US sales Q1 2016 Large SUV segment

US SUV LargeSales of large SUVs in the US are back into positive territory as volume increased by just 1.2% in Q1 of 2016, after dropping 4.5% in 2015. The dominant brand in this segment is losing share as both of its entries lost volume, with the Chevrolet Tahoe down 3% and the Chevrolet Suburban down 10%. The Tahoe is still firmly in the lead of the segment, selling almost twice as much as its nearest competitor, but the Suburban’s #2 spot is now threatened by the Ford Expedition, helped by a recent facelift to gain 11% on last year. However, Chevy’s losses are offset by increased popularity of the GMC versions, and as a result total GM sales of large SUVs are virtually stable, and the company still controls almost 73% of the segment. That also means General Motors will be making more money on them, as the GMC Yukon (up 11%) and Yukon XL (up 12%) demand higher transaction prices and thus fatter margins than their Chevy twins, especially in the popular top-of-the-line Denali versions.

The Japanese remain niche players in this segment, with the Toyota Sequoia growing 7% despite being more than 8 years old and without any imminent replacement, while the Nissan Armada losing 13% as the new generation has already been revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January. The updated Toyota Land Cruiser adds 12% to its small volume of last year and stays below 1,000 sales in the quarter.

  1. Suburban is the longest continuous use automobile nameplate in production, starting in 1935. So why Americans prefer Tahoe, when practically Suburban and Tahoe are one and the same vehicle? Actually Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Yukon XL and Escalade are one and the same car but anyway.
    On other hand if Ford and Toyota want to compete with GM they should present completely new models of Sequoia and Expedition as soon as possible!

    1. Hi Todor, I personally don’t understand the purpose of the Tahoe and its other short siblings either. I’ve compared it with the Suburban a little while ago and I was appalled by how cramped the third row of the Tahoe was, you can’t really call that car a 7-seater. So if you don’t need a full-blown 7-seater, why get a vehicle with such huge exterior dimensions and terrible fuel economy? And if you do need a full-sized SUV, you might as well spend a little extra and go all the way: get one with actual usable interior space.

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