Robust growth continues as Cadillac reclaims lead ahead of 4 close challengers.
Sales of Premium Mid-sized SUVs in the US were up 9% in Q2 of 2017, resulting in an 11% increase for the first half of the year. Total sales added up to 213,994 units, which is just about double the figure of the Premium Large Car segment, down by 14%. And whereas the German luxury brands are still firmly in control in the sedan market, they’re much less dominant among crossovers, with only one German in the top-4, in third place. The crossover segment continues its steady growth rate after already gaining close to 15% in 2016, as buyers are switching from sedans to crossovers and SUVs, which in then attracts new models to the fast growing segment. The Jaguar F-Pace and Cadillac XT5 just celebrated their first birthdays, the new generation Audi Q5 is still fresh and in the coming months we’ll welcome the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Range Rover Velar, as well as new generations of the Volvo XC60 and BMW X3. Compared last year, the entire top-6 is shuffled up, showing how this is one of the most dynamic and competitive segments, with 5 models challenging for the lead.
Highlights for first half 2017:
The Cadillac SRX used to lead this segment in the US, but due to the changeover to the new generation which also included the namechange to XT5, the BMW X3 surprisingly topped the chart in Q1. However, Cadillac struck back in the second quarter and has reclaimed its leadership. With a new generation X3 coming up, the current version was still up 12% in Q2 and an impressive 23% year-to-date, but compared to Q1 it drops down to 5th place. That’s still better than the 6th placeit held in the full year 2016.
The Cadillac XT5 may have reclaimed the lead, it’s in no way comfortable in that position, as the entire top-4 is within 4,500 units and the top-5 within 5,500 sales. Showing how dynamic this ranking is, the Acura RDX, which was #2 in 2016 (if we split the SRX and XT5 namplates), is down to 4th place due to a 4% decline when all others in the top-5 show double digit increases.
The Lexus NX topped the ranking in 2016, then fell to #3 in Q1 but moves back into second place for the first half despite being the #4 in Q2, when the new generation Audi Q5 and the RDX outsold it. The Q5 improves 17% in the first half and was in second place in the second quarter, similar to its 2015 ranking.
The X3 also had to deal with the Mercedes-Benz GLC which sold just 10 units less than its rival in Q2, but remains at a distance year-to-date, even though these figures include sales of the GLC Coupe version. The GLC is down 15% in the first half, similar to its smaller sibling GLA as American buyers seem to have lost their appetite for the brand’s smallest crossovers. In 2016, the GLC was the fastest growing model in the top-6 but is now the biggest loser in the top-12.
The Lincoln MKC has distanced the Porsche Macan in Q2 and has consolidated its 7th place, even though the Macan has triple the growth rate. In Q2, the Porsche sold only 2 copies more than the final deliveries of the current generation Volvo XC60, which makes an impressive final sprint, as it has done in Europe too. However, in Europe the XC60 actually leads the segment while in the US it’s only 10th. Perhaps the upcoming new generation can move the Volvo further up the charts….
At least it outsold the Jaguar F-Pace in the second quarter, as the F-Pace can’t keep up with the Macan at which it is squarely aimed. Still, not a bad first year for the first SUV model from a brand that was considered all but irrelevant in the US, and a promising sign for the upcoming E-Pace.
The updated and improved Infiniti QX50 has also celebrated its first anniversary and is already slowing down again with a 23% loss in Q2, to also drop into the red for the first half. An all-new QX50 is expected in the first half of next year and should be able to easily top the best best year of the current model.
The Land-Rover Discovery Sport, the only model in the segment with optional 7-seater capacity, is stable but losing out on the mid-pack of the charts. Near the bottom of the ranking we find the BMW X4, a rare miss for the Bavarian brand, and unable to compete with the Macan as it does in Europe.
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
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