US sales Q1 2016 Mid-sized SUV segment

SUV mid-sizedDespite the cheap gasoline prices and an overall shift towards crossovers and SUVs across the board, we can still see a growing preference for smaller sizes: the larger the mainstream SUV segment, the slower its growth rate in the first quarter of 2016. If sales of subcompact crossovers in the US boomed with an increase of 162,5% and sales of compact crossovers in the US outgrew the market with a plus of 4.9%, midsized SUVs added just 3.7% to their volume in the same period of last year. Total segment sales stood at 412,039 units. And while the two smaller segments both welcomed a new leader, the Ford Explorer still tops the charts for midsized SUVs in the US, thanks to sales up 8%, a similar growth rate as its nearest two competitors Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander.

Ford_Edge-US-car-sales-statisticsFord’s second entry in this segment, the redesigned Edge, is the fastest growing model in the top-9 with sales up 53% and moving from 8th place to 4th place, while the former #3 of the segment, the also redesigned Pilot is the biggest loser in the top-10 and drops to 5th place as the model suffers from supply issues. The Toyota 4Runner is on track to have its best year in this millennium with an increase of 16%, and overtakes the two South-Korean entries, both losing volume in this growing segment. The Kia Sorento drops 8% on last year when the second generation was still fresh, and the Hyundai Santa Fe is down a worrying 35%, possibly cannibalized by the successful launch of the new generation Tucson, which is one size smaller. The Santa Fe drops from 7th place to #13.

The redesigned Nissan Murano is the fastest growing model in the segment with sales up 63% and closing in on its stablemate Nissan Pathfinder. The Dodge Durango is on its way to the best year of the current generation and passes the GMC Acadia, of which the new, smaller and lighter generation has already been revealed.

  1. I’ve never liked small cars, no matter I live in Europe, that’s why I’m always awaiting impatiently articles about mid-size and full-size segments. My favorite models in this segment here are Highlander and Murano, but I wonder why Toyota and Ford refuse to introduce in USA Fortuner and Everest. These are two big players at many markets around the globe – whole Asia, Oceania and parts of Africa and Sout and Central America, but not in Europe and USA. Why? Are Fortuner and Everest not civilized enough for North America and the Old continent?

    1. Hi Todor,

      I think you’re answering your own question there. As the Fortuner is based on the Hilux and the Everest on the Ranger pick-up trucks (you could also add the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, based on the Colorado/Isuzu D-Max and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, based on the Triton), they offer too little comfort and refinement for “Western” tastes.
      One could argue that the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner are also still truck-based SUVs, but those are not marketed as family cars, and the target buyers are interested in image, all-terrain capability and their version of fun-to-drive. The 7-seaters mentioned above are sold in Asia, South America and Africa as upper-class family cars that offer increased comfort on the less well-paved roads and safety from their higher seating position and strong chassis, while they’re reasonably affordable thanks to their low-tech underpinnings.
      In the US, the larger SUVs like the Tahoe and Expedition are much more comfortable, spacious and powerful, while the Explorer, Highlander and especially the smaller Nissan Rogue offer 7-seater capability in a more compact and efficient packaging than the pick-up based SUVs.
      You never know, maybe if Ford brings the Ranger to the US, and also the Bronco as a rival to the Wrangler, they might try their luck on a 7-seater version based on the Everest as well. And if it’s even remotely successful, others will follow soon. But don’t count on it.

    1. DS has said they want to be available in the 200 most important cities in the world for luxury cars sometime after 2020, which would include about 30 cities in North America, of which 20 in the US.
      Besides that, PSA has just outlined their 10-year, 3-stage plan to enter the North American market, first with a car-share program, then with leased cars and eventually, if both stages prove successful and the company feels confident about its chances, a regular retail distribution network.
      So it looks like it will happen, just not anytime soon. In the short term, DS will continue to primarily focus on China and Europe, as their current generation cars hasn’t been developed with North American homologation in mind.

  2. @Todor – Large cars are indeed very interesting, but Europeans have different standards regarding size. Take the Ford Flex for example, although its length of 5,13 meters it’s a mid-sized car. The same goes for segment leader Explorer which passes 5 meters as well. As a European I think that’s abnormal.

    Let’s hope the new CX-9 will become a hit otherwise it will be the next undervalued Mazda in the US.

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