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Lincoln Aviator Sales Continued To Grow In Q1 2020

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Lincoln Aviator sales continued to grow during Q1 2020, with the three-row luxury crossover SUV recording its first-ever first quarter deliveries in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

Lincoln Aviator Sales - Q1 2020 - United States

In the United States, Lincoln Aviator deliveries totaled 5,666 units in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
AVIATOR * 5,666 *

Lincoln Aviator Sales - Q1 2020 - Canada

In Canada, Lincoln Aviator deliveries totaled 352 units in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
AVIATOR * 352 *

Lincoln Aviator Sales - Q1 2020 - South Korea

In South Korea, Lincoln Aviator deliveries totaled 133 units in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
AVIATOR * 133 *

Lincoln Aviator Sales - Q1 2020 - Mexico

In Mexico, Lincoln Aviator deliveries totaled 61 units in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
AVIATOR * 61 *

Competitive Sales Comparison

Lincoln Aviator sales performance places the three-row luxury crossover SUV in eighth place out of ten rivals in its segment. The pack was led by the BMW X5 and X6 duo delivering a combined 11,889 sales and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (comprised of the GLE-Class and GLE-Class Coupe) with 11,802 deliveries, only slightly less than the BMW. Third place went to the Infiniti QX60, followed by the Acura MDX in fourth, Buick Enclave in fifth, Audi Q7 in sixth, and Volvo XC90 in seventh. The Aviator outsold the (rather archaic) Lexus GX as well as the all-new Cadillac XT6.

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Sales Numbers - Luxury E-Segment Crossovers - Q1 2020 - United States

MODEL Q1 20 / Q1 19 Q1 20 Q1 19 Q1 20 SHARE Q1 19 SHARE
BMW X5 -10.70% 10,638 11,912 14% 16%
BMW X6 -40.43% 1,251 2,100 2% 3%
MERCEDES-BENZ GLE-CLASS +80.60% 11,802 6,535 15% 9%
INFINITI QX60 -29.38% 9,061 12,830 12% 17%
ACURA MDX -17.08% 8,941 10,783 11% 14%
BUICK ENCLAVE -30.43% 8,752 12,580 11% 17%
AUDI Q7 -12.44% 6,232 7,117 8% 9%
VOLVO XC90 -8.59% 6,087 6,659 8% 9%
LINCOLN AVIATOR * 5,666 * 7% 0%
LEXUS GX -5.66% 5,122 5,429 7% 7%
CADILLAC XT6 * 5,074 * 6% 0%
TOTAL +3.53% 78,626 75,945

From a segment share standpoint, the Aviator took 7 percent, which is less than half of the 16 percent and 15 percent commanded by the BMW and Mercedes-Benz offerings. Infiniti had 12 percent, and the Acura MDX and Buick Enclave had 11 percent each. The Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 had 8 percent each.

It’s worth noting that combining GM’s two offerings in the segment – the Buick Enclave and Cadillac XT6 – results in 13,826 deliveries or a 17 percent share for Ford’s cross-town rival.

The midsize-plus, three-row luxury SUV segment (lux SUV E-segment) expanded 3.5 percent to 78,626 units during the first quarter of 2020.

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Despite the fact that one Lexus RX model variant competes in the same general segment as the Lincoln Aviator, we did not include sales of the Lexus RX in the above comparison above. That’s because Lexus does not split out sales of the two-row RX, which is a rival to the Lincoln Nautilus, from the three-row RXL, which is a rival to the Aviator. As such, we’re including a direct comparison between the RX and the Nautilus and Aviator below. We’re also throwing in Cadillac’s rivals to the the Nautilus and Aviator – the XT5 and XT6, respectively.

Sales Numbers - Lexus RX vs. Aviator & Nautillus - Q1 2020 - United States

MODEL Q1 20 / Q1 19 Q1 20 Q1 19
LEXUS RX -11.40% 20,847 23,529
LINCOLN AVIATOR * 5,666 *
LINCOLN NAUTILUS -33.06% 5,245 7,835
CADILLAC XT5 -32.05% 9,023 13,278
CADILLAC XT6 * 5,074 *
TOTAL +2.72% 45,855 44,642

The Lexus GX included above is also a three-row model, although it utilizes a built on a body-on-frame as opposed to a unibody construction, like all other rivals. Lexus has direct overlap in its lineup between the three-row RXL and the three-row GX.

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The Ford Authority Take

The 5,666 Lincoln Aviator sales recorded in Q1 2020 represent the luxury SUV’s second-best quarterly sales performance since launching in the U.S. market. The figure is lower than the 6,424 units delivered during Q4 2019 but higher than the 1,899 deliveries recorded during its initial launch quarter of Q3 2019, during which time the Aviator wasn’t on sale throughout the entire quarter and also had minimal inventory at retail level.

Nevertheless, the Aviator was able to deliver solid Q1 2020 sales performance, despite various macro complications brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced Ford to idle all vehicle production across the Americas, Europe, and China.

Once the coronavirus-related issues will lift, we expected Aviator sales to continue increasing as a result of:

  1. A very attractive product offering that’s a better, more modern, and more appealing product than many rivals
  2. Increased consumer interest in and demand for luxury crossover SUVs
  3. A stronger, more attractive Lincoln brand, resulting in higher interest in and demand for the brand’s products

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Lincoln Aviator sales for Q1 2019
  • In the United States, there were 76 selling days in Q1 2020 and 76 selling days in Q1 2019

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Written by Alex Luft

Ford Authority founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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5 Comments

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  1. Ford and GM want to be the King of SUV makers, playing like Americans sedan don’t sell anymore. I see a huge problem for both companies 4 Import makers out sold them in SUV’s. Lincoln should have sold 12,000 or more, but because of all the dump mistakes made during its debut the Lincoln Aviator flopped which has nothing to do with #19. The Cadillac and Buick should have been in the top 3 and I don’t know why people want to make themselves feel good by combining all sales of GM models when doing these comparisons, that’s failure also. Auto makers are being paid to much money for Excuses, Lincoln Aviator and Navigator are beautiful SUV’s too bad Lincoln don’t know how to build a beautiful sedan…

    • There isn’t a problem here.

      The Aviator is a new entry in this segment. It will take some time to claw sales away from the established rivals. Lincoln has a better offering that’s more value-laden, and they will come. The launch was a bit rough on the quality side, but the impact on sales was limited.

      As for your comment about combining sales per automaker: nobody is trying to make anyone “feel good.” That’s just not reality. What is reality is that having multiple entries from different brands results in more sales and more profit. It is the nature of the business and is as simple as that.

      Again, the Lincoln and Cadillac entries here are new. Market awareness has not reached full levels yet… and when it does, you can bet they will be in the top three.

  2. “Lincoln Aviator Sales Continued To Grow In Q1 2020”

    “the three-row luxury crossover SUV recording its first-ever first quarter deliveries in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South Korea.”

    How can it grow if it’s the first quarter ever?

    • They were sold during Q3 and Q4 last year, over 8,000 in total. It’s the first time they were available in a Q1, but not overall. You are misreading the sentence.

      • William – it’s exactly what “me” stated above. These are the first-ever Aviator sales for the first quarter. However, sales grew quarter-over-quarter (versus Q3 2019 and versus Q4 2019).

        The reason the sales volume was higher in Q1 2020 despite a drop in U.S. sales (vs Q4 2019) is due to sales in new international markets (like Korea), where Aviator became available during Q1 and was not available in prior periods. The added sales from new international markets enabled it to post its highest combined sales volume ever, despite a drop in U.S. deliveries (quarter over quarter).

        Make sense?

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