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SUVs and Crossovers - US - August 2018

"SUVs and crossovers are some of the most popular vehicle styles on the market currently, and competition is fierce with a plethora of models from nearly every brand. SUVs and crossovers range in many ways, seating, cargo space, towing capacity, and cost are just some of the choices shoppers have. Car shoppers of various lifestyles will find the utility that SUVs and CUVs bring appealing and will seek the brand and model that best meet their vehicle needs."
- Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Market size and forecast of SUV and crossover market
  • Intensifying competition within the crossover segment
  • SUV and crossover ownership and purchase consideration
  • Consumer attitudes toward vehicle size

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Market faces headwinds and stalled growth
              • Figure 1: Total US unit sales and forecast of SUVs and crossovers, 2013-23
            • Competition intensifies in crossover segment
              • Figure 2: Number of crossover models that sold more than 1,000 units, 2013-18
            • Uncertainty in the market could impact costs for consumers
              • Figure 3: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-June 2018
            • The opportunities
              • More than half of the market is considering an SUV, CUV, or wagon/hatchback
                • Figure 4: Vehicle types considered, April 2018
              • The SUV is the family hauler of choice for moms
                • Figure 5: Vehicle types considered, by gender and parental status, April 2018
              • More consumers going luxury in SUV/CUV category
                • Figure 6: Luxury brand market share of SUVs and crossover sales, 2013-17
              • Shoppers in the category considering more brands for a new purchase
                • Figure 7: Average number of brands selected for a new vehicle purchase, April 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Sales forecasted to level through 2023
                  • Brand rush to bring models into crossover category
                    • Luxury brands do well in SUV/CUV segments
                      • Rising gas prices and tariffs increase uncertainty and costs
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Rising gas, interest rates, and a saturated market flatten growth
                          • Figure 8: Total US unit sales and forecast of SUVs and crossovers, 2013-23
                        • SUVs see short term declines
                          • Figure 9: Total US unit sales and forecast of SUVs, 2013-23
                        • Crossovers likely to remain as a consumer favorite
                          • Figure 10: Total US unit sales and forecast of crossovers, 2013-23
                          • Figure 11: Total US unit sales and forecast of SUVs and crossovers, 2013-23
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Brands rush to meet consumer demand for the crossover
                          • Figure 12: Number of crossover models that sold more than 1,000 units, 2013-18
                        • Luxury brands have an outsized spot within SUV and crossover sales
                          • Figure 13: Luxury brand market share of SUVs and crossover sales, 2013-17
                        • Alternative energy vehicles account for less than 2% of SUV/CUV sales
                          • Figure 14: AEV sales of SUV and crossover models, 2017
                      • Market Factors

                        • Unexpected consequences: CAFE standards push consumers to larger vehicles
                          • Gasoline prices not yet deterring crossover purchases
                            • Figure 15: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-June 2018
                          • Consumers have an overall positive economic outlook
                            • Figure 16: Opinion of current financial situation, May 2018
                          • Millennials slow to start families but fast to buy crossovers
                            • Figure 17: Households with own children under age 18, by age of householder, 2017
                          • Tariffs threaten auto industry sales and profits
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • Jeep, Ford, and Toyota lead the SUV/CUV category
                              • Nissan Rogue helps Nissan to nearly 10% of crossovers
                                • Japanese brands have top three crossover models
                                • Company and Brand Sales of SUVs and Crossovers

                                  • Jeep, Ford, and Toyota top SUV/CUV total sales
                                    • Figure 18: Market share of US SUV and crossover sales, 2013-2017
                                  • Nissan Rogue flies Nissan close to 10% market share of crossovers
                                    • Figure 19: Market share of US crossover sales, by brand, 2013-17
                                  • Toyota sees five years of consecutive market share growth in SUV category
                                    • Figure 20: Market share of US SUV sales, by brand, 2013-17
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • Japanese crossovers dominate, take top three spots
                                    • Jeep roars back in SUV and crossover-favored climate
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Ford sees sizable erosion in crossover market share since 2013
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Slew of electric and plug-in hybrids planned for crossover segment
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • More than half of car shoppers considering an SUV/CUV/wagon
                                            • Moms go with SUVs for the family, not the minivan
                                              • Current owners getting the most out of their SUVs/CUVs
                                                • Consumer pricing expectations a bit short of reality
                                                • Vehicles in the Household

                                                  • Vehicle ownership still ubiquitous in US
                                                    • Figure 21: Number of vehicles in the household, April 2018
                                                  • Half of US households have the standard sedan
                                                      • Figure 22: GM Financial, direct mail, June 2018
                                                      • Figure 23: Types of vehicles in the household, April 2018
                                                    • Parents more likely to be SUV owners
                                                      • Figure 24: Subaru Ascent informational email, July 2018
                                                      • Figure 25: types of vehicles in the household, by parental status, April 2018
                                                      • Figure 26: Number of vehicles in the household, by parental status, April 2018
                                                      • Figure 27: Types of vehicles in the household, by number of children under 18 in the household, April 2018
                                                  • Purchase Intent

                                                      • Consumer purchase intent keeps momentum into summer selling season
                                                        • Figure 28: Purchase intent, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 29: Purchase intent, July 2016-April 2018
                                                      • Parents continue to make up disproportionate percentage of car shoppers
                                                        • Figure 30: Number of children in the household, by purchase intent, April 2018
                                                      • Major life changes spur vehicle purchases
                                                        • Figure 31: Purchase intent, by major life events, April 2018
                                                      • Millennials continue to drive vehicle purchases
                                                        • Figure 32: Purchase intent, by generation, April 2018
                                                    • Vehicle Types Considered

