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…]
This is our third installment of our series on car models which continued to be produced under a new owner and a new name in China after having been retired from their original market. In part 1 we discussed the Seat Toledo, Seat Ibiza, MG ZT, MG TF, Rover Streetwise and LDV Maxus and in part 2 the Volkswagen Jetta, Audi 100, Daihatsu Move and Austin Maestro/Montego. In part 3 we’ll look at Zotye, a small auto maker based in the Zhejiang province in China that’s presently best known for blatantly copying foreign car designs. But Zotye hasn’t always taken illegal inspiration from Western designs, they started off large scale production by legally acquiring a number of obsolete platforms and designs from Western automakers, some of which never even made it into full production.
Suzuki Alto 2nd generation (1984-1988) -> Zotye Jiangnan Alto (1988-2013)
The second generation Suzuki Alto, produced in Japan between 1984 and 1988 has proven to be a true evergreen. After its short first life, production moved to no less than four different manufacturers, two of which still continue to sell the model today. The first one was Maruti, Suzuki’s own branch in India, which has sold the model as the Maruti 800 from 1986 to 2003. In neighboring Pakistan, Suzuki’s local branch Pak Suzuki started production of the Alto in 1988 and still continues to do so today as the Suzuki Mehran.
In China, Suzuki licensed production of the Alto to two manufacturers. Changan Auto, Suzuki’s manufacturing Joint Venture partner, produced the Alto from 1988 until 2008 as the Changan SC7080. Simultaneously, Jiangnan Auto produced their own version of the Alto, called the JN Auto. Jiagnan also exported CKD (Complete Knock Down) kits to PSA in Tunisia for local assembly as the Peugeot JN Mini (just over 7.500 assembled until 2003) and to Iran Khodro until 2000 for assembly as the Iran Khodro Alto, to compete with the Saipa Nasim, which was a locally assembled Kia Pride/Mazda 121. Jiangnan was taken over by Zotye in 2009 and the car was renamed Jiangnan Alto or Jiangnan TT. It was marketed at the end of 2010 as the cheapest new car in the world, with a price of 18.800 yuan, or US$ 2,830 at that moment’s exchange rates, close to the price of India’s Tata Nano. Production is said to have ended in 2013, but new registrations are still reported in 2016. Reportedly as a replacement to the TT, Zotye started production of the Z100 in 2013, which is “coincidentally” a carbon copy of the 7th generation Alto, the one produced from 2009. They’ve even made an all-electric version of the car: the Zotye Z100 EV. Zotye doesn’t have the license for this design, as it’s already produced by Changan-Suzuki, but so far they’ve gotten away with it, which unfortunately supports their decision to stop buying licenses and just copy existing designs. [Read more…]
The Small crossover segment has been the hottest segment in Europe for a while now and the end is not in sight as new players continue to broaden the choice for car buyers. In 2015, the segment grew by 46% as more than 1 million small crossovers were sold for the first time ever, which makes it bigger than for example the midsized MPV segment (Renault Scenic, VW Touran etc.). Only one model in the top-15 sees its volume decrease, albeit by a slight 2% and except for one more model, all others are either up by double digits or better, or entirely new to the segment. In this onslaught of increased competition, the top-5 all lose share but none as much as the leader Renault Captur, which loses more 4 percentage points despite improving sales by another 18% to almost 200.000 units. This is an excellent performance from a model which was estimated by Renault itself to sell about 120.000 annual units.
However, the Captur is under threat from the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, which is up 28% and therefore adds more volume than the Captur (+35.809 vs. +30.046). With a facelifted Mokka on display at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show in March and Renault busy launching the new Scenic, that trend is likely to continue this year, although I expect the French crossover to keep the lead.
The Small Crossover segment is still one the hottest segment of the market, besides the tiny EV segment, and continues to surge at a 50% growth rate as new entrants keep being introduced to the segment while the existing models keep growing. There are no less than 5 new players in the segment this year and only one model in the top-12 loses volume so far this year, and that’s only by a mere 250 units. You won’t be surprised to still find the Renault Captur on top of the ranking, although that position is getting more hard-fought by the quarter, as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka was only 1.300 units behind in the past three months combined. That means the Mokka has firmly consolidated its second place in the segment and proves to be a second, badly needed, successful model with the Adam minicar.
