• What’s Happening with Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon Sales? September 2017 Report

    2018 chevy tahoe sales september
    2018 Chevy Tahoe

    Sales success for the full-size SUVs is not as clear cut as it once was. The Chevy Tahoe has dominated this segment for a long time, and it still does. However, Tahoe sales have declined again in September 2017 when compared to same period last year. The GMC Yukon and Yukon XL have seen an even more dramatic decline. Why is this happening?

    The answer is naturally complicated, but it may have a lot to do with the intensified competition. Yes, the Chevy Suburban had a good month in September, but take a look at improved sales of the Nissan Armada (ever since the redesigned 2017 Armada came to market). The Armada is getting close to the Year-To-Date (YTD) sales numbers of the GMC Yukon and the Ford Expedition.

    This segment is about to get a lot more competitive with the introduction of the new 2018 Ford Expedition and the 2018 Lincoln Navigator.

    Perhaps, there is another big factor at play here. Many buyers who consider the full-size body-on-frame SUVs for people and cargo carrying capacity are buying the full-size three-row unibody crossovers, such as the Chevy Traverse (up 50.8% in September sales), Dodge Durango (up 45% in September sales), and VW Atlas (sold 4,095 units in September).

    Full-size SUV sales – September 2017

    Sep 2017 # Sep 2017/2016 YTD 2017 # YTD 2017/2016 %
    Chevrolet Tahoe 9,397 -6.5% 69,109 -1.3%
    Chevrolet Suburban 5,887 5.6% 38,959 -0.8%
    Nissan Armada 4,447 159.8% 25,533 215.9%
    GMC Yukon 3,591 -32.2% 31,927 -9.6%
    Ford Expedition 2,848 -52.8% 40,401 -11.2%
    GMC Yukon XL 2,565 -26.7% 22,719 -5.8%
    Toyota Sequoia 961 6.0% 8,999 -1.5%
    Lincoln Navigator 709 5.2% 7,193 -10.5%

    One thing is for sure, if you need to tow a heavy trailer – the big full-size SUVs are much better equipped to handle it.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    38 thoughts on “What’s Happening with Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon Sales? September 2017 Report

    1. It’s ridiculously expensive for what it is. It’s a 1500 with a bedcap and third seat. And they want $60,000 for it. That’s Lexus money for GM post-bankruptcy “better than Dodge, but not by much” materials, quality, and build standards. It used to be that their Pickup/Tahoe/Suburban quality was better than the crappy cars they made and sort of stood above the brand on its own, but that’s not really the case anymore.

      1. Huh? I’ve owned 4 different Suburbans made between 2001 and 2017. The newer ones are far better in quality than the older ones. Our 2015 Tahoe has been great. There has been a noticeable improvement in quality coming from post-bankruptcy GM in my opinion. All of them have most definitely been more reliable than the 2006 Ford Expedition we purchased. The 5.4 was nothing but an unreliable money pit and the paint bubbled up on the tailgate (Ford refused to fix it under warranty). Ford can’t paint aluminum correctly to save their lives.

    2. I’d like to see the big GM SUV’s share more in common with the trucks-like they use to in the good’ol days. Use the truck sheet metal with the SUV interiors. That would be a winning combination and with more parts commonality.

    3. Two things affecting full size GM SUV’s:
      1. Price (even rental fleets are cutting back full size and going more mid size)
      2. The all new Traverse – in the 4 weeks we have had the new Traverse on our lot here in Canada, we’ve sold 17 out of 19 and one of the last two is likely going tomorrow. They are remarkable vehicles as the interior is so much improved and reminds you almost exactly of a slightly smaller Tahoe, but with some features the Tahoe doesn’t even have. They actually have slightly more room than the previous gen even though they are only 0.5 inches longer. Plus they are twenty thousand dollars less. We have taken three or four full size SUV’s (a couple Tahoe’s and even an Expedition) in on trade on the new Traverse.

      So the points in this article are valid.

        1. That was a pretty big issue with the 3.6 around 2008 when I was looking at some used vechile in order to get out of a 2007 Chrysler T&C. Heard issue was fixed in ’10 or ’11. Just another reason I like a pushrod engine.

        2. My 09 Traverse was an awful vehicle but we bought it to replace our 01 Suburban which was a great family vehicle. I wish we had bought another Suburban back then. The Traverse felt worn out at 45K miles and it always felt like a glorified minivan. We had engine issues at 50k and more electrical gremlins than I can recite.

          The new Traverse if I am correct is a Chinese platform, correct? I’m not a fan but the interiors do look very nice. We offer the bigger utes. Our second Yukon XL (once the kinks were worked out) is working out much better than our first one so that is a welcome surprise.

          Isn’t the real story here what the heck has happened to the Expedition? It appears buyers have finally said they are not buying that old product any more. Time to drop the 18 soon if they haven’t already. The Nissan sales are impressive.

          1. that’s got to be one reason moondog. Plant may be transitioning too, not sure on that one. Also, I don’t see many expedition on dealer lots around me, can’t sell what you don’t have. Good to hear your Yukon is acting right finally.

            1. I have a 2010 gmc Acadia slt2 awd, owned it since new. Now 210,000km and just replaced the 2nd timing chain. Besides that issue everything else has been great

            2. not acceptable to me, I am thinking ’11 the change happened then. Remember the economy was still pooping hardcore.

