After stabilizing at just over 400.000 sales in 2014, European sales of small MPVs are down as the segment is hurt by the thunderous arrival of small crossover models, which offer a similar high seating position, in an equally practical but much more attractive looking package. And considering the top-5 players in this segment now all offer an attractive crossover alternative (counting the Citroën C4 Cactus as one) and all are faced with declining sales, I predict the segment is pretty much doomed. Renault has realized this early by not replacing the Modus small MPV in favor of the Captur small crossover.
The Fiat 500L keeps its lead of the segment thanks virtually flat sales and now commands an almost 25% share of the segment. However, with the arrival of the 500X and its sibling Jeep Renegade in showrooms now, the visibly much less attractive 500L (in my opinion) seems destined to spend the rest of its life cycle in rental car lots, as the utterly hideous 7-seater 500L Living has done since its inception. [Read more…]