Sales of compact crossovers continue to surge in Europe, with a 30% gain in 2017 to nearly 1,5 million sales or 9,6% of the overall market, up from 7,7% in 2016. The entire top-5 has set new sales records in 2017. We’ve decided to separate the tables of the compact and midsized crossover segments but still feature them in one post and in one graph as the models in these classes are so close to each other in size and there are so many different opinions on which models belong in which of these segments. Combined, sales in these segments are up 32% to 11,9% of the total European car market, of which Renault-Nissan controls 26% and VW Group 20%. The Nissan Qashqai is still the best selling crossover in Europe, despite adding just 6% to its record volume of 2016 to close in on a quarter million sales. Its closest rival is still the Volkswagen Tiguan, up 31% to become the second nameplate in this segment to top 200.000 sales and to close the gap with the top spot to less than 14.000 sales. The new Peugeot 3008 immediately jumps onto the segment podium with nearly 170.000 sales in its first full year, an impressive performance against any standard. It beats the two South-Korean rivals that have fought for the segment podium for years as well as the Ford Kuga which shows an impressive 27% growth despite being 5 years old already, apart from a facelift in 2016.
The growth of the compact crossover segment in Europe slows down slightly in Q3 of 2017, but it’s still the second-fastest growing mainstream segment at +25% in the third quarter and +32% year-to-date. Almost 1,13 million compact crossovers have already been sold so far this year, virtually the same number as the small crossover segment whose growth curve has flattened. The Nissan Qashqai still tops the ranking and continues to win sales, but it’s losing share of the segment as it increased by just 8% both in Q3 and YTD. Its main rival Volkswagen Tiguan gained just 4% in the third quarter, as the new generation had just reached its full potential in the same period last year. Behind these two leaders, three players are having a pretty close race, selling within 2.000 units of each other in the third quarter. The Peugeot 3008 holds the final step of the segment podium and behind it, the Hyundai Tucson feels the Ford Kuga breathing down its neck in the third quarter as the Ford improves 11% while the Tucson sees stable sales. This top-5 holds almost two thirds of the segment with the rest of the top-10 holding nearly the other third as the remaining models make up just 2,6% of the segment. [Read more…]
Sales of compact crossovers in Europe maintain their explosive growth rate, jumping 29% in Q2 and 33% in the first half, to 720.194 units. This is 8,6% of the total European market, almost 2 percentage points up from the 6,7% in the first half of 2016. The Nissan Qashqai holds on to its top spot for the first half, but sales were up only 2% in the second quarter as it was outsold by the Volkswagen Tiguan by 300 sales. It seems like the Qashqai will keep its crown of the segment for yet another year, extending its streak to 11 years as the compact crossover champion. The all-new Peugeot 3008 SUV storms up the charts to third place, up from #6 in the first quarter, proving it is an instant hit for the French brand. It’s unlikely to be able to challenge the two top players in this segment, considering it was still at only 75% of their volume in the second quarter, but nonetheless an impressive performance for a newcomer to the segment. It also manages to outsell the two South-Korean models which have been around for a few generations now and have built up quite some recognition and a customer base over the years. [Read more…]
The midsized crossover segment remains one of the fastest growing segments in Europe, even faster than the small crossover segment at +28% in the first quarter of 2017, to 371.500 sales. The Nissan Qashqai holds on to its top spot, thanks to sales up 13% on its already impressive score last year, but the Volkswagen Tiguan is closing in quickly with a gain of 78% to come within 10.000 sales. Considering the Tiguan outsold the Qashqai in the second half of last year, this is actually a bit of a disappointment for the model, than may suffer from a bit of cannibalization from the Seat Ateca and to a lesser degree the Skoda Kodiaq. In third place we find the Hyundai Tucson, similar to the full year 2016 ranking, but the facelifted Ford Kuga is growing at double its rate and is not far behind in 4th, up from 6th last year.
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.
