New York International Auto Show: With car sales down America wants the SUV
With car sales down America wants SUV’s, and it shows. At this year’s New York International Auto Show SUV’s littered the sprawling floor space of the Jacob Javits Convention Center in mid-town Manhattan. With car sales down up to 3% depending on which industry analyst you speak with, American’s are turning to the SUV in droves. SUV sales are up across the board, 13% up, and automakers are ramping up production of SUV’s to accommodate the demand. It was never more evident than at this year’s auto show to date.
Just about every auto manufacturer displayed an SUV, and even a few whom never built an SUV before showed up with one.
Toyota unveiled the brand new totally redesigned #1 selling SUV the all-new Rav4. (you can watch Toyota’s press conference here fast forward to 10:30 for the Rav4) or if you’d just like to read the press release it is available here. The vehicle was well received by the crowd of press and industry analysts, who couldn’t seem to stop cheering and clapping for the newly redesigned vehicle. Couple this with Toyota’s stable of SUV’s and crossovers (4Runner, C-HR, Highlander, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia) they sure seem poised to possibly sell the most sports utility vehicles in their history.
Nissan Motors who only unveiled 1 newly redesigned car this year, the all-new Nissan Altima, is no stranger to the SUV world either. Although not as many vehicles in the SUV/Crossover category as others it still showed off its vehicles with the Armada, Kicks, Murano, Rogue and the Rogue Sport.
Volkswagen who is about to ignite the next stage of its global SUV strategy, after recently showing the new Touareg in Europe and China, Volkswagen is now debuting a new version of the Atlas SUV at the New York International Auto Show: the Atlas Cross Sport concept.
SUVs are an important element in Volkswagen’s growth strategy for the U.S. market, alongside new products such as the 2019 Jetta. The latest sales figures show the importance of the new SUV models: In February, 54 percent of Volkswagen’s American customers chose a Tiguan or an Atlas. Volkswagen of America will further increase the market share of its SUV fleet with new models such as the production version of the Atlas Cross Sport concept and the all-electric I.D. CROZZ that has been announced for 2020.
Lincoln Motor Company displayed its 2019 line-up of SUVs with the MKC, MKX, MKT, and Navigator already firmly planted in its stable of SUV/ Crossovers it added its newest the Lincoln Aviator.
Cadillac is no stranger to the SUV world with the likes of probably the worlds first and highest selling 8 passenger SUV the Cadillac Escalade, and with the SRX being replaced a few years back with the XT5. Cadillac has seemingly missed the crossover segment, not anymore. Enter the first ever Cadillac XT4.
“The first-ever 2019 Cadillac XT4 expands our successful SUV lineup to a segment where Cadillac has never been before,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “And it sets off a dramatic expansion and elevation of the product range, that will see a new Cadillac virtually once every six months through 2021.”
Even though Mercedes-Benz made no changes to its fleet (7) of SUV’s, the MB booth was littered with every make and style of its GLA, CLC and coupe, GLE and coupe, GLS, and the ever highest priced G-Class SUV.
On the heels of US News & World Report’s naming Acura’s MDX and RDX SUVs as two of 2018’s best cars for the money, Acura shocked the floor with the introduction of an all-new 2019 Acura RDX. As the first in a new generation of Acura products, the re-engineered 2019 RDX delivers top-of-class performance, a more spacious and luxurious cabin, and a host of premium technology and features. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new turbocharged RDX will launch mid-year as the quickest, best handling and most luxurious RDX yet.
No slough to the SUV/Crossover market, with a line-up that included the Kona, the Tuscon, and the ever-popular Santa Fe, Hyundai was again another company the shocked the floor when it revealed it had redesigned the Tuscan, a totally new Santa Fe and announced Hyundai’s first all-electric Kona.
Hyundai Motor America unveiled the all-new 2019 Santa Fe SUV for the U.S. market at the New York International Auto Show. As the best-selling SUV in the brand’s 32-year history in America—with sales of more than 1.5 million units—the Santa Fe represents Hyundai’s strong SUV heritage and continues its success story. Going on sale in the U.S. in the summer of 2018, the fourth generation 2019 model builds on this success offering an all-new family oriented interior, loaded with practical cutting-edge technologies and bold exterior looks.
The redesigned 2019 Tucson enters the highly competitive compact CUV market with upgrades inside and out, including a new cascading grille, new center stack design, more advanced safety features and available Qi wireless charging. Following 12 consecutive monthly sales records for the current model year, the 2019 Tucson is positioned for even greater sales success, with expanded features such as standard Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, available second-row USB charger and Surround View Monitor. Eighty-nine percent of 2019 model year Tucsons will have these technologies included and the vehicle will be arriving in dealerships this fall. The 2019 Tucson is the fifth of eight new or re-engineered CUVs Hyundai is debuting by 2020.
Subaru the only carmaker to achieve 10 consecutive years of sales growth in the United States, debuted today the all-new 2019 Forester at the New York International Auto Show. The fifth generation SUV introduces the roomiest, most capable and most versatile Forester ever made and features groundbreaking new safety technology. With an elaborate display, they showcased all 5 generations of the forester leading up to the all-new redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester.
