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Small SUV Sales, Midsize SUV Sales, Large SUV Sales In America – February 2011

They are not rugged, not sporty, and not nearly as utilitarian as their predecessors, but that doesn’t stop so-called “sport-utility vehicles” like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Equinox from selling rapidly and frequently. Equinox sales improved by 91.5% in February. Escape sales were up 18.8%, some way below the U.S. light truck class’s 33.7% improvement. CR-V sales jumped 61.4%. These three vehicles were not only America’s favourite smallerish utility vehicles in February 2011, they were also the three best-selling utility vehicles overall, followed closely by the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue on the Best Sellers chart.

Don’t consider that to be all-out rejection of larger SUVs and crossovers. Seven “midsize” SUVs and CUVs topped the 7000 sale mountain in February, starting with the 2011 Ford Edge and ending with the GMC Acadia. Speaking of the Acadia, GM’s Lambda platform trio produced 22,279 sales in the second month of 2011 and have sold nearly 41,000 units so far in 2011. That’s up 30% from GM’s Lambda total in the first two months of 2010.

The largest of SUV segments is another General Motors stronghold. 67.9% of large mainstream SUVs sold in February, as shown in the pie chart below, were GM vehicles. Only 16.3% of large SUVs sold weren’t domestic products. The Chevrolet Tahoe led the way on gains of 52.4%.

One more thing: 3.7% of all small “SUV” sales – as if these three vehicles are ess-you-vees – were Nissan Jukes, Mitsubishi Outlander Sports, and Mini Countrymans. Or is it Countrymen?

  1. Here is Similar News

    What happened to the fondness SUV buyers once held for the Nissan Xterra? Get this: Xterra sales, parked at 20,523 on New Year's Eve, were up 24.7% in 2010…. up. Up to 20,523? For every Xterra sold, Nissan sold almost five Rogues and more than two-and-a-half Muranos. Nissan sold 72,447 Xterras in 2005.

    While bashing the Xterra's lack of success (and consumers' collective unwillingness to give traditional SUVs a chance), we should talk about the Toyota 4Runner. Reverting back to its original mission (a bit), the 2010 Toyota 4Runner looked like the type of vehicle that could restore dignity to the badge, but I'm not sure anyone expected Toyota to post a 136% increase in 4Runner sales in 2010. How 'bout the Jeep Wrangler – things have tailed off in the end of the year a little, but Wrangler sales were up 15% in 2010. For some of that Xterra perspective, 4Runner sales in 2005 were 103,830; Wrangler sales barely topped 79,000.

  2. puzzled as to why the Kia Sorento is in your small SUV chart. It's much larger then the Sportage and has available 7 passenger setup same as the CX-9. Also Consumers Report classify it has a midsize SUV (they also selected as a top pick for a family SUV.

  3. @anonymous As a value proposition, the Kia Sorento is a prime competitor for the Honda CR-V, for example. The obviously "small" CR-V is, in fact, more expensive. The Pilot, on the other hand, costs about $7000 more. While price isn't the only factor in establishing competitive sets, it's one thing that must be taken into account.

    Also, these charts are positioned together for this exact reason: because some vehicles can be cross-shopped across a wider range. And no chart should be taken as the final word – it's not as if the Mini Countryman is a prime rival for the Jeep Wrangler, after all. But a line must be drawn somewhere, and the Sorento's price plays a role in its positioning in the small side. There's justification for having 4 mainstream SUV charts, but that still supposes that dimensions are the only basis on which vehicles are cross-shopped, a totally misleading supposition indeed.

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