Segment continues its steady decline with only three models gaining sales in 2017
Sales in the US large segment fell by 1.8% to 100,989 in the fourth quarter of 2017, the least bad performance of the segment in 2017. Overall, sales in the segment fell by 11.5% last year to 392,129, the first time the segment has dipped below the 400,000 mark since our data begins in 1985! This steady but relentless decline looks likely to continue in 2018, as the segment leaders will continue as they are, Ford looks set to abandon the market altogether and continue with the aging Taurus for as long as there is steam there, and the only new car will be the soon-to-be-revealed Toyota Avalon.
Segment-leading Dodge Charger performed in the fourth quarter pretty much as it had all year long, losing around 9% of its sales, but opening up a decisive lead over the second-placed Chevrolet Impala, which 22% of its sales in 2017
Third-placed Nissan Maxima and fourth-placed Chrysler 300 put in a great performance in Q4’17, with sales going up by over a quarter for both models, however the 300’s sales decline earlier in the year meant that, for 2017 as a whole, only Maxima saw its sales rise
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
Although Ford seems set not to replace the Taurus, the aging model continues bringing in decent business, losing only 6.5% of its sales in 2017; nonetheless, it is striking just how much the model has decreased in popularity over the years (see historical chart below)
This is certainly better than the two cars that follow it in the standings, the about-to-be-replaced Toyota Avalon, and, more worryingly for its maker, the Buick LaCrosse, which has been struggling to get off the ground, sales-wise, all year long
Towards the end of the standings the new Kia Cadenza continues to shine, with sales up almost three-fold in Q4’17, though its success might be part of the reason its smaller sister, Optima, is struggling in the segment below; it’s also interesting to note that its sales in 2017 were still far below those the model recorded in its record year (2004)
Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts in 1973 – access previous years using slider on bottom
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