Full-sized SUV sales in the US were up 17% in the first quarter of 2021, beating the overall market up 12%. Some of the biggest players in this class have been redesigned in 2020, which is one of the drivers of this strong growth. The class now makes up 3.1% of the total US car market, up from 3% in Q1 of 2020 and up from 2.8% in all of 2020. Luxury models keep their share of the segment stable on Q1 of 2020 at 29.7%, although that’s up from 28.3% in all of 2020. The two class leaders lose market share of the segment, as the Chevrolet Tahoe is up just 13% despite las year’s redesign, and the Ford Expedition is up just 12%. Just 800 sales separate the two nameplates, while the GMC Yukon is closing the gap with sales up 31%. The Chevrolet Suburban is up 17% while its luxury sibling Cadillac Escalade is up 75% thanks to the new generation. That means the Escalade remains the most popular luxury truck, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLS and Lincoln Navigator. The Nissan Armada is one of just three nameplates in the class to lose sales on Q1 of last year at -4%, together with its luxury sibling Infiniti QX80 (-22%) and the Range Rover (-8%). The BMW X7 loses share with sales up just 4%, which means it drops behind the Navigator. Toyota Group is a small player in this class with its three nameplates taking up the bottom three places of the chart. Despite its very advanced age, the Toyota Sequoia gains share of the segment with sales up 45% and is the best selling Toyota, while the Land Cruiser more than triples its sales after the brand announced the nameplate will be retired from the North American market after the current model year. The company thinks it can convince buyers to choose the technically similar but more premium Lexus LX, while in fact the Land Cruiser now outsells the LX.
holds on to the top spot and is up 36% in Q4 thanks to the new generation of GM giants. Its rival Ford Expedition is up 8% in the fourth quarter, and down 12% for the year, while the GMC Yukon is up 18% in the fourth quarter and down 15% for the year. The Chevrolet Suburban is up 33% in Q4 but is still down 28% for the year and losing share. Still, GM improves its share of the mainstream part of the class to 63.6%. The Nissan Armada is down 39% in 2020 after a terrible fourth quarter at -71% as the model is due for a facelift. Toyota is a small player in this profitable class with its two aging models at the bottom of the ranking, with the Sequoia down 28% and the Land Cruiser down 11% in its last full year of North American sales. That’s right, Toyota will end sales of the iconic Land Cruiser in the United States after the current model year. On one hand it makes sense as it’s one of the slowest selling nameplates in the line-up, but on the other hand it’s a great halo vehicle for the brand with its iconic name and it’s also the highest priced vehicle in its showrooms and a steady seller at an average of 3,000 units per year for the past 15 years, without many updates.
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