The small crossover segment in Europe has definitely hit a ceiling as sales were up just 4% in Q3 even though a slew of new models has been launched during the past few months. For the first nine months of 2017, the segment is up by just 3% to a record 1,13 million sales. As those new entrants gain traction with deliveries, the segment should continue its growth into 2018, but logically even when the absolute growth stays strong, as the segment gets bigger it will get harder to keep up those double digit figures of recent years. After a 12% loss in Q2, segment leader Renault Captur is down by just 2% in Q3 thanks to its facelift. However, the #2 Opel/Vauxhall Mokka was just 1.700 sales behind this quarter, closing in on the YTD #2 spot by just 77 sales. For now, the Peugeot 2008 still holds that second place, but it was down by 12% in the third quarter and was almost down to 4th place as it outsold the Dacia Duster by only 1.500 units. The Duster returns to the black even though its replacement has already been revealed. YTD, the top-5 is relatively stable, including the Nissan Juke, despite being one of the oldest models in the segment. [Read more…]
This Look-a-like is going to be a bit different, as it is based on a suggestions from CSB readers. In the metaphorical crosshairs this week: Dacia Duster, a car whose second generation recently debuted ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, impressing both Bart and myself.
With the Frankfurt Auto Show almost upon us, Bart and I figured we’d run one of our customary Good, Bad and Ugly features ahead of the actual show, just to make sure we’re not swamped with the debuts once the doors open. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Bart and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.
Bentley Continental GT
Sales of small crossovers in Europe are starting to plateau after booming growth in recent years. The segment grew by just 5% in Q2 and is now up 10% in the first half, to a record 853.391 units. However, as the segment leader has just been facelifted and a whole bunch of new models are ready to enter the segment, expect the growth to continue for the rest of this year and next. The Renault Captur is down for the first time in its career, losing 12% in the second quarter and 6% year-to-date, as the facelifted version is just making its way into the showrooms. Its segment leadership remains uncontested, as it still sold more than any other model in both quarters. Still, its closest two rivals, the Peugeot 2008 and the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka continue to grow and therefore the top-3 is getting closer to each other but also distancing themselves from the rest of the segment. In 4th place we still find the Dacia Duster, which is stable but therefore loses a full percentage point of share compared to the first half of 2016.
The small crossover segment continues to boom again outgrowing the overall market by a 2-to-1 ratio at +16% to 435.000 sales. The small crossover segment is already almost as large in terms of unit sales than the compact and midsized crossover segments combined. And new models will continue to enter the segment, so don’t expect this growth curve to flatten anytime soon. Meanwhile, the Renault Captur holds on to the segment leadership it has held ever since its launch, but does so by the skin of its teeth. With sales virtually stable as a facelift is imminent, the Captur feels the already facelifted Peugeot 2008 breathing down its neck thanks to an 18% increase, now just 1.200 sales behind the leader. In third place we stil find the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X, up 12% and distancing the top-3 players from the rest of the segment.
After more than 1 million small crossovers and SUVs were sold in Europe in 2015, this remains one of the fastest growing segments with an increase of 16% to 1,4 million sales in 2016, more than half the volume of the subcompact hatchbacks, Europe largest segment and the models on which most of these crossovers are based. The growth is mostly fueled by recent model introductions, as proven by the fact that the entire top-4 loses share of the segment. Still, only two models in the top-10 lose volume in 2016, although that figure doubles to four in the last quarter. As expected, the Renault Captur holds on to the segment lead and becomes the first small crossover to sell over 200.000 units annually in Europe. More surprisingly, the Captur manages this performance without having been updated since its launch while its two closes rivals have been facelifted in 2016. Of these two, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka sees stable sales and loses its second place to the Peugeot 2008, the fastest growing model in the top-4.
At +23% in the first nine months of 2016, the small crossover segment is still one of the fastest growing mainstream segments in Europe. Compared to the same period of last year, the segment has added almost 190.000 units of volume, pushing it past the one million sales mark after just three quarters of the year, a figure which it only hit in December of last year. Small crossovers outsold their larger counterpart midsized crossovers in the second quarter, but have fallen back behind again in Q3 as a result of surging sales in that segment thanks to a number of new launches there. The Renault Captur continues to improve but also to lose its dominant market share as the number of players in this segment grows. Its closest two challengers, the Peugeot 2008 and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka have both been facelifted this year and had a neck-and-neck race in Q3, which means the former holds on to 2nd place of the segment year-to-date.
The small crossover segment is still the fastest growing mainstream segment in Europe at +28% and over 150.000 additional sales in the first half of 2016. But what’s more earthshaking is that for the first time ever, small crossovers outsold their larger counterpart midsized crossovers in the second quarter of 2016: 367.000 vs. 363.000. As a result, the “Captur-segment” is within 23.000 sales of the “Qashqai-segment” for the first half and could become the bigger of the two by year-end. Almost all models share in the glory, as only two out of the 17 remaining models lost volume, and by less than 1.000 units combined, while 11 models show either double digit or triple digit growth, or are entirely new. The segment leader Renault Captur keeps improving as well, but also keeps losing share as it grows slower than the segment as a whole at +10%. The Captur’s leadership is unthreatened though, as its closest rival of last year Opel/Vauxhall Mokka improved just 3% as it awaits a facelift, and that has allowed the already updated Peugeot 2008 to leapfrog the Mokka and reclaim the #2 spot thanks to sales up 13%.
The small crossover segment is still the fastest growing in Europe at +30% and almost 80.000 additional sales in the first quarter of 2016. That means this segment is now bigger in volume than the midsized crossover segment was in the same period last year. The growth is fueled by new products, but also the existing models keep improving steadily, with just 3 models in the top-15 losing sales, and none more than 5%. The Renault Captur remains the best selling small crossover in Europe, but loses share as it grows by just 4%. The competition is closing in, as the Peugeot 2008 adds 10% to its volume of last year and leapfrogs the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka to take second place. Until last year, France was the biggest market for small crossovers, and the two French models benefited from their home market strength. Now they’re starting to gain popularity across Europe, including the UK, where the Captur is a top-25 player and Renault’s best selling model. A welcome success for the French brand which was almost decimated across the Channel just a few years ago.[Read more…]
For a while us here at Left-lane.com have been in awe of the success of Dacia, the first true dedicated “value” brand (re)started by a major car manufacturer. Sure, Skoda was arguably the first attempt by a major manufacturer to buy a lowly brand and have it slot in at the bottom of its brand hierarchy, but it was never truly positioned as a “bargain” brand. Notwithstanding the Felicia, itself a re-skinned Favorit, all its models have been basically current VW models for some 20% less cash – that’s cheaper, but not really cheap. When Renault bought Dacia, on the other hand, it created a line-up of dedicated cars that were based on tried and tested platforms whose R&D costs have long been recovered, thus allowing the models to be sold at a very low price point. Add to that a simplified construction, long-travel suspension that was both sturdy and comfortable, minimal styling and a spartan interior and the first Dacia model, the Logan, was ready to do battle with both more expensive western, as well as long-obsolete homegrown models in the Eastern European markets. But what followed was a success story that exceeded all expectations Renault may have had for the brand – Dacia models became a mainstream hits in Western Europe as well, including in über-demanding markets such as Germany and England.