The premium midsized SUV segment was booming in 2014, especially in the fourth quarter, when sales were up 25%, leading to a full-year increase of 11%. At close to 293.000 sales, the segment breaks its sales record and looks ready to easily blast through the 300.000 sales threshold in 2015. Leading the charge is the recently updated Volvo XC60, which flamboyantly takes the lead of the segment, for the first time ever in its 7-year long career. Volvo credits the increased popularity to its new generation of 4-cylinder engines, most notably the frugal diesel version, as the D4 engine accounts for more than one third of XC60 sales in Europe.
The XC60 had a particularly strong fourth quarter, selling almost 20.000 units in three months time, enabling it to pass the Audi Q5 which had controlled of the segment since Q2 after the Range Rover Evoque took an early lead in the first quarter. [Read more…]