The revamped 2011 Compass is making up for the losses Jeep is suffering as Patriot sales continue to fall. In Canada, the Patriot was down by 397 units in May 2011; Compass sales rose by 231. Year-to-date, Patriot sales are down 15.2%, or 600 units. During the same period, Compass sales have risen 32.1%, or 639 units. Jeep Wrangler sales also improved in May, up 22.5%, and are up 24.9% this year. In all, Jeep sold 4708 utility vehicles last month, up 16%, as the SUV-only brand made up 19.3% of all Chrysler Group sales and 3.2% of the overall new vehicle market.
Of course, there were small utility vehicles with greater volume than Jeep could muster in May. Compared to the 3515 Jeep sales you’ll see in the first chart below, Ford sold 4468 Escapes. Hyundai/Kia sold 6316 smallerish utility vehicles, a figure which includes the slightly larger but very competitively priced Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.
Hyundai and Kia SUV sales drop off once you reach higher price points and longer wheelbases. Hyundai Veracruz sales were actually up 42.7% in May but still only totalled 157. Ford sold eight Edges per Veracruz. And Veracruz sales are down year-to-date from 548 in 2010 to 468 this year.
That’s not to say the Hyundai Veracruz was at the bottom of the heap in May, not quite. Mazda CX-9 sales fell to 92 from 100. Though Nissan Pathfinder sales were up 37.4%, the Veracruz had it and the Nissan Xterra beat, too. Dodge’s Nitro is certainly no direct Veracruz rival, but while discussing poor sellers, it’s worth mentioning that Nitro sales fell by a single unit in May and are down 62.3% in 2011.
As for the Kia Borrego, well, it’s a rare Hyundai/Kia vehicle that can’t find buyers in any great quantity. Canada’s large SUV segment is dying a gradual death, and the Borrego is the undesirable option in the field. Down 52.2% in May and 58.2% in the first five months of the year, the Borrego trailed the Nissan Armada, the segment’s next slowest seller, by 28 units in May, and was behind the best-selling Chevrolet Suburban by a far greater margin. Though presumably a fleet favourite, Suburban sales (down 56% in May) occurred more than eight times for every Borrego sale.
In May 2010, there were 1109 of these sport-utility vehicles sold in Canada. This year, despite improved figures reported for the Nissan Armada (up 100%), Ford Expedition (up 20.1%) and GMC Yukon XL (up 44.3%), these eight vehicles found only 747 buyers.