Cain's Segments: Full-Size SUV Sales In America – February 2015 YTD

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
cains segments full size suv sales in america 8211 february 2015 ytd

Sales of full-size, body-on-frame, pickup truck-based SUVs from volume brands are up 58% through the first two months of 2015.

The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia produced 41,557 sales in January and February, or about the same number as the Toyota RAV4, America’s second-best-selling SUV/CUV. RAV4 sales are up 25%, year-over-year.

Part of the reason for the large SUV segment’s impressive uptick relates to early 2014’s severe downturn. With GM’s new quartet still in the on-deck circle, sales of these same seven SUVs tumbled 17% in the first two months of last year.

Nevertheless, the category is on track to easily top the 300,000-unit mark in 2015 for the first time since 2008, when 13% of the segment’s sales were generated by discontinued (Aspen, Borrego) or totally altered (unibody Durango) participants.

But even with vastly improved volume, these big brutes continue to operate in a far-flung corner of the industry. From a market share perspective, they combined to bring in only 1.7% of all new vehicle sales in the first two months of 2015. That’s way up from the 1.2% they achieved at this time last year, but it’s down slightly from the 1.8% mustered in calendar year 2014. It’s on par with 2013 year-end results, up from the 1.6% share they collected in 2012, and less than half the market share they collected a decade ago, in 2005.

AutoFeb. 2015Feb. 2014% Change2 mos. 20152 mos. 2014% ChangeChevrolet Suburban 4,4362,035118%8,5663,740129%Chevrolet Tahoe7,4104,96149.4%14,0178,47565.4%Ford Expedition3,2772,83015.8%5,7374,96915.5%GMC Yukon2,7961,94943.5%5,4453,23668.3%GMC Yukon XL2,0481,11084.5%4,0131,975103%Nissan Armada9901,099-9.9%2,0192,128-5.1%Toyota Sequoia856980-12.7%1,7601,767-0.4%—— —————Total 21,813 14,96445.8% 41,557 26,290 58.1%

Moreover, 2005’s 4.1% share marked a sharp drop from the 5.1% achieved one year earlier and the 5.3% figure from 2003.

Times have most definitely changed. There is a huge amount of competition from luxury-branded three-row crossovers with similar price tags, an image that contains a certain degree of wastefulness (regardless of whether the owners are poseurs or RV haulers), and a greater tendency to view crew cab pickup trucks as the more appropriate all-around vehicle.

Does that mean GM is unhappy with adding 32,041 Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, and Yukon XL sales (and another 5141 Escalade and Escalade ESV sales) to the 109,279 Silverado and Sierra sales they managed in the first two months of 2015? Most definitely not.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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  • MrGreenMan MrGreenMan on Mar 19, 2015

    These are the thing General Motors knows how to make. It's like a taller version of a Detroit steel lead sled. They are amazingly comfortable when driven by a recent immigrant at 25 mph over the speed limit between the airport and a distant conference center. Not my cup of tea, but something GM does really well.

  • FordMan_48126 FordMan_48126 on Mar 19, 2015

    People don't realize the money makers these vehicles are to their makers. I've at Ford the profit for the Expedition is between 15 to 20k due to so much engineering and parts shared between the various trucks. Therefore, each sale is like cake. Do the math - even at 30,000 to 40,000 in sales (which Ford is on track to do in 2015), the profit approaches 3/4 Billion dollars. For the Caddy and Lincoln, the profit on these beast can top 30k. Simply amazing....the exec that dreamed up this idea are surely enjoying retirement due to massive stock options on a job well done.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Mar 19, 2015

      All you say is true but there are other positives as well about these vehicles. Many of these vehicles that are 50 and 60 years old are still being driven on America's roads today, especially in the arid regions like the deserts, because these vehicles are easy to maintain due to their shared frames and components with SUVs and pickup trucks, and thus easy to upgrade with drive trains from wrecked later model SUVs and pickup trucks.

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