By on March 26, 2015

2014 Volvo XC60, Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Teknikens VärldSales of small luxury crossovers jumped 40% in February 2015 and so far this year are up 40% compared with the first two months of 2014.

Subtract the newcomers from that equation and the continuing nameplates, those which were on sale at this time last year, posted a 3% February improvement but are down 1% through two months.

Those new players – NX, MKC, Macan, X4 – generated 29% of the small lux CUV activity in January and February. Yet their collective arrival, both at the lower end with the NX and MKC and at the higher end with the Macan and X4, aren’t slowing down the Acura RDX, Volvo XC60, and Range Rover Evoque. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2015

2015 Lexus NX200tUp to this point, the arrival of a potential familial rival has not hindered the success of the Lexus RX, America’s favourite premium brand utility vehicle.

The RX, still a relatively affordable two-row Lexus crossover, has been sold alongside the more affordable but somewhat less spacious NX since the very end of November. 5717 copies of the NX were sold in December and January combined. Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the RX rose 8% to 20,194 over the same period.


• RX sales reached an eight-year high in 2014

• 2905 NXs sold in December; 2812 in January


Admittedly, the RX’s rate of growth doesn’t compare well with that of the overall SUV/crossover market. RX sales increased just 3% in the 2014 calendar year and 3% in December specifically. January’s 17% jump translated to 962 extra sales in a SUV/crossover market which rose 19%. U.S. SUV/crossover sales were up 12% in December and in 2014 as a whole.

(Read More…)

By on January 16, 2015

luxury suv market share by brand 2014Curious fact: America’s two best-selling premium brands and one of the two fastest-growing premium brands are the three premium brands which rely the least upon SUVs and crossovers in the U.S. market.

We correctly believe that much of the growth in the luxury vehicle sector over the coming half-decade will be in the CUV category, but there’s no denying that the major players established productive, popular, profit-generating passenger car lineups many years ago.


• Most new crossovers introduced in 2014 were “premium”

• Majority of Jaguar-Land Rover, Acura, Lincoln sales come from utilities

• Porsche and Cadillac generate half their U.S. volume with utilities


SUVs and crossovers are assisting these brands – BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi – in finding new avenues for growth, but their car divisions are large volume tools.

The same can’t be said for many of the mid-tier and low-volume luxury brands. Cars accomplish very little for Acura and Jaguar-Land Rover, generate only half of Cadillac’s volume, and produce only 45% of Lincoln sales. (Read More…)

By on December 28, 2014

2016 audi q7Sales of the Audi Q7 in 2014 rose to a seven-year high in the United States. That’s a meaningful bit of information right there, given that the Q7 at your local Audi dealer now is basically the Q7 that first arrived at your local Audi dealer in 2006.

North of the border, Canadians registered more new Q7s in the first eleven months of 2014 than in any previous full calendar year. Q7 sales in both Canada and the United States have increased in each of the last five years.

It’s by no means the highest-volume player in the luxury SUV world, not in 2007 when U.S. Q7 volume peaked at 20,695 units; not in 2014 when the Q7 is outsold by low-volume premium brand utility vehicles like the BMW X1, Lexus GX460, and Volvo XC60. (Would the Q7 sell more often if Audi added the letter X to its badge? Probably not. Maybe. Definitely.) (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2014

Lincoln MKCAfter increasing sales of the brand’s new Escape-related small crossover in five consecutive months, Lincoln MKC volume levelled off in November 2014 at 2152 units. This represents a 2% drop from the total achieved by the MKC in its best month, October, when 2197 were sold. America’s new vehicle market was 2% larger in November than it was during the prior month.

Have we therefore reached the MKC’s maximum monthly volume? Dealers have plenty of copies to sell: there was a 116-day supply at the beginning of November. 2150 sales per month would put the MKC in the same territory as the much larger and more costly Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, ahead of the smaller BMW X1 and also-ex-PAG Volvo XC60, but well back of class leaders like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK, and BMW X3. This year, the latter four are generating 3610, 3443, 3013, and 2820 average monthly sales, respectively. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2014

2015 Lexus NXThe rise of the small luxury crossover is undeniable, not just based on the most recent evidence available. U.S. sales of premium brand small utility vehicles rose 17.9% to 23,776 units in November 2014, an increase of 3615 units compared with November 2013. Much of that improvement was powered by the smallest of small luxury brand crossovers: the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA, sales of which grew to 4963 units from the 2364 generated by the X1 a year ago.

Up a notch in size/price/prestige, the Acura RDX-led category (which was topped by the Audi Q5 in each of the last three months) was up just 5.7% in November 2014, not hugely superior to the gains made by the overall industry, which rose 4.6%. But this class of SUV/crossover is up 17.8% over the span of the last eleven months. Combined with the aforementioned trio of underlings, they’ve grown 17.7% to 222,844 units.

Clearly, this is a growth market with untapped potential. These are the ess-you-vees of tomorrow, despite lacking (for the most part) off-road credentials, significant ride height, or superior utility compared with conventional, nearly nonexistent small wagons. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2014

2015 Cadillac SRXCadillac sales in the United States rose to a six-year high in 2013. Yet in five of 2014’s nine months, sales have declined. Through three-quarters, Cadillac volume is down 4%. Overall new vehicle sales in the U.S. are up by more than 5%.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus sales are up 11%, 8%, and 16%, respectively, in 2014. Audi, up 14%, is routinely outselling Cadillac.

The SRX was a bright spot for Cadillac in the first half of this year, not only because it’s the brand’s best-selling model but because sales had jumped 20% compared with the first half of 2013. After six consecutive monthly increases, however, SRX sales in July slid 7%. August volume fell 37%. September sales dropped 15%.

Total third-quarter SRX sales were down 22%, a loss of nearly 3700 sales. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2014

porsche-macan-2013-la-auto-show-02You’ve closely tracked the Porsche Cayenne’s success by scanning parking lots outside fancy restaurants. You understand that the Cayenne’s omnipresence in Orange County translates directly to the mere presence of a 918 Spyder in Porsche’s lineup, which is important to you, the owner of a Buick Verano Turbo, just like every other TTAC reader.

As a result, you know that the Macan is simply the next rung on Porsche’s ladder. Oh, it’s the lesser of the two SUVs; smaller in size and price and probably status, too. But this is the vehicle which moves Porsche from niche luxury player closer to the mainstream premium arena. Three sports cars won’t do it, not even with the addition of an SUV and a massive four-door hatchback. (Read More…)

By on August 24, 2014

2014 Audi SQ5 blueFor the most part, their bigger and more expensive brethren sell more often. But this group of small luxury crossovers is gaining a smaller subset as we speak, one which will see the declining BMW X1 move over to its own category.

Meanwhile, the remaining contestants will be joined by the Lexus NX, a smaller, four-cylinder-only alternative to the Lexus RX. The RX is, by far and away, America’s top-selling premium brand utility vehicle. 9658 RXs were sold during the month of July 2014, or more than the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and BMW X1 combined. (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2014

BMW X4 05

Ahead of its debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show, BMW has revealed photos and specs of their X4 crossover.

(Read More…)

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