US car sales analysis Q1 2018 – Large segment

Segment continues its steady decline despite sales growth from new Buick and Kia models
Sales in the Large segment fell by 12.5% to 91,878 in the first quarter of 2018, continuing on from the 11.5% decline registered in 2017. With the Toyota Avalon set to be the only meaningful arrival this year the segment is in for another tough year. In fact, with many of the models currently on sale unlikely to be replaced, and no new entrants on the horizon, the segment may disappear in the next decade or so, much as it had in Europe two decades ago with the death of the likes of Ford Scorpio and Opel Omega.


  • Dodge Charger outperformed the segment once again to open a decisive lead over the rest of the pack, losing only 5% of its sales in Q1’18
  • Sales of Chevrolet Impala fell by more than a third, putting it barely ahead of the third-placed Nissan Maxima and fourth-placed Chrysler 300
  • Nissan Maxima‘s sales were probably the most disappointing in the first quarter, with the less-than-two-year-old model seeing double-digit sales decline, albeit from the ten-year-high that was 2017

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

  • After managing to lose barely over 6% of sales in 2017, the aging Ford Taurus lost a quarter of sales in Q1’18, dropping it behind the outgoing Toyota Avalon, whose sales were up 23% as the carmaker empties its stockpiles in anticipation of the arrival of the new model
  • After recording its worst-ever year in 2017, the new Buick LaCrosse saw its sales finally rise in Q1’18 by over 40%, though it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue throughout the year
  • Sales of the new Kia Cadenza continued to grow as Q1’18 volume was almost double on the year prior, helped probably to a large extent by the market exit of its Hyundai Azera cousin

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts in 1973 – access previous years using slider on bottom