Sales of midsized crossovers are growing even faster than their smaller rivals, at +26,8% in Q4 and +22% in the full year 2016, compared to +16% for the small crossover segment and +6,2% for the overall market. And while the growth is fueled by newcomers and updated existing models, the segment leader and the model that started the popularity of this segment Nissan Qashqai maintains its leadership of the segment, even though its volume is stable on last year. However, its dominance of the segment will be challenged in 2017, as the new generation Volkswagen Tiguan already outsold its British-Japanese rival in Q4, by 2.600 sales and will fight for the segment lead for the first time ever. In third place we find another relative fresh model: the Hyundai Tucson, knocking down its sibling Kia Sportage off the podium for the first time since 2012.
Sales of midsized crossovers in Europe have grown at more than double the speed of the overall market in the first three quarters of 2016: +18% vs. +7,5% as new brands and models keep entering this highly competitive class. After being outsold by the small crossover segment in Q2, the midsized models rebound in Q3 and also pass the 1 million sales mark in the first nine months, a figure it took all twelve months as recently as 2014. In a sign of consolidation, all top-8 models gain volume, of which only two with less than 2 digits, while the following 9 modles all lose volume, #9 to #12 with single digits and #13 to #17 with double digits. The Nissan Qashqai is stable, which means it loses share of the segment, from 19,4% last year to 16,6% this year, but 2016 will be the 9th consecutive year the Qashqai leads the segment. However, next year may offer a change of guard, as the Volkswagen Tiguan was only 4.200 units behind in Q3 and even outsold the Nissan in August.
When the first-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class made its debut in 2006, many (rightly) viewed it as a super-sized version of the brand’s own ML-Class, designed to appeal to the US market hungry for large, 7-seat SUVs. But then as the second-generation model was facelifted in 2015, the company renamed it as the GLS, reflecting its new naming nomenclature, but also its desire for the model to be viewed as the “S-Class SUV”, and a genuine competitor to rivals such as Range Rover and even Bentley Bentayga. Now, the finer points on whether the GLS fulfills that brief have been debated elsewhere, but what always undermined the model’s luxury aspirations is the second-generation’s uncanny resemblance from the rear to an altogether less luxury model… [Read more…]
The midsized crossover segment in Europe has grown at double the speed of the overall market in the first half of 2016: +17% vs. +8,8%, but it was still outsold by the small crossover segment for the first time ever in Q2. Nonetheless, sales of midsized crossovers are expected to continue increasing, as new brands and models keep entering this highly competitive class. The increased competition takes away some share from the segment leader Nissan Qashqai, but so far no other model can come close to challenging its leadership. Its closest rival of last year, the Volkswagen Tiguan suffered from a model changeover and has dropped to 4th place, making room for the two South-Korean sister models to step onto the podium. Even the all-new Renault Kadjar outsold the Tiguan in Q2, but the VW is likely to strike back in the second half, when deliveries of the new generation gain traction. As a result of these new or updated models, the Ford Kuga loses two spots on last year to become a distant #6 despite growing 22%.
Sales of midsized crossovers and SUVs in Europe grew by twice the speed of the overall market in Q1 of 2016, at +17%. And that growth is very likely to continue, as new players keep entering the segment. Due in the next 18 months are the Tiguan-based Seat Ateca and the slightly larger Skoda version of those cars, Peugeot will enter the segment with crossover-like replacements of the 3008 and 5008, Renault has just revealed the Koleos in China which will start sales here next year and MG may bring the GS to the UK. So far, no model has been able to come even close to the Nissan Qashqai, the undisputed segment leader since 2008. Sales of the Qashqai are stable at +2% despite new generations of its closest rivals and also despite its partner Renault successfully launching a Qq derivative with the Kadjar. And don’t forget the 7-seater Qashqai+2 has been replaced by the X-Trail as well. In fact, the share of Renault-Nissan in this segment has grown from 23,8% last year to 31,7%. Last year’s #2 Volkswagen Tiguan loses just 1% of its volume right before the new generation is launched. As result, the model is outsold by the new generation Kia Sportage and under heavy attack from the all-new Hyundai Tucson. The two South-Korean brands grow their share of the segment from 17,9% to 21,4%. The Tiguan was outsold by the Tuscon in January and February and both were outsold by the Kadjar in March, indicating it will be an interesting fight for the podium this year. That’s unlikely to include the Ford Kuga, which loses a position despite adding almost a quarter to its volume of last year.[Read more…]
With an increase of 13% to 1.227.950 sales, the midsized crossover segment in Europe has grown for the sixth consecutive year, almost doubling its volume since 2009. As opposed to the compact and midsized car segments, Volkswagen is not the commanding leader of this segment. Renault-Nissan is, with the Nissan Qashqai breaking its volume record in an unthreatened first place for the 8th year in a row, the 6th of which it sells more than 200.000 units. Renault has added the Kadjar to that, already the #3 of the segment in Q4 while still in start-up mode, while the Nissan X-Trail is the fastest growing model of the segment. Renault-Nissan models are responsible for 70% of the segment growth in 2015 and now hold a 26,1% share of the segment for the year (29,3% in Q4) and that’s unlikely to decrease this year as the Kadjar will reach its full potential and the X-Trail will benefit from the new turbocharged gasoline engine. And Renault is working on a new Koleos to fit above the Kadjar as well.
