Sales in the Premium Large SUV segment rose by 8.7 percent in 2016 to 616,093, allowing the segment to retain a healthy margin ahead of the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment. The growth figure becomes an even-more-impressive 10.0 percent with the inclusion of the Tesla Model X, which is listed in the Alternative Power segment – impressive in this era of downsizing. The popularity of this segment is borne out in the sheer number of models offered by manufacturers: with a total of 25 models following the introduction of Maserati Levante and Bentley Bentayga, this segment is now one of the most populous. 2017 will see the introduction of the newest versions of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne, as well as the new Land Rover Discovery which should reintroduce the Discovery name in the US.
Highlights for 2016:
Lexus RX continues to dominate in the segment, selling almost twice as many units in 2016 as the second-placed Acura MDX, as well as twice as well as Lexus’ second most popular model in the US, the ES
The facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLE managed to attract a few new customers in 2016, which allowed it to grab the third spot in the standings from the BMW X5, with both models ahead of the fifth-placed Infiniti QX60
The big movers followed next: Volvo XC90 (sales up 154 percent, up three spots in the rankings), Audi Q7 (sales up 61 percent, up two spots) and Lincoln MKX (sales up 39 percent); the big Lexus LX that sells in very small numbers also saw its sales rise by almost a half
Sales of Tesla Model X kept rising throughout 2016, making it the tenth-best selling model in the second half of the year (it ranked fourteenth in 2016 overall)
Sales of remaining models were surprisingly stable for such a large segment, with Land Rover LR4 gaining the most at 19 percent, and hapless Lincoln MKT losing most at 14 percent
Sales of Maserati Levante and Bentley Bentayga began in earnest in Q4’16 – as expected, the luxurious Bentley was, and is likely to remain, the lowest-seller in the segment, while the high-end Maserati did well to almost match sales of the LR4 in the quarter (for further comparison, it sold about a third as many units as the equally-new Jaguar F-Pace)
Note: “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison; 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
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