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Coronavirus Has Infected The SUV Market

Dodge Durango

American RWD-based SUV Sales dropped 8.7 percent, selling 242,732 units compared to 265,928 units observed in Q1 2019. The coronavirus is, indeed, a contributing factor to this sales drop. This sales fallout is expected to carry into Q2 2020, and will likely see even steeper losses.

Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition
2020 Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 107,556 Sales

RWD SUV sales of Dodge and Jeep vehicles fell 13.7 percent from 124,746 units sold in Q1 2019. The biggest loser was the Jeep Wrangler, down a full 21 percent and short a whole 10,000 units. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, which tallied over 50,000 units alone, slipped 13 percent. But the burly Dodge Durango saw a sales increase of 5 percent. Both the Durango and Grand Cherokee are exceptionally long in the tooth, but with the next-generation Grand Cherokee set to be revealed this year, a new Durango can’t be too far behind.

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Ford Motor Company: 85,592 Sales

Ford RWD-based SUV sales saw a mild drop from the 88,164 units sold in Q1 2019. But as seen in the chart below, the losses would have been greater if not for the addition of the Lincoln Aviator nameplate. The Ford Explorer alone accounted for over half of all of the automaker’s SUV sales that we track, but the turbulent transition between the last-generation model and the all-new Explorer no doubt negatively affected the sales of the hotly anticipated model. Perhaps just as bad as the coronavirus did.

2020 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe

General Motors: 49,584 Sales

General Motors sold a combined 49,584 units of the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade nameplates in Q1 2020. That’s down 6.4 percent compared to the 53,018 examples sold in the same time period a year ago. Despite GM coming in third place for this quarter, these Texas-built full-size utility vehicles are considered to be some of the most profitable vehicles in the entire industry. And once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, The General will be marching out its next-generation full-sized SUVs that promise serious technology, improved ride and handling, along with a wider range of powertrain options.

Rear Wheel Drive-Based American SUV Sales:

Cadillac Escalade6,1895,620-17.6%
Chevrolet Suburban11,0299,495-13.9%
Chevrolet Tahoe20,85320,403-2.2%
GMC Yukon14,94714,066-5.9%
Ford Expedition21,77319,790-9.1%
Ford Explorer61,92256,310-9.1%
Lincoln Aviator05,666
Lincoln Navigator4,4693,826-14.4
Dodge Durango17,01917,805+5%
Jeep Wrangler49,97839,668-21%
Jeep Grand Cherokee57,74950,083-13%
2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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