Sales of midsized SUVs and crossovers stay hot, improving their growth rate from 11% in the first half to +13% after three quarters. Of the top-7 players, only one loses volume on last year, and that’s just a shy 1%. The Nissan Qashqai has been the traditional leader of the segment, consistently selling over 200.000 units a year for the past 5 years and 2015 is going to make its 6 in a row, with more than likely a new volume record for the model and in fact for any midsized SUV nameplate. Thanks to the new generation, the Qashqai grows faster than the rest of the segment at +15% to almost 180.000 units in 9 months. And note that this is without the extended Qashqai+2 version, which has been replaced by the X-Trail. The latter is the fastest growing model of the segment and has moved into the #11 position so far this year.
The Volkswagen Tiguan surprisingly recovers from its slow first half of the year to boost sales by 20,8% in Q3 thanks to sell-out pricing of the outgoing model which will be replaced in 2016. The rest of the top-10 is stable as well, with the Kia Sportage benefiting from its facelift, despite having already released images of the upcoming new generation. [Read more…]
The midsized SUV segment in Europe sees its impressive growth rate of +15% in Q1 slow down slightly to a still enviable +11% in the first half of 2015, especially considering the segment continues to outpace the overall market, which is up 8%.
The traditional leader of the segment Nissan Qashqai manages to do even better than the segment as a whole, with sales up 13% to almost 125.000 units. This means the Qashqai has a chance hit the quarter million sales marker for the entire year if it keeps up this sales pace. Add to that the 586% increase to over 20.000 sales in 6 months for its larger sibling Nissan X-Trail, and also the successful introduction of the Renault Kadjar on the same platform, and we could be looking at potential sales of 350.000 Renault-Nissan SUVs from a common architecture this year. And as Kriss will surely show you in an article about US sales, Nissan is also on a roll across the Atlantic, where the X-Trail (called Rogue there) is breaking sales records every month, with factories in the US and Japan running at full capacity and still unable to fulfill demand. They’re now producing the Rogue in a third plant in Busan, South Korea, which is operated by Renault-Samsung Motors.
The aging Volkswagen Tiguan can’t keep up with these kinds of volumes and is down 9% but keeps its second place of the segment. Behind it, the two Korean siblings are neck-and-neck for the podium, with the Kia Sportage holding on to its third place ahead of the Hyundai ix35 and looking set to remain ahead for the rest of the year, as the ix35’s successor has just been launched in June. We find the Tucson (hey, that’s a familiar name, isn’t it?) in 27th place for now with its first 107 sales. As the months progress, that will undoubtedly grow to a monthly pace of around 10.000 sales, so a top-15 position by the end of the year should be possible, before becoming a podium contender in 2016, together with the Kadjar. [Read more…]
After breaking through the 1 million annual sales barrier last year, the midsized SUV segment in Europe remains very dynamic, as I predicted. Sales are up another 15% in the first quarter, and that’s before a highly anticipated newcomer enters the segment in the second quarter: the Renault Kadjar is expected to enter the segment top-3 when it hits full steam in the market.
For now, the model on which that newcomer is based, the Nissan Qashqai, defends its kingdom as strong as ever thanks to the new generation, and despite losing the 7-seater “+2” version. With sales up 21%, the Qashqai now holds a 20,5% share of the segment, which means one in every five midsized crossovers comes from the Sunderland factory in the UK.
The Volkswagen Tiguan hold on to its second place, but is showing signs of its age, with sales dropping 7%. It still has a comfortable gap with the two South-Korean offerings behind it. Both are up an equal 19% despite the Kia Sportage having just been facelifted last year while the Hyundai ix35 is in run-out mode, due to be replaced by the Tucson any moment now. [Read more…]
For the first time ever, more than 1 million midsized crossovers have been sold in Europe in a single year, only 7 years after first breaking the 500.000 sales threshold. And I don’t expect the growth to stall in 2015, as key models have recently been renewed and one highly anticipated new player will enter the segment. In 2014, the 12 best selling models all managed to improve their sales figures on the year before.
The new generation Nissan Qashqai has enjoyed a very strong fourth quarter to continue the model’s streak of five consecutive years above 200.000 sales, although its share of the segment has dropped below 20%. The Qashqai also celebrates 8 consecutive years as the segment leader. In second place, the Tiguan breaks its sales record at just over 150.000 sales, no less than 7 years after its introduction, an equally surprising as impressive performance, only equaled by the Fiat 500. The Tiguan is the best selling midsized SUV from a European manufacturer in a segment that’s dominated by Asian brands, which control two thirds of the segment’s sales. [Read more…]