                                                      • Car shoppers show similar interest between sedans and SUVs
                                                        • Figure 33: Vehicle types considered, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 34: Vehicle types considered, April 2018
                                                      • Moms look to SUVs for their family hauler
                                                        • Figure 35: Vehicle types considered, by gender and parental status, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 36: Gender and parental status, by vehicle types considered, April 2018
                                                      • Higher prices turn SUV/CUV/wagon shoppers to used market
                                                        • Figure 37: Type of purchase, by vehicle types considered, April 2018
                                                      • Current owners more likely to stay in the category
                                                        • Figure 38: Vehicle types considered, by vehicle types owned, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 39: Hyundai summer buy back event direct mail, July 2018
                                                    • SUV/CUV/Wagon Brand Consideration

                                                      • Toyota tops consideration among SUV, CUV, and wagon/hatchback shoppers
                                                        • Figure 40: SUV/CUV/Wagon brand consideration, April 2018
                                                      • Toyota and Ford get more consideration among middle-aged men
                                                        • Figure 41: SUV/CUV/Wagon brand consideration, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 42: SUV/CUV/Wagon brand consideration, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 43: Ford Expedition, online mobile ad, July 2018
                                                        • Figure 44: Ford Expedition, online mobile ad, February 2018
                                                        • Figure 45: SUV/CUV/Wagon brand consideration, by gender and parental status, April 2018
                                                      • Jeep popular among younger shoppers, both men and women
                                                        • Figure 46: Brands considered, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 47: Jeep Wrangler, online mobile ad, June 2018
                                                      • Shoppers with towing needs look to domestic brands
                                                        • Figure 48: Brands considered, by recreational item ownership, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 49: Vehicle types considered, by recreational item ownership, April 2018
                                                      • Increased opportunity for increasing market share in SUV/CUV/hatchback category
                                                        • Figure 50: Average number of brands selected for a new vehicle purchase, April 2018
                                                        • Figure 51: Brands considered for new vehicle purchase, by vehicle types considered, April 2018
                                                    • Pricing Expectations

                                                      • Consumer expectations fall short of reality
                                                          • Figure 52: Price sensitivity – optimal price, April 2018
                                                        • Shoppers closer to purchase have more realistic expectations
                                                          • Figure 53: Price sensitivity, by purchase intent, April 2018
                                                      • Desired SUV/CUV features

                                                        • All-wheel drive most desired feature
                                                          • Figure 54: The Volkswagen Tiguan “Meteor” commercial, January 2018
                                                          • Figure 55: Desired SUV/CUV features, April 2018
                                                        • Towing demand nearly doubles among RV, boat, jet ski, or trailer owners
                                                          • Figure 56: Desired SUV/CUV features, by recreational item ownership, April 2018
                                                      • Reasons for Not Considering

                                                        • Reasons for not considering SUVs/CUVs vary
                                                          • Figure 57: Reasons for not considering an SUV, CUV, or wagon/hatchback, April 2018
                                                        • Women more likely to dislike larger vehicles
                                                          • Figure 58: Reasons for not considering, by gender, April 2018
                                                      • SUV/CUV Ownership Behavior

                                                        • Majority of owners get regular use out of their cargo space
                                                          • Figure 59: SUV/CUV ownership behavior, April 2018
                                                        • Parents need the seats and space
                                                          • Figure 60: SUV/CUV ownership behavior, by parental status, April 2018
                                                        • Usage determines if owners will return to the category
                                                          • Figure 61: SUV/CUV ownership behavior, by vehicle types considered, April 2018
                                                      • Attitudes toward Vehicle Size

                                                        • Most consumers say current vehicle fits their lifestyle
                                                          • Figure 62: Attitudes toward vehicle size part 1, April 2018
                                                        • Few car owners would trade fuel efficiency for more cargo space
                                                          • Figure 63: Attitudes toward vehicle size part 2, April 2018
                                                      • Cluster Analysis

                                                          • Figure 64: Attitudes toward vehicle size cluster analysis, April 2018
                                                        • Dissatisfied Owners
                                                          • Characteristics
                                                            • Figure 65: Attitudes toward vehicle size, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                            • Figure 66: Profile of Dissatisfied Owners, April 2018
                                                          • Opportunities
                                                            • Figure 67: Vehicle types considered, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                          • Compact Drivers
                                                            • Characteristics
                                                              • Figure 68: Profile of Compact Drivers, April 2018
                                                            • Opportunities
                                                              • Figure 69: New vehicle brand consideration, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                            • Power Seekers
                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                • Figure 70: Profile of Power Seekers, April 2018
                                                              • Opportunities
                                                                • Figure 71: Important product claims, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                                • Figure 72: SUV/CUV/Wagon brand consideration, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                              • Lifestyle Shoppers
                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                  • Figure 73: Major life events, by cluster group, April 2018
                                                                  • Figure 74: Profile of Lifestyle Shoppers, April 2018
                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                  • Figure 75: Purchase intent, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                                  • Figure 76: Recreational item ownership, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                                  • Figure 77: Desired SUV/CUV features, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                                • Sedan Drivers
                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                    • Figure 78: Profile of Sedan Drivers, April 2018
                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                    • Figure 79: Appealing new vehicle attributes, by cluster groups, April 2018
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                            • Direct marketing creative
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                    • Figure 80: US crossover sales, by make and model, 2013-18*
                                                                                    • Figure 81: US sales of SUVs, by make and model, 2013-18*
                                                                                • Appendix – Methodology

                                                                                  • Price Sensitivity Analysis Methodology

                                                                                  SUVs and Crossovers - US - August 2018

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