The 2019 Forester is built on the Subaru Global Platform to deliver significantly higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection, ride comfort and quietness. Arriving at Subaru retailers later this year, the all-new Forester will be available in standard, Premium, Limited, Touring and new Sport trim levels. All are powered by an enhanced direct-injection, 182 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine featuring Auto Stop/Start and paired with a standard Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). Also standard on all models is Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
For 2019, all Forester trims come standard with the award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The top-of-line Touring model debuts the segment-exclusive DriverFocus safety technology which offers yet another layer of safety and convenience for the driver. The system can alert the driver of fatigue or distraction while on the road as well as automatically adjusting many driver settings at start-up.
Although it seemed as if Subaru was focusing their entire show and floor space on the all new Forester, Subaru didn’t disappoint. Subaru showed off its newest and biggest model they have ever built “The Ascent”. An all-new model and comes with three rows of seating, with available bench or captain’s chairs in the second row. The SUV is built on a strengthened and extended version of the Subaru Global Platform with extensive use of high-strength steel. With a focus on durability, rigidity and vibration resistance, the Ascent platform is designed to offer a quiet interior and excellent driving feel. Powered by an all-new 2.4-liter BOXER engine, the Ascent comes standard with a new version of Subaru’s high-torque Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) and legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system– all wrapped in a stylish and rugged design with a commanding presence. The new U.S.-built Ascent will be available in base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim lines when it arrives in Subaru retailers in early summer.
Not to be outdone and coming off the successful launch of last year’s and the first SUV ever produced by Maserati the Levante. Maserati took 5 years from concept (Frankfurt Auto Show 2011) to production with the first Levante going on sale in April of 2016 first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2016, followed by a 2016 New York Auto Show. Maserati dropped a bomb on those in attendance when it announced the first Levante built around a V8 engine at the New York International Auto Show.
It is the Levante Trofeo, the ultimate Maserati of SUVs, capable of accelerating in style from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds) and reaching a top speed of over 187 mph (>300 km/h). The Levante Trofeo is equipped with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati. A 3.8-liter Twin Turbo V8 engine that has been engineered to perfectly mate with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System and delivers an astounding 590 hp at 6,250 rpm and 538 lb.-ft. (730 Nm) of peak torque at 2,250 – 5,000 rpm. The engine boasts the highest output per liter (156 hp/liter) of any Maserati power plant ever produced and, like all Maserati gasoline engines, is assembled by Ferrari in Maranello, Italy.
The chassis of the fastest Levante ever has been tuned to handle the higher power output and provides an exhilarating driving experience with no compromise in terms of comfort. This tuning ensures the Levante Trofeo continues to embody the essence of the Maserati GranTurismo philosophy with supercar performance. “It’s proof that when you play with the elements you end up in a storm,” says Maserati CEO Tim Kuniskis. “In the case of Trofeo, the engineers and designers in Modena knew that the driveline parameters were more than able to cope with additional power and they also knew that Maserati had access to the finest engines on earth. So, they were up to the challenge of making the finest luxury SUV also one of the fastest.”
Although Volvo didn’t bring a new or redesigned SUV this year as they still ride the success of their XC60, what they did accomplish this year at the NYIAS was being named World Car of the year.
The new Volvo XC60 midsize SUV has been named World Car of the Year 2018 at the New York Auto Show, adding another accolade to Volvo’s growing list.
The XC60 also scooped the prestigious North American Utility of the Year Award earlier this year, while the XC40 small SUV was named European Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. The World Car of the Year win is the first in this competition for Volvo Cars, the premium car maker.
Mazda Motor Corporation introduced its updated, refined Mazda CX-3. Additionally, the Mazda KAI concept and SKYACTIV-X engine made their North American auto show debuts, highlighting Mazda’s design and engineering prowess as it moves toward its next-generation of vehicles. Although Mazda did not bring any new SUV/crossovers the redesigned style of the new CX-3 gives it a fresh look with updated styling. A worthy component to their line-up of CX-3, CX-5, and the CX-9.
With Dodge being very familiar with the SUV/Crossover market, in fact being one of the original manufacturers producing SUVs for the American car market and the need to try to cram the biggest and fastest motors in every car they make. It’s no surprise dodge showed off the newly restyled Dodge Durango SRT.
475-horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque stemming from the legendary 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine, a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) – certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds and can go 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds. Durango SRT out-hauls every three-row SUV on the road with the best-in-class towing capability of 8,700 pounds. New exterior performance features on Durango R/T and SRT include widebody exterior design and functional SRT hood with center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors, as well as a new front fascia and lower valence to house new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps.
A fun incentive if you purchase one this year is All customers who buy a new Durango SRT will receive one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving.
The shift from family car to SUV/Crossover has been taken place for years in the automotive industry. But as you can see from the models available above it has never been more president than this year, with over 40 different make and models to choose from car manufacturers are listening and watching what the American car buyer really want. The bigger question is how long will this trend last? With Tesla having close to no competition in the Electric Sports Utility Vehicle (ESUV) market Auto manufacturers are scrambling to meet the needs of the high-end ESUV market. A new market created by the likes of Tesla and with Jaguar launching its new All-electric Jaguar I-PACE Equipped with a 90kWh battery, the I-PACE delivers an estimated range of up to 240 miles, and The all-electric Audi e-Tron SUV will have dimensions similar to the Audi Q5 SUV and should offer enough charge from its 95-kilowatt-hour battery pack to drive roughly 300 miles.
A totally new market is being born…