US sales Q1 2016 Large segment

US large segmentSales in the large segment rose by 14% compared to Q1 2015, a considerably better performance than over the course of 2015, when sales fell by 12% overall. This makes the segment one of only two mainstream segments that grew over the course of the last year, with sales growth behind only the minivan segment. What’s more, the growth is not based on the success of one or two new models, but rather sales growth among most models. 2016 promises some new metal in the form of the new Kia Cadenza and, eventually, a new Buick LaCrosse, though there is no indication that the quickly-aging FCA twins, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, will be replaced anytime soon.

Highlights for Q1 2016:


  • No changes at the very front, where the Chevy Impala* opened a slightly larger lead over the second-placed Dodge Charger thanks to a slightly-faster rate of growth, 12% versus 6% (*keep in mind that the Impala figures include the previous-generation model, sold mostly to the police and as taxis)
  • The big news is the huge success of the new Nissan Maxima, with sales up 126% allowing it to rise three places to claim third spot in the segment, albeit still only a little over half of what the segment leader sells
  • In a neat symmetry, the Toyota Avalon lost 10% of sales and fell from third to sixth place in the rankings
  • The aging models in the segment (Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza) also saw their sales fall compared to Q1 2015; of the three, the Buick and Kia are about to replaced by new models, but at this time it’s unclear whether the large Hyundai will be replaced, as the company may want to make space for the new Genesis brand
  • Chevy SS still hangs in there, in last spot with barely over 500 units sold in the whole quarter

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. GM builds the Impala (new and vastly improved) in a separate factory from the Impala Classic (dated & meh). Although I don’t have the exact production numbers as I write this, it looks like 3/4 of the Impalas are of the Classic variety. I was under the impression that the lion’s share of the Classic’s sales were to rental fleets.

    It is my humble opinion that the Chevrolet SS doesn’t really belong in this class as it is a high performance Holden masquerading as a dull looking four door sedan. It’s an “insider” kind of car for the guy that wants has the utility of a four door sedan and a car with hard-ass performance. I use the term “guy” because I bet 95% of the buyers are men. What do you think readers?

  2. @Stephen – you’re right, the old Impala is probably mostly rental fleet sales.

    And yeah, the Chevy SS is kind of an oddball in this class in that it only offers a large V8 and no V6 option, but the V8 does compete directly with the likes of Dodge Charger V8 both in size, layout and in power.

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