► Merc sells more than 4m SUVs
► Why 4x4s swell profits
► SUV sales double since 2011
Tired of hearing how SUVs saved the car industry? Well take a look at these figures just released by Mercedes-Benz.
It’s reported passing the milestone of 4 million SUV sales - not bad going for a genre it was absent from back in 1998 at the launch of its first SUV, the M-class.
Granted, the hard-as-nails G-class, or G-wagen, has been with us since the late 1970s, but it’s the rise of the road-biased, family-friendly sports utility vehicle that’s really turbocharged many car makers sales.
Mercedes SUVs: still selling like hot cakes
Parent company Daimler reported a rise of 40% in sales of soft-roaders and 4x4s this year, as it posted its strongest August in history, with 156,246 registrations globally.
Total sales are up 12% year-to-date, to 1.33m in the first eight months of 2016. Another record.
Ola Källenius, sales and marketing board member, said: ‘Mercedes-Benz has already delivered more than four million SUVs to customers worldwide. Their popularity is rising year on year. Thanks to their double-digit growth rate, the SUVs once again contributed significantly to the best-ever unit sales by Mercedes-Benz this August.’
The best sellers
The brand’s strongest-selling SUVs were the GLA and GLC (above); with more models arriving by the year, no wonder Merc SUV sales have more than doubled since 2011.
Which begs the question: what happens when they’ve flooded every niche? What will be the industry’s next silver bullet, when everyone who wants an SUV has one?