Sales of full-sized SUVs in the US tanked in Q2 of 2020, down 38.8% for a first half score of -28% and falling behind the overall market. Their share of hte US car market shrunk from 3% to 2.8%, as some of the biggest players in this class are due for a redesign this year. Only a single nameplate manages to improve on last year and just one other model is down by just single digits. Both are German luxury players. The Chevrolet Tahoe holds on to the top spot but its share of the segment is down to 20% as sales were down 32% in the first half (-51% in Q2). Combined with its platform siblings GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade, General Motors products account for nearly one in every two sales of this segment (48.3%), down almost 5 percentage points on last year. What still makes this a strong performance is that the next generation of these nameplates has already been revealed and will arrive in showrooms later this year, featuring updated exterior design, a more luxurious interior and better ride and handling, in order to make them better compete on those factor with their cross-town rivals Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. The Expedition shows one of the smallest declines among mainstream brands at -26% and consolidates its #2 spot by a safe margin on the GMC Yukon. The Suburban is down 44% into fourth place, although to be fair it should be combined with Tahoe sales, as all other models also combine sales of the short and long wheelbase versions. The Nissan Armada completes the top-5 with a comfortable distance to the Toyota Sequoia, the oldest model in the class, having no major redesign since 2007. Its sibling model Toyota Land Cruiser remains a niche model in the US and won’t be replaced once the current generation reaches the end of its life cycle. However, the LC is the relatively best performer among mainstream brands, with sales down 23%.
The luxury part of the segment makes up 30.4% of total full-sized SUV sales, up 7 percentage points from 23.3% in the first half of 2019 and up almost 10 points from 20.7% in the full year 2019. The recently redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLS is the only gainer in the entire class and extends its lead over the former top luxury SUV Cadillac Escalade, which is the biggest loser among luxury models as the new generation is on its way. The Infiniti QX80 was outsold by the BMW X7 in Q2 but stays ahead for the first half. The X7 is relatively stable at -2% and should be able to claim a podium position by the end of the year. The Range Rover and Lincoln Navigator lose about a quarter of their sales each, and the luxury version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX, holds the red lantern among full-sized luxury SUVs.
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