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.
When the Seat Ateca came out I remember being disappointed – the car is by no means bad-looking, but I felt it should have been much more adventurous than it turned out. By taking design cues from the Leon and stretching them over a more upright, formal crossover body the Ateca lost a lot of what made its hatchback sister model so handsome and attractive. But what really killed me is that that the Ateca looks less like a stablemate to the Leon, but rather more like a smaller, 5-seat version of…
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.
Ever since the Diesel scandal broke in the US, there have been rumors that Skoda could step up to enter the North American market to pick up the lost share or even to replace the tarnished VW brand altogether in this market. Kriss even wrote an article explaining in 5 points why it would make sense for Skoda to enter the US market 18 months ago, before the emission cheating software had been revealed. In the poll at the end of that article, 63% of our respondents thought VW should base its US offerings on Skoda models. This week, the influential auto journalist and well-informed industry watcher Georg Kacher quotes a senior VW board member: “We may be crazy, but we’re not mad. Entering this huge market with an unknown brand, a model range focused on Europe, and a non-existent dealer network is pure suicide. Furthermore, the last thing Volkswagen of America needs now is in-house cannibalization.”
The irony in this quote lies in the part “a model range focused on Europe”, because that’s exactly what Volkswagen itself has been unsuccessfully attempting to to for decades. [Read more…]
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.
Over the course of the last year, VAG has finally shown off the flexibility of its MQB platform by releasing not one, not two, not even three, but four distinct crossovers based on the ubiquitous component set. Ranging from 4.2m (Audi Q2) to 4.7m (Škoda Kodiaq) in length, and varying in styling, market positioning and global appeal, they will nonetheless often find themselves fighting over the wallets of similar customers, at least in Europe. So now the question to our readers: which do you prefer?
After what seems like years of speculation, spyshots, teasers and leaks, Škoda finally released its take on the 7-seat family crossover: the Kodiaq. But for once all the buildup may actually be justified, as the Kodiaq is not just another Škoda model – it is the harbinger of a bevy of new crossovers from the Czech carmaker, and has the potential to become one of its best-sellers. That, and it’s probably the ultimate answer to the question “why should Škoda enter the US market?”. [Read more…]