Sales of crossover-coupes drop sharply in September 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on October 9, 2013

Crossovers having coupe-like qualities proved hard to sell, with sales dropping significantly in September 2013. Although crossover-coupes were intended to be a design statement, their styling might have caused their downfall. According to dealers, the vehicles’ poor rear visibility, awkward ingress and egress, and limited back-seat headroom have turned off customers. In fact, five of six crossover-coupes -- the Infiniti FX/QX70, Acura ZDX, Toyota Venza, Honda Crosstour, BMW X6 and BMW 5-series GT – suffered lower sales in September, with year-on-year sales drop ranging from 39 percent to 80 percent. Likewise, most of these vehicles posted sharp drops in sales in the first nine months of 2013. On the other hand, sales of luxury crossovers just slid 4 percent in September and hiked up 10 percent for nine months.

Although sales of all crossover vehicles were flat in September, they were up 15 percent in the first nine months. The Crosstour, which is considered a crossover-coupe version of the Accord, is expected to post sales of just up to 15,000 units – far from the forecasted annual figure of 40,000.

The ZDX was expected to post annual sales of 5,000, but the peak figure was only 3,259 in 2010. Particularly discouraging customers from buying the ZDX is its high price of $51,815, including shipping costs, and lack of rear headroom. Low sales had forced Acura to kill the production of the ZDX at the end of the 2013 model year.

Honda, however, was not that worried, since the ZDX and Crosstour shared much of their platform and components with the MDX and Accord – making it easy to shift to the mass-appeal vehicles. Art St. Cyr, head of product planning and logistics at American Honda Motor Co., remarked that the line between the ZDX and Crosstour and the MDX and Accord “has been blurred to the point that the market is gravitating towards more traditional utility, especially in the luxury segment."

Topics: crossover, coupe, sales

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