US consumers bought 1.74 million Mid-sized SUVs in 2015, a 10% increase over 2014 and a growth rate twice of that of the industry’s 5%. Only 2 out of the 18 remaining players in this segment lose volume, while 4 score volume records for their nameplates. Unlike the compact crossover segment, Japanese brands don’t dominate this ranking, as the Ford Explorer remains the best seller of the segment thanks to an increase of 19% to almost a quarter of a million sales, the model’s best volume since 2004. In fact, each of the top-3 models has now scored six consecutive years of volume increases. The Jeep Grand Cherokee added 7% in 2015 for its highest volume since 2005 and the Toyota Highlander added 9% to score a volume record in its 15th year on the market.
The new Honda Pilot helps the model to a 25% increase over the outgoing model in 2014 and the model’s second-best volume ever, after 2005. That puts the Pilot now well ahead of the Ford Edge, which improves 14% thanks to the new generation.
Combined sales of the three General Motors models Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave add up to 278.419 units, still ahead of the Explorer and again volume records for two out of three. The triplets will be renewed later this year, but there will be more separation in size between the GMC and the other two. The Acadia will be a bit smaller, losing 700 pounds to make it more in line with the size of the Japanese rivals, while the Traverse and Enclave are expected to remain about the same size as the current models. This would leave room for the new Buick Envision, imported from China, between the Buick Encore and the Enclave, and for a new Chevy crossover between the Chevrolet Equinox and the Traverse.
The South-Koreans are doing nicely in this segment as well, with the Hyundai Santa Fe up 9% to a record volume for the model, while its cousin Kia Sorento is up 13% thanks to the new generation.
The Toyota 4Runner is one of the last remaining body-on-frame SUVs and scores its highest volume of the current generation with a 26% increase, moving it past the Acadia and the Nissan Pathfinder. The Grand Cherokee’s cousin Dodge Durango is stable, while the all-new Nissan Murano adds a third to score its highest volume since 2008 and move ahead of the Buick Enclave. The Ford Flex and Mazda CX-9 are the only remaining models to lose volume in 2015, while the Land Rover LR4 surprisingly almost doubles its volume to score record volume for the current, already 6 years old generation.
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