The Peugeot 2008 simply can’t keep up with the sales volume of the two leaders, but still increases its lead over the Dacia Duster, which is now really starting to show its age, but there’s nothing released yet on a possible replacement. The Duster barely managed to outsell the Nissan Juke in Q3 and is likely to drop a few places in 2016 as the only Unique Selling Point it has to keep up with the fresh new product being launched is its bottom-basement price. [Read more…]
Small crossover sales continue to boom in the first half of 2015. Sales in this segment increased more than 50% last year, and after a slight hiccup in Q1 at “only” +34%, the year-to-date tally at the halfway mark is back up to +49%, thanks to a surge of 66% in Q2. This is for a large part due to new model introductions, but the incumbents keep growing to heights never imagined as well.
The segment leader Renault Captur has added another 23% to its already impressive score of last year, and has managed to rack up more than 100.000 sales in the past six months, which means it could end the year with over 200.000 sales. That’s Nissan Qashqai territory! Likewise, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka is showing an even bigger improvement at +40%, giving the GM brands some long-awaited success and helping them defend their European brand top-3 position, which they’re currently losing to Renault. It’s late-bloomed success has helped the Mokka to leapfrog both the Peugeot 2008 and the Dacia Duster to take second place of the hottest segment in the continent, as these two models show more modest growth rates at +15% and +4% respectively. Although these figures may look a bit bleak in this segment, it’s still an impressive performance to keep growing despite an influx of hot new competitors. [Read more…]
The high double-digit sales increases of small crossovers in Europe are slowing down to a still very impressive 34% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to adding more than 50% last year. Obviously, the segment is starting to mature, with four of the top-5 players growing slower than the rest of the segment, thanks to the introduction of 3 more new nameplates: Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X and Suzuki Vitara. With sales of over 240.000 units in the first quarter, sales of small crossovers could hit the 1 million sales this year.
Unsurprisingly, the Renault Captur holds on to its lead, with over 50.000 sales in the first three months of the year. If it can keep up this pace, it will break through the 200.000 unit barrier for the entire year. That would be a very impressive performance for a model that’s only been on the market for 2,5 years and for which the manufacturer had estimated an annual volume of 120.000 units. It reminds me of the introduction of the Renault (Megane) Scenic in 1996, which was a revolution at the time, creating a segment with sales exceeding 1 million units between 2004 and 2008 and which peaked at over 1,35 million sales. The Scenic sold over 250.000 units in 1998 and continued to grow to more than 300.000 units in 2000.
But the most impressive performer in the first three months of this year is the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, [Read more…]
Sales of small crossovers in Europe continue to amaze, shooting through the 700.000 units milestone, as I predicted a modest 670.000 after the first three quarters. This is an increase of 52% on 2013, and with a slew of new players entering Europe’s hottest segment this year, the growth isn’t likely to stall anytime soon. In fact, I expect over 1 million annual small crossover sales within a few years time.
Until those new players hit full steam, the 2014 top-5 enjoys a combined share of almost 92%, with the top-4 each selling well over 100.000 units, compared to just one model above that threshold in 2013. Not surprisingly, the Renault Captur has taken control of the segment with just under 165.000 sales, almost 1 in every 4 small crossovers sold. Behind the leader, there’s a fierce battle for second place, with Opel/Vauxhall Mokka outselling the Peugeot 2008 and Dacia Duster in the last quarter to narrow the gap between second place and fourth place to just 8.000 units.
Last year’s leader Nissan Juke falls below 100.000 sales for the first time in four years, as it received a facelift in the second half of 2014. Sales already rebounded in the fourth quarter, but not enough to keep it from losing 8% of its volume. Undoubtedly the Juke will break into six figures again in 2015, despite the ever-increasing competition. [Read more…]