To me one of the biggest surprises of the LA Auto Show was Nissan’s announcement that the Kicks will replace the Juke in the Subcompact SUV segment. Is this a copout for the once-bold manufacturer, or an astute business decision?
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…]
Honda HR-V outsells the Jeep Renegade for the first time in Q3’17
After seeing its growth dip into the single digits in the second quarter of the year, the subcompact SUV segment rebounded in style in the third quarter – with sales 15% higher than in Q3’16 it was the second-fastest growing segment over the past quarter (second only to premium compact SUVs). With 12% growth YTD, highest among the non-premium SUV segments, the subcompact SUV segment registered 320,899 sales in the first three quarters, not far off the 376,213 registered in the subcompact segment, which suggests that the two could be neck-and-neck in 2018. With the new Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic coming to market soon, and the new Toyota C-HR still building up its sales, the segment’s healthy growth is likely to continue in the near future.
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.
Segment no longer enjoying rocket growth, but new models can be expected to lift sales in the second half of the year
After registering the fastest rate of growth from among all non-premium SUV segments for the past four years, the subcompact SUV segment has been locked in a tight battle so far this year. As it stands, with 10.6% of growth in the first half of the year, the segments falls right in between the mid-sized SUV segment (9.5% growth) and the large SUV segment (11.1% growth). With the new Toyota C-HR making waves, the still relatively new Honda HR-V gaining sales at a fair clip, and the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic joining the party, it is reasonable to expect the segment will, just about, come out top by the year’s end.
After what seems like years of teaser and leaks the first official pictures of the Hyundai Kona have been revealed, and we finally get a proper look at what Hyundai’s new challenger to the Nissan Juke looks like.
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 booming growth rates in the last couple of quarters, the Subcompact SUV segment takes a brief moment of pauze, although its 12.1% growth rate to 93,249 sales is still much better than any of the other mainstream segments with the exception of the Full-sized SUV segment. The reason for the slower growth pace is the lack of new models to the segment lately, but that will pick up later this year as Hyundai and Kia are expected to launch their small crossovers Kona and Stonic, Toyota will launch the C-HR and Ford will bring an updated version of its EcoSport to the US, while Volkswagen will be traditionally late to the party with the T-Roc which isn’t expected Stateside before 2019.
In the meantime, the segment is shifting between winners and losers, with the entire top-4 consolidating thanks to double digit increases, with the #4 growing the fastest and the #1 the slowest, while the bottom 3 are all losing by double digits and therefore falling further behind.
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.
Sales in the Subcompact SUV segment surged by a whopping 44.1 percent compared to 2015, the fastest rate of growth by far in 2016, and more than double that recorded by the second-fastest growing segment, Large SUV. What’s more, with 396,960 sales in 2016 the Subcompact SUV segment surpassed the Large SUV segment in sales for the first time, and should reach half a million sales in either 2017 or 2018. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, for all its growth, the segment remains relatively small compared to the other SUV segments: 2016 saw over 1.8 million Mid-sized SUVs being sold, as well as almost 3.1 million Compact SUVs. [Read more…]