Sales of small crossovers in Europe continue to amaze, shooting through the 700.000 units milestone, as I predicted a modest 670.000 after the first three quarters. This is an increase of 52% on 2013, and with a slew of new players entering Europe’s hottest segment this year, the growth isn’t likely to stall anytime soon. In fact, I expect over 1 million annual small crossover sales within a few years time.
Until those new players hit full steam, the 2014 top-5 enjoys a combined share of almost 92%, with the top-4 each selling well over 100.000 units, compared to just one model above that threshold in 2013. Not surprisingly, the Renault Captur has taken control of the segment with just under 165.000 sales, almost 1 in every 4 small crossovers sold. Behind the leader, there’s a fierce battle for second place, with Opel/Vauxhall Mokka outselling the Peugeot 2008 and Dacia Duster in the last quarter to narrow the gap between second place and fourth place to just 8.000 units.
Last year’s leader Nissan Juke falls below 100.000 sales for the first time in four years, as it received a facelift in the second half of 2014. Sales already rebounded in the fourth quarter, but not enough to keep it from losing 8% of its volume. Undoubtedly the Juke will break into six figures again in 2015, despite the ever-increasing competition.
The first of the challengers has already arrived in the last quarter of 2014 and the Jeep Renegade impressively jumped into the segment’s sixth place in November and December, outselling the Suzuki SX4 and Ford Ecosport even before deliveries have started to pick up pace. It will be followed shortly by its sibling Fiat 500X, which should easily be able to repeat or even improve on that performance.
After the Fiat, a number of Asian manufacturers will join the segment. The first to arrive will be the all-new Suzuki Vitara, with its square and rugged styling, Suzuki takes a different approach to the segment than the frivolous 500X or playmobile-like Renegade.
In the second half of the year, Honda dealers will start deliveries of the HR-V, Mazda will continue its strong form with the introduction of the CX-3 and SsangYong will introduce its first all-new model under ownership of Mahindra&Mahindra of India, with the Tivoli.
The only counter-action from the incumbents will come from Peugeot, updating the 2008 to defend its second place of the segment. Seat will also reveal a small crossover in 2015, but that won’t hit the market until next year.
Small Crossover segment
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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