At just 42.000 sales in the first three quarters of 2017, the large SUV segment is one of the smallest in Europe, in contrast to the US where it’s almost the largest segment as Americans buy 32 times as many of these cars than Europeans do, as American dealers have already sold almost one and a half million of these vehicles this year. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-13 (out of 19) outsells the entire European segment combined. No wonder most of these models never make it to the old continent and the segment continues to shrink with Nissan not replacing its Murano and Pathfinder or Mazda its CX-9 as they have done in the US. Then again, Ford entered the segment by bringing the Edge over from the States. And while absolute volume remains relatively low (13.100 in Europe vs. nearly 105.000 in the US), it has quickly become the segment leader with a commanding 31,2% share. However, that can’t prevent the segment from losing 19% of its volume in Q3, as every other nameplate lost with double digits, except for the low-volume SsangYong Rexton. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Edge, the segment would be down 30% in the third quarter and down 19% in the first nine months, instead of up 4%.
At just 29.700 sales in the first half of 2017, the large SUV segment is one of the smallest in Europe, in contrast to the US where it’s almost the largest segment as Americans buy 32 times as many of these cars than Europeans do, as American dealers have already sold almost a million of these vehicles this year. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-13 (out of 19) outsells the entire European segment combined. No wonder most of these models never make it to the old continent and the segment continues to shrink with Nissan not replacing its Murano and Pathfinder or Mazda its CX-9 as they have done in the US. Then again, Ford entered the segment by bringing the Edge over from the States. And while absolute volume remains relatively low (9.200 in Europe vs. 71.000 in the US), it has quickly become the segment leader with a commanding 31% share. However, that can’t prevent the segment from losing 3% of its volume in Q2, as every other nameplate lost with double digits. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Edge, the segment would be down 22% in the second quarter and down 12% in the first half, instead of up 17%.
At just 16.400 sales in Q1 of 2017, the large SUV segment is one of the smallest in Europe, in contrast to the US where it’s almost the largest segment as Americans buy almost 30 times as many of these cars than Europeans do. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-13 (out of 17) outsells the entire European segment combined. Still, at +41% in the first quarter of 2017, this is one of the fastest growing segments in Europe, although that’s all thanks to one newcomer. This newcomer also breaks the Asian domination of the segment to put an American model on top in Europe for the first time ever. The Ford Edge has stormed up the charts since its launch halfway through 2016, but was unable to claim the full year top spot. But in the first quarter, the Edge has taken a controlling lead with over 31% share of the segment and more than 1.000 units ahead of its nearest rival.
Large SUVs are just a small part of the European market, making up just 0,36% of the industry, but at +16% in 2016, it grows faster than the overall market at +6,2%. Across the Atlantic, these vehicles make up 10,3% of the US market as Americans buy 33 times more of these SUVs than Europeans do. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-14 (out of 17) outsells the entire European segment combined. If in the US 3 out of the top-4 models are from domestic brands, in Europe the South-Koreans have dominated this segment for years. Thanks to sales up 10%, the Hyundai Santa Fe reclaims the segment lead from its sibling Kia Sorento, down 7% despite being two years younger (2014 vs 2012). At the end of Q3 the Sorento was still on top with a very thin margin, but the Santa outsold it in Q4 for the second straight quarter to finish the year on top. However, Hyundai-Kia has lost 7,5 percentage points of its share of the segment compared to last year, and the culprit of this loss can be found in third place.
Sales of large SUVs are picking up back as 2016 progresses. After a 9% loss in Q1 and a 15,5% increase in Q2 the segment increases again by 15,6% in Q3 to bring the year-to-date growth to 8%, better than the overall market at +7,5%. All the existing and remaining models have single digit increases or losses, as all of the segment’s growth and more can be accounted for by the arrival of the Ford Edge. This newcomer has climbed up to third place, which means we’ve had a different #3 in each of the quarters this year, while the leaders have remained unchanged so far. In Q1 the Mitsubishi Pajero was on the podium, after Q2 the Toyota Land Cruiser had taken over, and now the Edge seems dedicated to hold on to this position for the rest of the year. The Hyundai Santa Fe actually outsold the Kia Sorento in Q3 and the two platform siblings are now separated by just 65 units year-to-date.
