted model should allow it to claw back that position by the year’s end
  • Part of the reason for the Q7’s dip in sales may be the successful debut of its larger Q8 sister, which has been selling twice as well as its BMW X6 competitor, and the smaller electric e-tron, which outsold the Jaguar I-Pace 3-to-1, but still sold only a third as well as the established Tesla Model X
  • The outgoing Lincoln Nautilius saw its sales rise by 19% before the arrival of the new, RWD-based model, putting pressure on the new model to hit a chord with buyers

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