US car sales analysis Q4 2017 – Large SUV segment

Decline in the final quarter pushes segment into a loss in 2017, despite Nissan Armada’s surging popularity

US SUV Large

Sales in the US large SUV segment fell by 6.9% to 102,710 in the fourth quarter of 2017, pushing the segment to an overall loss in 2017, with sales falling by 0.5% to 342,525. While this represents only a small fall on the 344,235 cars sold in 2016, itself an eight-year high, it is useful to keep in mind that this is less than half the number of cars sold in this segment 15 years ago. That said, the segments prospects for 2018 look rather good – in addition to the new Nissan Armada continuing to add sales at a quick pace and the all-new Ford Expedition picking up steam, the Chevrolet duo is likely to be updated before the end of the year now that the new Silverado has been revealed.


  • As in years past the General Motors and GMC twin-twins (Tahoe and Suburban, Yukon and Yukon XL) saw their sales drop in almost perfect syncronicity, with the Tahoe experiencing the smallest decline (sales down 4%) and the Yukon the largest (sales down 8%)
  • Ford Expedition, an clear segment leader when it came out in the late 1990s, continued to see its sales slide by a further 13% in 2017, almost dropping to fourth spot – the all-new model has a lot of making up to do!

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

  • Making up is something that the new Nissan Armada has already done plenty of, reaching a sales level in 2017 that almost matched the record years 2004/05, and is promising to continue on this path further in 2018; who knows, if the new Yukon does not arrive in 2018, the Armada may yet overtake it in the rankings this year
  • Another thing the Armada has already achieved is to humiliate Toyota with its aging Sequoia and the recently updated Land Cruiser, both of which lost further sales in 2017 and dropped even further at the back of the standings

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