Sales of large SUVs are back into positive figures in the first half of 2016 after falling in Q1. Still, a 2% increase is slower than the overall market at +8,8%, but keep in mind segment sales surged 23% in 2015 thanks to the new generation Kia Sorento. The Sorento holds on to its segment leadership with sales up 5% while its sister model Hyundai Santa Fe loses 11%, but that’s only because it lost big in the first quarter of this year. In Q2, the Santa Fe improved its year-over-year volume by 2%. The two South Korean models still hold over 63% of the segment in Europe, not surprising considering they are unibody crossover while their nearest competitors are traditional body-on-frame SUVs; more capable off-road, but less efficient and less comfortable.
The large SUV segment in Europe shrinks 9% in Q1 of 2016 while the overall market grows by 8%, after the segment grew a healthy 23% in 2015. Only two models improve their volume on the same quarter of last year: the new leader Kia Sorento, boosted by the all-new generation, and the evergreen Mitsubishi Pajero. That leaves last year’s leader Hyundai Santa Fe in 2nd place with sales down 22%, probably thanks to cannibalization from both the new Sorento and the new Hyundai Tucson, even though that model is a class smaller. I have no substantiated explanation for the rebound of the Pajero, which started last year when it gained 22%. A small facelift hasn’t exactly turned the already 10 year old model into a hot fresh thing, especially since the engines are simply carried over.[Read more…]
This is our fourth and (for now) final installment in our series on cars that survived their original production life-cycle by being sold to Chinese auto makers who gratefully will continue production until eternity. Also read part 1 about the Seat Toledo I, Seat Ibiza I, MG ZT, MG TF, Rover Streetwise and LDV Maxus, part 2 about the Volkswagen Jetta, Audi 100, Daihatsu Move and Austin Maestro/Montego and part 3 about the Suzuki Alto, Daihatsu Terios, Fiat Palio/Siena, Fiat Multipla and Lancia Lybra. If you know of any other models that would fit this list, please let me know!
The oldest Joint Venture between a Chinese manufacturer and a foreign auto maker is that between American Motors and Beijing Auto Works, which was established in 1983, making the Jeep Cherokee XJ in China, starting in 1985. When Chrysler took control of AMC, the Chinese JV fell into their lap, and it even continued after the merger with Daimler. US production of the Cherokee ended in 2001, but production in China continued until 2007. A few years earlier, Beijing Jeep Corporation had bought the production line for the Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ which ended US production in 2004. Chinese production of the Grand Cherokee started in 2006 and lasted only that year, when DaimlerChrysler decided to drop local production of the two Cherokee models as SUVs made up only 5% of the market at that time, while sedans took 90%. They started Chinese production of the Chrysler 300C instead, followed by the Sebring in 2007. The two models suffered from slow sales and when DaimlerChrysler split up again later that year, Daimler held on to the partnership with BAIC, pulling the plug out of Chrysler production in China, leaving Chrysler in the wind. Eventually Fiat bought Chrysler out of its bankruptcy and included the American brand in its manufacturing Joint Venture with GAC, starting production of the new generation Jeep Cherokee at the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, BAIC started production of the BAW Qishi (Chinese for Knight) in 2009, which was its own version of the Cherokee XJ, now with a five-slot grille and Nissan-sourced 4-cylinder engines. The Qishi was not very successful, which isn’t surprising considering it was based on a 25-year old design, no matter how good it was. A 2011 upgrade and rename to Qishi S12 didn’t help much. [Read more…]
With its small volume, the Large SUV segment in Europe is one of the most volatile. It shrunk 24% in 2013 before rebounding 22% in 2014 and another 23% last year. The segment is 100% Asian manufacturers and heavily controlled by Hyundai-Kia, which increase their combined share to 65,7% in 2015. The Kia Sorento is the new leader of the segment with sales up 76% to take more than a third of the segment total sales in Europe, helped by the new generation launched last year. It leapfrogs the Hyundai Santa Fe which has led the segment for the three previous years. Together, the couple has taken the two top spots of the segment for 7 years in a row now.
The large SUV segment in Europe keeps recovering from their years of declines with sales up 33% in Q3 and 30% so far in 2015. Two thirds of the increase is thanks to a single model: the new generation Kia Sorento, which manages to topple its corporate sibling Hyundai Santa Fe from the top spot of the segment for the first time in 4 years. Behind these two South-Korean models which take two thirds of the segment volume, the Toyota Land Cruiser in under fire from the Mitsubishi Pajero, which had already taken third place in Q1 but lost it to the Land Cruiser in Q2. In Q3, the Pajero was the best seller of the two, but not enough to overtake its rival. [Read more…]