US sales Q3 2017: Large segment

Decline in the large segment slows as segment leaders enjoy a good Q3
US large segmentSales in the large car segment in the US fell by 6% in the third quarter, to a total of 291,456 units so far this year. The segments performance in the third quarter was not as bad as in the first two quarters of the year, when sales fell by 18%, and in fact was the second-best (least bad?) performance from among the mainstream segments, just behind the 2% sales fall of the compact segment. However, the prospects for the segment are still grim, among rumors circulating that Ford may abandon the market altogether and not replace the Taurus.

Highlights for Q3 2017:

2017 Buick LaCrosse
  • The semi-rebound in the segment is almost entirely due to the moderate uptick in sales from the segment leader Dodge Charger and second-placed Chevrolet Impala, though their respective growth rates of 3% and 10% in Q3’17 were not enough to drag the models into the black for the year
  • Nonetheless, the good performance of the Impala was enough for it to regain second spot in the segment, putting it back ahead of the Nissan Maxima, which got ahead of the Chevy in the second quarter but whose sales shrank by 2% in Q3
  • Unlike those of its Dodge cousin’s, sales of the Chrysler 300 continued sliding in the third quarter, though the 13% sales decline in Q3 was just a little worse than the 11% decline recorded by the fifth-placed Ford Taurus, and not nearly as bad as the 29% decline of the sixth-placed Toyota Avalon over the same time period
  • The most baffling performance in the segment certainly came from the new Buick LaCrosse, whose sales first fell by 44% in Q1 as the old model was phased out, then rose by 47% when the new model came on-stream in Q2, and now fell again by 43% in Q3
  • With less than a tenth of the sales of the segment leaders, the new Kia Cadenza recorded a minor success, as it sales were up 79% in the third quarter
  • Towards the end, Chevy SS once again did well and finished the quarter ahead of the soon-to-be-discontinued Hyundai Azera

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