US sales 2017 first half: Large SUV segment

Despite slowdown in Q2, full-sized SUVs the fastest growing mainstream segment, GM still dominant

US SUV Large

The Large SUV segment stalled in the second quarter with a sales decrease of 1%. However, Q1 volume was so good that the segment is still the fastest growing mainstream segment in the US with an increase of 11% to 157,084 units. And though that may seem like a lot, remember that 15 years ago GM alone sold more than half a million units of its Chevy and GMC full-sized SUVs in a full year. In Q2, all but one of the models in this segment lost volume, but 5 out of the 8 nameplates are still in the positive for the first half. The all-new Nissan Armada is the fastest growing model in the segment by far and the only nameplate in the positive for Q2, followed by the Ford Expedition, even before the all-new generation arrives in showrooms this fall

Highlights for Q2 2017:

  • General Motors remains ultra dominant in the segment, but loses a fair bit of share as the competition outgrows its four models. In the full year 2016, Chevrolet and GMC held a combined 73.8% share of the segment. After dipping to 66.5% in Q1 of 2017, which was the lowest share since 2005 when the third generation trucks arrived, their share recovered to 71.5% in Q2, still below last year’s share.
  • The Chevrolet Tahoe remains the undisputed segment leader, especially when you add in the sales of its long-wheelbase version Chevrolet Suburban, although both have dipped into the red in Q2. They’re still in the positive for the first half, but with growth rates slower than the overall segment.
  • After a smashing first quarter with sales up almost 45%, the Ford Expedition slows down in the second quarter with a loss of 8% as the new generation is expected to be launched in the second half of the year. This will be the first major update to the model in 10 years time and the first completely new Expedition in 15 years.
  • Nissan_Armada-2017-US-car-sales-statisticsGM also occupies place 4 and 5 with the GMC Yukon and its long-wheelbase version Yukon XL, close cousins to the Tahoe and Suburban, even though the former is the biggest loser in the top-6 in Q2 with a loss of 14% and therefore the only loser in the top-6 for the first half.
  • The all-new Nissan Armada is the fastest growing model in the segment, almost tripling its Q2 sales on last year, thanks to the new generation, which is based on the international Nissan Patrol rather than the new Titan pick-up. As a result, the Armada is closing in on the Yukon XL for a top-5 position in the segment.
  • That means it moves way ahead of the two other Japanese players in the segment, which both show double digit declines in Q2: the aging Toyota Sequoia and the recently updated Toyota Land Cruiser, which remains a niche player due to its higher price, although it does have its share of extremely loyal fans.

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

  1. The last Mastodons of US and world car industry. I love these giants. The brand new Ford Expedition looks fantastic in my opinion and can’t wait to see its sales figures. What I can’t understand is why Tahoe has more sales than Suburban? I mean Suburban is the longest continuous use automobile nameplate in production, starting in 1935, it should be the best-seller, but it’s not why? Tahoe is just a shorter version of Suburban, right?
    I believe the new-old Jeep Grand Wagoneer will be the game-changer, when it arries in a year or two!

    1. “Tahoe is just a shorter version of Suburban, right?”

      I think there is your answer why the Tahoe is more successful. Even some Americans don’t need a 5,70 meter car when 5,18 meter is enough…

      1. The problem is, however, that the 3rd row of seats in a Tahoe is absolutely unusable for anybody not in a child seat. There’s nowhere to leave your legs, as the floor is almost as high as the seat, because of the rear axle. The Tahoe is by no means a real 7-seater, which is pretty ridiculous for a car this much longer than 5 meters, if you think of it objectively. Seriously, if you need a real 7-seater, you’ll have to go for the Suburban, or better: the new Traverse.
        Ever since I found out about the cramped rear seat in the Tahoe, I’ve tried to comprehend the raison d’être for this model. Why buy such a huge vehicle if you’re only going to seat 5? At least the Suburban makes more sense: yes, it’s even more ridiculously large, but at least its size is (somewhat) functional…

  2. See, this is why I think it’s weird cars are marketed as ‘premium’ and some are not. Nissan Armada(/Patrol) = Infiniti QX80. Same size, same layout, same engine, same interior features/materials, same factory. And it’s not like the designs are very different.

    I don’t mind brands wanting to earn more money per car, but at least try to make your cars less interchangeable instead of fooling the customers.

  3. “I think it’s weird cars are marketed as ‘premium’ and some are not”
    Well, that’s why it’s called marketing / selling hot air.

    0,03% of car buyers check websites to learn from individuals such as yourself “premium” is more a badge thing than anything else.

    I assure you: take 2 models which are absolutely identical. Add a “premium” label to one of the 2 and flocks of excited gals & guys rush to their friends and steamy social media sites to spread the word: “We bought something special, something genuine premium!”. Only knowledgeable folks know they paid 30% extra for ….. an illusion. And oh irony, they were happy to do so! 😉 Which keeps the pendulum swinging, so others want a piece of the premium pie too.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.