The Subcompact SUV grew more than any other segment over the period Q1-Q3, with sales up 168% compared to the same period in 2014. [Read more…]
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…]
The Subcompact SUV was the fastest-growing of all segments in the US, exactly doubling its sales compared to the first half of 2014. And if that was not enough to convince you that it was the place to be right now – half of the cars were new to the segment, making this also the “freshest” from among all segments.
The new segment leader is the Buick Encore, whose sales rose 29% year-on-year. The little SUV, developed in Europe as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, clearly found good traction in the market with its combination of good looks, small dimensions and reasonable spaciousness. Its success took parent GM by surprise (it is the first time that a Buick has led a segment in sales in… ever?), and it belatedly decided to start selling its sister car, the Chevrolet Trax, to the US market. The effect? Immediate jump to second spot with almost 25,000 sales.
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…]
In the late 1990’s, Nissan was Europe’s best selling Asian car brand thanks to the Micra, Almera and Primera, which were the epitome of Japanese cars in that period: not very exciting, but extremely reliable. But in the early 2000’s, they tried to bring more frivolous design into their cars with the 2002 Micra K12 and 2002 Primera P12, and as a result, the once faithful customers looking for anonymous transportation stayed away. At the same time, the newly formed alliance with Renault caused the Japanese engineers to lose their focus on bulletproof reliability, and Nissan’s sales dropped from almost 440.000 units in 1998 to just over 300.000 in 2007. Contrastingly, Toyota was growing fast, and it has held the title of biggest Asian brand in Europe since 2000, even more than doubling Nissan’s sales between 2004 and 2008.
As Nissan realized that they could no longer be competitive in the regular compact hatchback and midsized sedan and station wagon segments with the Almera and Primera, they made a very risky but brave decision: abandon Europe’s second and third largest segments with combined annual volumes of 4.3 million units in 2006 (5.9 million including premium brands) in favor of relatively small, but fast-growing niche segments. [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…]