The large SUV segment in Europe is showing resilience across the board: after losing almost a quarter of its volume in 2013, with all models down except for one, this year so far the large SUV’s are back up 7% and the success is shared by all models but two.
The Hyundai Santa Fe, the model that added the most market share from 2012 to 2013, now loses the most market share in the first half of 2014. This could still be a result of Hyundai’s strategic decision to restrict exports to Europe of the model, as it’s enjoying huge popularity in other markets like the USA and China, which have a much larger potential for SUV’s and crossovers.
As a result, the Santa Fe is dragging down the performance of the segment as a whole, because the other models combined actually show an increase of 17% on the first half of last year. Best of the rest is still the ageing Kia Sorento, although the Toyota Land Cruiser and Mitsubishi Pajero are growing faster than the South-Korean SUV.
Europe won’t get the new generation Nissan Pathfinder, which is built in the USA and is only available with a V6-gasoline engine, and has to make do with the Spanish-built body-on-frame SUV that was introduced in 2005, as Nissans new crossover won’t be available with a diesel engine, the most popular version in Europe. Nonetheless, it passed the relatively fresh SsangYong Rexton in the second quarter of this year to reclaim its sixth position of the segment.
A replacement for the Nissan Murano is on its way, also for the European market, and the new generation will continue the nameplate’s trademark: its distinctive and quirky design.
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