            3. The timing chain issue is primarily due to the type of chain they used on those engines. GM went with a “silent” inverted tooth chain to reduce noise. The problem with them is that they typically wear (stretch) much faster than a roller style timing chain. GM switched back to a roller style chain in the last few years.

              Interestingly, Ford also uses a “silent” inverted tooth timing chain on all their Ecoboost and Duratec engines. Hence why there are tons of them with stretched timing chains. Unfortunately as of 2018, they’re still using those junk chains. Our shop truck has had to have the timing chain and cam phasers replaced twice so far. Our rep mentioned that ecoboosts have fuel dilution and blow-by issues which cause the chains to stretch even faster. Changing the oil early is the key to improving chain life. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing was going on with the older Gm 3.6.

      1. I am certain your points are so on Dpach. Another thing is how many people have garages big enough for these large SUV’s like Suburbans and Expedition. My neighborhood is pretty new and I see several Suburbans parked in the driveway because they don’t fit in the garage. I made my garage bigger when I planned the house out for my truck so I could park it in the garage.

    4. We would like one but price is a major factor. For less money you can get into an Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, Traverse, Toyota Highlander, etc. All 3 row suv’s that ride great, good good MPG and have more options for less money and just as much, if not more space behind 3rd row. And most I mentioned have better quality.

    5. TFLT: “Perhaps, there is another big factor at play here. Many buyers who consider the full-size body-on-frame SUVs for people and cargo carrying capacity are buying the full-size three-row unibody crossovers…”

      To me, it looks like this segment is in a squeeze from below and above (size and capability, not price).

      The mid-sized unibody crossovers, with almost full-size capability, are encroaching from below; and the well-equipped crew-cab pickup trucks (often seating 6) are encroaching from above.

      So, there is not a whole lot of “market place room” here, and the competition for that remaining tiny bit is FIERCE. It’s not only the Yukon: look at the declining Ford Expedition sales as well.
      IF you need a BOF full-sized SUV with great comfort and a modest price, the Armada’s got that covered.

      ======================

    6. The September sales of the 2017 Tahoe are probably down because in a month or so the very cool 2018 tahoe RST With a 6.2 and a 10 speed trans will be available. Last month’s sales of the 2017 expedition are again probably lower because the better looking, newly designed 2018 expedition will be hitting the showrooms soon. I mean really,
      which years models of these two vehicles, 2017 or 2018, would you want?

    7. “body-on-frame SUVs for people and cargo carrying capacity ”
      What missing in the above formula for Australia and quite a few other countries, is the ability to go Off Road with that substantial carrying capacity.

      1. Robert, America has been missing that aspect for far too long. We get what they give us and because of the amount of vehicles we buy they think they are giving us what we want.

    8. @Moondog
      People here are mystified that they do not go Off Road. Most assume the must be large Nissan Patrols or Landcruisers with no diesel option.

    9. If you look at combined sales of Tahoe and Suburban, then the dip is too small to sound the alarm. All the rest except the Armada are dire, however.
      I’d prefer to see the data calculated a little different – total segment, including The Escalade and LX570, then broken down by market share. also, combining vehicles that customers are likely to cross-shop makes sense to me.

    10. I would be interested in a new Expedition but not at the current price point. I guess I will keep my F150, I think this is the biggest problem with these SUV’s.

    11. Durango sales were 6,207 for Sept and 52,681 YTD on an aging platform and against a 2018 refresh. I think the ridiculous price of these full sizers and a ton of smaller unibody 3 rows to choose from are the main factors here.

      1. The Explorer is in the same boat. Ford sold 18898 units last month and just over 174000 for the year on a platform from 2011. People are gravitating towards mid sized 3 row SUVs.

      2. I think the Durango is a great vehicle. It’s unit body but rear drive so it has much better towing and a better driving experience. Unit bodies are also more rigid so I think its a good combination.

    12. The big cross overs have as much room as the Full Size SUV’s. The only real reason to buy one would be for the towing capacity.

      1. This is correct. The body-on-frame SUVs like the Tahoe, Expedition, Escalade, Suburban, Yukon, and Navigator can all tow heft loads whereas the 3-row big crossovers cannot. The big boys have much more durable transmissions, suspension, and axles.

    13. This is no surprise. 1/2 ton SUVs are going extinct. Average family size is going down so fewer and fewer families have more than 2 kids. For those that do, a 3-row crossover is a more sensible choice. For those who don’t, they’ll buy a crew cab pickup for the utility.

    14. I think Suburban’s and Tahoe’s are great off-road vehicles. My brother has a 1992 1500 Suburban and we take it up Jeep trails. It doesn’t have a ton of clearance. However it get’s the job done and it’s rare that rocks tickle the frame. These trails are pretty rough and have some fairly big rocks. If I were buying a new Tahoe or Suburban I’d buy the Z/71 for sure. Also a lot of people don’t realize that a suburban is shorter than a 1500 Silverado Double Cab with 6.5 foot bed. I wouldn’t buy the Tahoe as I don’t feel they have quite enough room. The Suburban is great because you can take the third seat out and camp in the back, and still have room for gear! I have an ’03 1500 Suburban with a 6″ RCD lift, and I love it! It’s almost more useful than a truck, because of all the dry storage. Did I mention you can buy a low mileage loaded Suburban for less than a half ton truck!

    15. There is another reason no one talked about gas prices did tickle up in this month because of all the hurricanes. Usually when that happens the full frame SUV’s take the 1st beating.
      Not sure why the Armada doing well in sales. Maybe deep discounts? Idk.

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