The midsized crossover segment is still enjoying a healthy growth pace, increasing sales 11% in the first three quarters of 2014, as 14 models in the top-20 have sold more units than they did in the same period last year.
The first model to lose sales is the Nissan Qashqai which has suffered from a model change-over to its second generation. I had expected the new model to have picked up the pace by now and to have returned into positive territory by now, but it has fallen below 20% segment share instead. Considering the last quarter of the year is traditionally the slowest, the Qashqai may fall below the 200.000 annual sales mark for the first time since 2009. But even if it does so, it won’t be by more than 5.000 units. Perhaps the successful introduction of the 7-seater Nissan X-Trail as a replacement to both the outgoing X-Trail and the extended wheelbase Qashqai+2 is hurting sales of its smaller sibling. The X-Trail has already more than doubled its volume of last year and was up into 13th place in September, ready to move past the C4 Aircross and Forester by the end of the year.
Still, the Qashqai will remain firmly in the lead of the segment, where it has been since 2008. It is in no way threatened by the VW Tiguan, which even fell down into fourth place in a terrible month of September, when sales contracted more than a third on September 2013.
Below it, the Ford Kuga continues to close the gap with the two South-Korean models which have recently been slightly updated, as the Kuga adds one third to its score in the first nine months of last year, the fastest growing model in the top-10 with the exception of the Suzuki S-Cross which has only just celebrated its first birthday. Despite being still relatively fresh, the Suzuki’s 10th place is threatened by two Mitsubishis, each outselling the S-Cross this quarter. The Outlander is helped by subsidies a number of European governments have installed to buyers of Plug-in hybrid models, and for the time being, Mitsubishi is the only manufacturer to offer such technology in an SUV model.
The new generation Jeep Cherokee continues its strong performance, moving up three spots on its first-half position and even into 17th place in September. It’s likely to finish the year in 18th place, ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Antara and the Renault Koleos. A top-15 position should easily be possible for 2015.
With the Chevrolet Captiva clocking just 104 sales this quarter, as the brand has stopped shipping vehicles to Europe, the SsangYong Korando has passed it to become the third best-selling South-Korean midsized SUV for the first time since its new model was introduced in 2010.
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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