US car sales analysis 2019 Q2 – Premium Mid-sized SUV segment

Sales barely grow as performance of new BMW X3, BMW X4 and Audi Q5 is dampened by sales declines elsewhere

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Sales in the US Premium Mid-sized SUV segment rose by 0.9% to 256,891 in the first half of 2019, a considerably weaker performance than the 20.4% growth the segment experienced in 2018. In fact, with only the new Lincoln Corsair (successor to the MKC) on the immediate horizon, it seems possible the segment will experience its first decline since 2008.

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


  • This segment must be one of the most competitive out there, will the top three models all selling within 5% of one another, while the top six are separated in sales by less than 20%
  • After losing the segment leadership battle to the Audi Q5 in 2018, the facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLC took the sales lead over the surging BMW X3 and the Q5 by the skin of its teeth
  • The new Acura RDX followed closely behind, ahead of the erstwhile segment leaders Lexus NX and Cadillac XT5, the latter being one of the only three models in the segment to lose sales in the double digits (the other two being the Porsche Macan, down 17%, and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, down 20%)
  • Unlike its smaller brother which entered the Top 3 in its segment, Volvo XC60 seems to have already reached the height of its potential in seventh, with sales falling by 9% in the second quarter
  • Most of the other models in the segment experienced mild sales rises or declines, the only exceptions being the 11% sales increase of the facelifted Land Rover Discovery Sport, and the doubling of sales of the new BMW X4

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. Hi Kris, not sure what you meant by “once-again-facelifted Land Rover Discovery Sport”. Did I miss the first face lift?

    1. @Hugh – when I wrote the article I distinctly recalled an earlier facelift, but after seeing your comment I did some digging and it turns out I was wrong – this is the first time the model has been really facelifted, the earlier changes being more minor. My bad, good catch!

      1. No problem – hopefully, it’s reassuring to know we are reading what you write.

    1. Americans don’t have the honour of buying DS Automobiles 😉 PSA will reintroduce Peugeot in North-America in 2026.

  2. Lolo: Even VW is unsuccessful in the US. I have no idea what PSA wants there. Americans only buy premium cars from Europe, they don’t care about our mainstream brands. It would be bizarre if the French taught VW how to sell cars in the USA 😀

    1. Wouldn’t be the first thing VW needs to learn from other companies. Meanwhile at VW, they are busy fixing their engines filled with defeat devices with……….more defeat devices.
      And to think, a lot of media and bloggers thought it was nothing special. HA! Trying to cover up fraudulent behaviour with fraudulent behaviour. Only VW.

  3. @Lolo
    Well, first they have to try and consider each sale a step in the right direction. Alfa Romeo shows it’s not that easy. On the other hand, Americans don’t really care about a badge as foreign brands are well-received. Persistence might be key in this respect.
    I totally understand why PSA’s North-American adventure starts with reintroducing Peugeot. Mainstream brand first, maybe followed by a luxury brand. Besides, Peugeot was available in the States until 1991 so they can rely on some form of heritage instead of entering a smaller market with a new luxury brand. I do think Americans would appreciate DS, because quality and comfort are important features for both parties.

    1. Correct for the engine, but I thank they will only sell 200 HP gazoline, 250 and 300 Hybrid.

      My question was more on design.

      I make no link with VW, it’s not the subject.

      1. DS cars could be too eccentric for the average American looking at the best selling mainstream cars, but I believe design is not that important to them when buying a luxury car. Infiniti and Lexus offer expressive cars as well and they are very popular in the States. The only real issue for DS would be whether the Americans are willing to ditch domestic and Japanese cars.

  4. There is nothing eccentric about the latest DS models, the DS7 Crossback and the DS3 Crossback. And these are the only two DS for sale right now. All others have been discontinued.

    1. Well, I don’t see other cars that even come close to the design of the DS 3 Crossback. It’s a typical DS model, very distinctive. DS 7 Crossback is not as outgoing, but still not an average design in my opinion.
      DS 3, 4 and 5 are still for sale in some countries like France, Spain, the UK and China with the latter having a more complete line-up.

      1. Besides the ugly “DS front signature”, the DS3 Crossback is rather boring. Production of the DS 4 and 5 has ended in Europe, production of DS3 will go on for a few more months.
        In China, difficult to know what is going on with DS: May sales were 0 (zéro), and sales have been averaging 200-300 a month for the past year. My guess is that only the DS7 is still in production.

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