Ford Authority

Lincoln Nautilus Sales Place Ninth Out Of Ten Rivals During Q1 2021

Lincoln Nautilus sales increased in the United States while decreasing in Mexico during the first quarter of 2021.

Lincoln Nautilus Sales - Q1 2021 - United States

In the United States, Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 5,372 units in Q1 2021, an increase of about 2 percent compared to 5,245 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
NAUTILUS +2.42% 5,372 5,245

Lincoln Nautilus Sales - Q1 2021 - Canada

In Canada, Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 296 units in Q1 2021, a decrease of about 5 percent compared to 310 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
NAUTILUS -4.51% 296 310

Lincoln Nautilus Sales - Q1 2021 - Mexico

In Mexico, Lincoln Nautilus deliveries totaled 20 units in Q1 2021, a decrease of about 59 percent compared to 49 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
NAUTILUS -59.18% 20 49

Competitive Sales Comparison (USA)

Despite the 2.42 increase in U.S. sales, the Lincoln Nautilus fell one spot to ninth place out of 10 rivals in its competitive set during Q1 2021. The Lexus RX led the segment in first place, followed by the Acura MDX in second, and BMW with 16,670 cumulative deliveries of the X3 and X4 in third and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class in fourth.

Audi Q5 took fifth, Cadillac XT5 (see running Cadillac XT5 sales) placed sixth, followed by the Volvo XC60 in seventh, and Infiniti QX50 in eighth. The Nautilus took ninth while the Alfa Romeo Stelvio took tenth (and last) place.

Notably, eight out of the ten models in the segment posted an increase in sales volume during Q1 2021, with the Cadillac XT5 and BMW X4 being the only contenders that were in the red.

Sales Numbers - D-Segment Luxury Crossovers - Q1 2021 - USA

MODEL Q1 21 / Q1 20 Q1 21 Q1 20 Q1 21 SHARE Q1 20 SHARE
LEXUS RX +34.03% 27,941 20,847 23% 23%
ACURA MDX +90.00% 16,988 8,941 14% 10%
MERCEDES-BENZ GLC-CLASS +18.87% 15,569 13,098 13% 14%
BMW X3 +41.21% 14,988 10,614 12% 12%
BMW X4 -5.93% 1,682 1,788 1% 2%
AUDI Q5 +47.92% 14,731 9,959 12% 11%
CADILLAC XT5 -2.77% 8,773 9,023 7% 10%
VOLVO XC60 +41.68% 7,890 5,569 6% 6%
INFINITI QX50 +54.08% 6,425 4,170 5% 5%
LINCOLN NAUTILUS +2.42% 5,372 5,245 4% 6%
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO +33.66% 2,557 1,913 2% 2%
TOTAL +34.83% 122,916 91,167

On a segment share basis, the Lincoln Nautilus took a 4 percent share, down from 6 percent in the year-ago quarter. The performance is substantially lower than the 23 and 14 percent held by the segment-leading Lexus RX and Acura MDX.

The luxury D-crossover segment expanded nearly 39 percent to 122,916 units during Q1 2021, meaning Lincoln Nautilus sales significantly underperformed the segment average during the quarter. In fact, Nautilus sales grew the least (on a percentage basis) out of all models that posted an increase during the quarter.

We should note that Lexus RX sales now include the two-row RX and the three-row RX L, with the three-row RX L being a rival to the new Lincoln Aviator. As such, a more apt comparison would be to pit Nautilus and Aviator sales against those of the RX.

Sales Numbers - Lexus RX Family vs. Lincoln Nautilus & Aviator - Q1 2021 - USA

MODEL Q1 21 / Q1 20 Q1 21 Q1 20 Q1 21 SHARE Q1 20 SHARE
LEXUS RX +34.03% 27,941 20,847 71% 66%
LINCOLN AVIATOR +7.41% 6,086 5,666 15% 18%
LINCOLN NAUTILUS +2.42% 5,372 5,245 14% 17%
TOTAL +24.06% 39,399 31,758

Adding Nautilus and Aviator sales nets Lincoln 11,458 combined deliveries in Q1 2021, or 16,483 units less than the Lexus RX.

The Ford Authority Take

The slight rebound in Lincoln Nautilus sales during Q1 2021 is welcomed news after the substantial drop experienced in Q4 2020. It is worth noting Lincoln utilities had their best retail sales start in 20 years this quarter (since 2001). That said, the Nautilus is still struggling to keep up with the segment leaders. Potential factors that may contribute to the Nautilus’s on-going struggle include:

  1. Sub-par Nautilus inventory at the retail (dealer level).
  2. More desirable product offerings from competitors, including substantially newer offerings from Infiniti, BMW and Acura.
  3. More favorable purchase and/or lease incentives offered by competitors, including higher residual values for lease customers.

Luckily, the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus delivers several updates in key areas, including an overhauled cockpit (interior) with new infotainment. The refreshed Nautilus has just arrived at dealerships and has begun its first sales at the end of March to further enhance and provide additional momentum to the Lincoln lineup. Here’s to hoping that this will be enough to spur interest and purchase consideration of the Nautilus.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Lincoln Nautilus and MKX sales for Q1 2020
  • In the United States, there were 74 selling days in Q1 2021 and 76 selling days in Q1 2020
  • South Korea sales figures reflect actual vehicle registrations rather than wholesales
Ford Motor Company Q1 2021 sales reports:

Frankie's first favorite car was a 1968 Ford Mustang, and he's had a strong appreciation for the nameplate ever since. Later in his youth he became infatuated with Eleanor, thanks to Nicholas Cage's stellar performance. Frank's a real jokester, too.

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  1. crabbymilton

    Does LINCOLN even offer the NAUTILUS livery/funeral limo/hearse version? I went to FORD FLEET and it’s rather unclear since I had heard that they had dropped out of that market altogether.

  2. KIM

    We looked at the 2021 Nautilus Reserve in the showroom a few days ago. From a distance, the car looks good. Up close, the paint quality was subpar with so much orange peel. But, what struck us most was the extremely poor fit and misalignment of all the chrome trim around the windows. Pathetic!


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