Chart Of The Day: U.S. SUV/Crossover Market Share Surges In July 2015

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 14 percent in July 2015, a year-over-year improvement equal to more than 67,000 extra sales compared with July 2014.

As a result, just under 36 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s volume was produced by utility vehicles in July 2015, a three-percentage-point increase over the same period one year ago.

Passenger car volume, meanwhile, slid 3 percent last month, a drop of around 18,000 sales as the overall market grew by more than 5 percent, or 75,000 units.

Strengthened by new nameplates which only barely fit the already loose definition of an SUV/crossover/CUV – vehicles like the Honda HR-V and Fiat 500X – the utility vehicle sector’s share of the market has increased, on a month-to-month basis, in six of the last twelve months. While this suggests that the upward trend is gradual, recent gains are clearly more rapid.

As recently as March, for example, “only” 33 percent of the new vehicles sold in the United States were SUVs and crossovers, on par with figures from last summer and below the level of last November, January, and February.

July’s quick rise to 36 percent didn’t occur simply as a result of new nameplates, of course. 16 of the 20 most popular utility vehicles in America in July posted year-over-year improvements, including ab0ve-average increases from the Nissan Rogue, Ford Explorer, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Traverse, Hyundai Santa Fe, GMC Acadia, Ford Edge, and Jeep Patriot.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 19, 2015

    Cheap gas. Which also largely accounts for the recent surge in traffic deaths.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Aug 19, 2015

    The Acadia and Traverse must be selling on price because they are some of the "old men" of the segment, despite having had face lifts. The Patriot although old is popular for being one of the cheapest ways to get into a Jeep.

    • Bts Bts on Aug 19, 2015

      Having looked at the choices available, the Traverse, Acadia, and Enclave are still quite competitive. Their engines were ahead of their time with direct injection when they were introduced, and their styling is some of the best in the segment.

  • Mike Audi has been using a3 a4 a5 a6 a7 a8 for a long time and i think it makes sense. But, they are rumored to be changing it all again within a year ir two.
  • Golden2husky Match the tool to the job. This would be ideal for those who have dreadful, traffic filled commutes. I'd certainly go the SE route - wheel sizes are beyond bordering on dumb today and 17s are plenty. Plus the added mileage is a real advantage. I would have been able to commute to work with very little gas usage. The prior Prius' were dreadful to drive - I gave mine back to the fleet guy at work for something else - but this seems like they hit their mark. Now, about that steering wheel and dash design...No mention of the driving aids for improving mileage but I'll assume they are very much like they were in earlier models - which is to say superb. A bit of constructive criticism - on a vehicle like this the reviewer should really get into such systems as mileage is the reason for this car. Just like I would expect to see performance systems such as launch control, etc to be commented on for performance models.
  • Arthur Dailey Rootes Motors actually had a car assembly facility in Scarborough ( a suburb in the east end of Toronto), during the 1950's and early 1960s. It was on the south-west corner of Warden and Eglinton located at 1921 Eglinton Avenue East. The building still exists and you can still see it on Google maps. That part of Scarboro was known as the Golden Mile and also had the Headquarters for VW Canada, and the GM van plant.Also at 2689 Steeles Avenue West in Toronto (the south east corner of Steeles and Petrolia) is what is still shown on Google Maps as 'The Lada Building'. It still has large Lada signs and the Lada logo on the east and west facades of the building. You can see these if you go to the street view. Not sure how much longer they will be there as the building just went up for sale this month. In Canada as well as Ladas and Skodas we also got Dacias. But not Yugos. Canada also got a great many British vehicles until the US-Canada trade pact due to Commonwealth connections. Due to different market demands, Canadians purchased per capita more standards and smaller cars including hatches. Stripped versions, generally small hatchbacks, with manual transmission, windows, door locks and no A/C were known as 'Quebec specials' as our Francophone population had almost European preferences in vehicles. As noted in previous posts, for decades Canadian Pontiacs were actually Chevs with Pontiac bodies and brightwork. This made them comparatively less expensive and therefore Pontiac sold better per capita in Canada than in the USA.
  • Ajla As a single vehicle household with access to an available 120v plug a PHEV works about perfectly. My driving is either under 40 miles or over 275 miles. The annual insurance difference between two car (a $20K ev and $20K ICE) and single car ($40K PHEV) would equal about 8 years of Prius Prime oil changes.
  • Ronin Let's see the actuals first, then we can decide using science.What has been the effect of auto pollution levels since the 70s when pollution control devices were first introduced? Since the 80s when they were increased?How much has auto pollution specifically been reduced since the introduction of hybrid vehicles? Of e-vehicles?We should well be able to measure the benefits by now, by category of engine. We shouldn't have to continue to just guess the benefits. And if we can't specifically and in detail measure the benefits by now, it should make a rational person wonder if there really are any real world benefits.
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