The midsized MPV segment in Europe continues to shrink in 2016, with sales down 3% for the full year and down an even more painful 7% in Q4. In both periods, 7 models of the top-10 lost volume and in Q4 six of those did that with double digits. The top of the ranking is completely reshuffled from 2015 as the former numbers 1, 2 and 3 are now down to 2nd, 6th and 4th place. The Volkswagen Touran took the lead of the segment for the first time ever in Q3 and held on to it for the full year. This is the first time ever that a French car does not lead the midsized MPV segment, as the Citroën C4 Picasso loses 4% and the Renault Scenic is the biggest loser of the remaining models in the segment as its new generation is about to hit showrooms. As a result, we now find an MPV from a luxury brand on the podium for the first time ever: the BMW 2-Series Active and Gran Tourer.
Looking ahead, even one year, can be very tricky. Last year we correctly predicted that Mercedes-Benz had a shot at reclaiming its luxury crown, and it has overperformed. We also said the Jaguar F-Pace would be off to a great start, and that too has materialized nicely: having been launched in Q2 of 2016, Jaguar’s first crossover has outsold the Porsche Macan and BMW X4 in the second half of the year and has outsold the Lexus NX for full-year sales, grabbing a segment 7th place in H2, which is similar to the XE and not bad for a brand’s first entry into a segment that has very strong competition not only from new launches but also from surprisingly consistent old-timers.
In terms of expected disappointments, we predicted Ford would lose its #2 position in the brand ranking, and that happened in November when Renault stormed past in the YTD ranking. We also said Dacia would lose volume in 2016, but that didn’t materialize as expected. The French-Romanian brand has shown remarkable resilience as four out of its five models improved volume in 2016, despite no big new product launches, just minor updates. An impressive performance! Lastly, we doubted Infiniti’s ambitious targets for the Q30 and QX30, and although the latter is still in start-up mode, it’s safe to say the Q30 hasn’t really taken off as its parent had hoped it would. Sure, around 9.000 sales (8.391 through November) is by far the best any Infiniti model has ever sold in Europe (the next best being the Q50’s 2015 figure of just over 3.000 units), but it’s not even close to the European target of 30.000 annual sales for the two models combined.
Now, what do we expect from 2017? [Read more…]
Sales of midsized MPVs have been very stable in recent years, without any big growth or contraction. In the first half of 2016, sales increased 1% but in Q3 the segment suddenly lost 8% of its volume and is now down 2% year-to-date. Another big shock is the crowning of a new leader of the segment, which has been dominated by the French since Renault launched the first generation (Megane) Scenic in 1996. The Scenic and Citroën C4 Picasso have alternated as segment leaders in recent years, but this quarter the new generation Volkswagen Touran has claimed the year-to-date top spot and looks set to hold on to it until the end of the year, which would be a first time ever for the nameplate. Volkswagen now dominates 4 out of 7 mainstream car and MPV segments. In third place we find yet another German: the BMW 2-Series Active/Gran Tourer, the best selling luxury MPV in Europe.
Here are results of some recently-conducted polls:
1. Audi A5 sedan/wagon renderings fail to convince Audi sceptics
The hybrid trend may have started in Japan, but it is really US customers that were first to wholeheartedly embrace the technology, making the Toyota Prius the giant success that it is today. Ever since it became clear that the technology had the power to lure customers into the showrooms, and, more importantly, open their wallets wider than they would for conventionally-powered cards, carmakers have been trying to offer hybrid cars of their own. Some, though surprisingly few, have taken on the Prius directly (the poor Honda Insight, now Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Nero). Others, primarily Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus, have made good money of offering hybrid options on their luxury cars – a bandwagon that the German luxury brands have belatedly caught onto. Others still have tried to offer hybrid versions of mainstream cars, mostly meeting with moderate to no success (Honda, Ford, Nissan, VW). But the one niche that has not yet truly been tapped in the US, unlike in Europe, is that for smaller cars where a hybrid drivetrain can be used to give normally FWD cars a second set of driven wheels. [Read more…]