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  • 2015 Year-End Body-on-Frame SUV Sales: Up and Down

2015 Year-End Body-on-Frame SUV Sales: Up and Down

2015 Brings Mixed Results

Jan 6, 2016
Fullsize, body-on-frame SUVs are now considered niche models, selling just a fraction of their smaller, more compact stablemates. However, for those buyers that want or need fullsize power, capability, and comfort, there’s no substitute. And despite the small sales numbers, there are still a surprisingly broad variety of models available to buyers.
You can forget about vinyl seats and crank windows with these models, however. Nearly all of them are leather-lined cruisers, starting in the mid-$40,000 range and pushing into six-figure territory on the higher end. To nobody’s surprise, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, along with their K2XX stablemates, dominate the list, cumulatively accounting for 249,195 of the segment’s sales in 2015.
1) Chevrolet Tahoe – December - 9,773, Down 13.2 Percent, 2015 Total – 88,342, Down 9.6 Percent
The Tahoe came close to breaking the 10,000 barrier in December but fell slightly short. Both monthly and year-end sales were down slightly from 2014. However, considering the Tahoe and Suburban together out-sell its next-closest non-GM rival by more than a 4-to-1 basis, the General has nothing to worry about.
Photo 2/13   |   2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 Front Three Quarter
2) Chevrolet Suburban – December - 6,350, Down 6.1 Percent, 2015 Total – 50,866, Down 7.5 Percent
The Jeep Wrangler and it ancestors often get credit for being the first SUV, but the Suburban actually pre-dates the Jeep by a few years. Going on nearly 80 years, the Suburban remains popular among buyers seeking fullsize comfort. December and year-end sales were down slightly from 2014.
Photo 3/13   |   2015 Chevrolet Suburban Front Three Quarter 02
3) GMC Yukon – December - 5,271, Up 11.5 Percent, 2015 Total – 42,732, Up 2.8 Percent
Overall numbers are not quite as high as its Chevrolet counterpart, but unlike the Tahoe and Suburban, the Yukon and Yukon XL saw December and full-year 2015 gains. Despite being nearly mechanically identical, GMC has managed to position itself and appeal to a different buyer demographic than Chevrolet.
Photo 4/13   |   2015 GMC Yukon SLT Front Three Quarters
4) Ford Expedition – December - 4,056, Down 4.3 Percent, 2015 Total – 41,443, Down 7.1 Percent
Expedition sales were down slightly for the month and for the year compared to 2014. Don’t feel too sorry for Ford, though. The Escape and Explorer respectively dominate their segments, so whatever sales Ford makes off the Expedition are icing on the cake. We’re eagerly awaiting the 2018 model, which borrows the styling and aluminum body of the new F-150.
Photo 5/13   |   2015 Ford Expedition Front Three Quarters 07
5) GMC Yukon XL – December - 4,536, Up 39.1 Percent, 2015 Total – 31,334, Up 5.3 Percent
Like it’s short-wheelbase sibling, the Yukon XL had a great December, with sales up 39.1 percent. Year-end sales were up more modestly but up nonetheless. The Yukon XL offers a comfortable middle-ground between the Suburban and the high-dollar Cadillac Escalade ESV.
Photo 6/13   |   2015 GMC Yukon XL SLT Side View In Motion
6) Lexus GX460 – December - 3,118, Up 15.2 Percent, 2015 Total – 25,212, Up 11.1 Percent
The GX is somewhat of an anachronism in a segment dominated by unibody crossovers. However, Lexus’ legendary reputation for reliability, along with the GX’s proven off-road capability, makes it a unique proposition in its market niche.
Photo 7/13   |   2015 Lexus GX 460 Front Three Quarter
7) Cadillac Escalade – December - 2,743, Up 20.3 Percent, 2015 Total – 21,230, Up 9 Percent
The only Cadillac that hasn’t been given a generic alphanumeric name, the Escalade stands on its own and has been the most successful at appealing to buyers that wouldn’t otherwise consider a Cadillac. Both December and year-end sales were up for 2015.
Photo 8/13   |   2015 Cadillac Escalade Front Three Quarter
8) Infiniti QX80 – December - 2,171, Up 34.4 Percent, 2015 Total – 15,646, Up 21 Percent
The Infiniti QX80 had a solid December and 2015, with sales up double-digits for both. Based on the global Nissan Patrol model, the QX80 combines the size and power of its domestic rivals with a uniquely Japanese flavor.
Photo 9/13   |   2015 Infiniti QX80 Front Three Quarter
9) Cadillac Escalade ESV – December 1,916, Up 31.3 Percent, 2015 Total – 14,691, Up 33.7 Percent
The Escalade ESV is a true “Cowboy Cadillac.” Heck, it’s even made in Texas, as if it needed any more big-hat cred. Despite a price tag approaching or cresting six figures will full options, buyers seem more than happy to pay that sum for the confident fullsize swagger that only the Escalade ESV can deliver.
Photo 10/13   |   2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV Front Three Quarter 02
10) Nissan Armada – December - 1,156, Down 15.1 Percent, 2015 Total – 12,737, Up 1.1 Percent
Like the Nissan Titan on which it’s based, the Armada is one of the oldest entries in the segment and feels it. A new model based on the redesigned Titan is expected in the next few years. Sales were down double-digit for December and up modestly for the full year.
Photo 11/13   |   2015 Nissan Armada Front Side View
11) Toyota Sequoia – December - 1,007, Down 20.1 Percent, 2015 Total – 12,583, Up 6.6 Percent
Toyota may be a sales juggernaut in nearly all segments in which it plays, but the Sequoia is decidedly a niche model for the brand. Starting to show its age, the Sequoia is nonetheless a comfortable, powerful option for fullsize SUV buyers.
Photo 12/13   |   2015 Toyota Sequoia Front Three Quarter 02
12) Lincoln Navigator – 1,250, Down 30.2 Percent, 2015 Total – 11,964, Up 14.7 Percent
The Navigator took a big hit for December, down 30.2 percent. However, its fortunes for 2015 overall looked a lot better, with sales up 14.7 Percent. Like the Ford Expedition, the Navigator received a fairly comprehensive refresh for 2015, including EcoBoost V-6 power. A new model is expected to follow the redesigned Expedition.
Photo 13/13   |   2015 Lincoln Navigator Front Three Quarters 02



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