For the first time ever, more than 1 million midsized crossovers have been sold in Europe in a single year, only 7 years after first breaking the 500.000 sales threshold. And I don’t expect the growth to stall in 2015, as key models have recently been renewed and one highly anticipated new player will enter the segment. In 2014, the 12 best selling models all managed to improve their sales figures on the year before.
The new generation Nissan Qashqai has enjoyed a very strong fourth quarter to continue the model’s streak of five consecutive years above 200.000 sales, although its share of the segment has dropped below 20%. The Qashqai also celebrates 8 consecutive years as the segment leader. In second place, the Tiguan breaks its sales record at just over 150.000 sales, no less than 7 years after its introduction, an equally surprising as impressive performance, only equaled by the Fiat 500. The Tiguan is the best selling midsized SUV from a European manufacturer in a segment that’s dominated by Asian brands, which control two thirds of the segment’s sales.
Five consecutive years of sales increases, of which the last four each set a new sales record for the model, have helped the Kia Sportage hold on to its top-3 position, despite strong internal competition from its sibling Hyundai ix35. The Sportage has been slightly facelifted in 2014 to prepare for the all-new model next year, while the ix35 will be completely renewed in Q3 of 2015.
Both South-Korean models are chased by the ever-more successful Ford Kuga, up 33% to a record 86.500 units in Europe, and within 10.000 sales of the segment podium. Behind the Kuga, two other models also break their all-time sales records: the Skoda Yeti, 5 years after its introduction, thanks to a minor facelift, and the Mazda CX-5, improving further on its first full year of sales in 2013.
The Suzuki S-Cross enters the top-10, kicking down the Mitsubishi ASX, which is surprisingly up, and by no less than 33%, without any facelifts or updates. Possibly it’s just enjoying increased interest from the added showroom volume its larger sibling Outlander is pulling thanks to that model’s Plug-in Hybrid version. In its turn, the Outlander is up 30% as well, to almost 34.000 sales, of which close to 20.0000, or 59%, the PHEV.
The new generation Nissan X-Trail is up to 14th place, and even 13th in the last quarter. It has replaced both the outgoing X-Trail and the stretched Qashqai+2, even though Qashqai sales don’t seem to have suffered from the loss of the +2 version.
Another successful introduction is the Jeep Cherokee, up to 18th place in its first year, outselling models of large European brands like the Opel/Vauxhall Antara and Renault Koleos. Granted, the Antara and Koleos have already been on the market for a number of years and have never been able to break through in Europe, but sales of over 1.000 units a month since its launch are nonetheless an excellent result for the American brand, considering its limited dealer network.
As noted in the first paragraph, a new player will enter the segment this year with very high expectations. Renault has just revealed the first images of its all-new Kadjar crossover, based on the segment leader Qashqai, and it will reach showrooms in the second half of the year. So don’t expect it to shake up the top-3 in 2015 yet, but considering the success of Renault’s new design language with the Capture small crossover and Clio subcompact, it should certainly be a contender in 2016.
That year Seat will also finally introduce its first crossover, and MG plans to bring its GS crossover to the UK market early 2016 as well.
Midsized SUV segment
Citroën C4 Aircross
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2013 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.
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