Monday, August 23, 2021

BUTT UGLY SELLS! BIG TIME! by John Crawford



Not being a lover of SUVs I rarely look at SUV sales data, but having recently driven, and been impressed with the Audi Q8, which shares underpinnings with a wide range of VW Group models (see Q7, Lamborghini Urus, VW Touareg and Bentley Bentayga), I decided to check if Audi’s halo model was selling to expectations in the ‘Large SUV Segment’.

 


The base Q8 comes with lots of equipment, but just steel springs and a turbo V6 petrol.

 

I think the base model is fine, because once an Audi salesperson gets you in the showroom, there’s the inevitable ‘packages’ dangled in front of you.

 

The Q8 drives beautifully, performs well and its design appears to morph from an aggressive frontal appearance to the sloping, coupe-style rear roofline.

 

 A close analysis of the segment (in Vfacts) revealed a huge shock in sales data. In July 2021 Q8 sales almost tripled over July 2020.

 

Not bad for a large, but only 5-seater SUV, that costs AUD$130,000. Its growth in YTD sales grew 83%, and its market share nearly doubled 9.3% over 5%. On this basis, Audi Australia will be delighted.

 

The big sellers in this segment have been BMW X7 and Land Rover Discovery, but their market shares are either static or falling.

 

However, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw which vehicle had the biggest growth in sales.


It’s the butt-ugly, but very competent off-roader, the Mercedes-Benz G class.



For the month of July 2021, sales were up 125% on July 2020, and year-to-Date July sales were up 266% on YTD July 2020!

 

Compared to its much more attractive competitors, including the sleek Q8, this squared-off, slab-sided SUV is a certified three-pointed sales star.



Go figure!

 

JOHN CRAWFORD

 

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