Segment growth rate slows as market leaders stumble, though Chevy Traverse and Honda Pilot shine
Sales in the US Mid-sized SUV segment rose by 7.1% to 486,728 in the first quarter of 2018, a small slowdown relative to the 9.4% growth the segment registered in 2017. Still, such a performance put the segment in third place overall for the second quarter in a row, ahead of the Compact segment that it just lost out to in overall 2017 stats, and behind just the Compact SUV and Pick-up segments. However, the segment may yet slip back as the year progresses – after a lot of activity in 2017 (new arrivals included Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Mazda CX-9 and VW Atlas), there is a surprising dearth of new metal coming in 2018, the only exception being the recently-revealed Chevrolet Blazer and the new Hyundai Santa Fe, although the new Ford Explorer may yet come to market towards the end of the year.
After 2017, when segment growth was spread very evenly across all models, growth in Q1’18 was more uneven
Two models with the biggest sales growth, Chevrolet Traverse (up 30%) and Honda Pilot (up 50%, albeit on a dismal Q1’17), leapt over a lot of models to place fourth and fifth
Models placed sixth to tenth all recorded modest, single-digit growth with no changes in rankings on Q1’17
Interestingly, the sporty, five-seat Nissan Murano saw its sales rise by 20% at the same time as sales of its more family-oriented, seven-seat Pathfinder sibling fell by 32%, resulting in the two models switching places
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