Small crossover sales continue to boom in the first half of 2015. Sales in this segment increased more than 50% last year, and after a slight hiccup in Q1 at “only” +34%, the year-to-date tally at the halfway mark is back up to +49%, thanks to a surge of 66% in Q2. This is for a large part due to new model introductions, but the incumbents keep growing to heights never imagined as well.
The segment leader Renault Captur has added another 23% to its already impressive score of last year, and has managed to rack up more than 100.000 sales in the past six months, which means it could end the year with over 200.000 sales. That’s Nissan Qashqai territory! Likewise, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka is showing an even bigger improvement at +40%, giving the GM brands some long-awaited success and helping them defend their European brand top-3 position, which they’re currently losing to Renault. It’s late-bloomed success has helped the Mokka to leapfrog both the Peugeot 2008 and the Dacia Duster to take second place of the hottest segment in the continent, as these two models show more modest growth rates at +15% and +4% respectively. Although these figures may look a bit bleak in this segment, it’s still an impressive performance to keep growing despite an influx of hot new competitors.
The Nissan Juke, former leader of the segment when it was still a small part of the market, has added 10% to its score of last year thanks to its recent facelift. It manages to hold on to fifth place, at a distance to the top-4. The Juke is followed by the Citroën C4 Cactus, moved here from the compact segment at the request of our readers. The Cactus has already sold over 43.000 units in Europe this year, an absolute blockbuster for the brand and an inspiration for future Citroën models, which will follow the philosophy of keeping things simple, clever and lightweight. The Cactus is followed by the two best selling newcomers, both from the Fiat-Chrysler stable and built on the same platform: the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade, selling at a brisk pace of 6.500 and 5.000 monthly units respectively in Q2. That means they could finish the year with over 120.000 sales between the two of them.
In #9 we find the Ford EcoSport, a late bloomer as well, finally taking off with sales up 533% off a low base. The model, which has been designed for upcoming markets, hadn’t managed to convince European car buyers that it’s up to par with its rivals in terms of quality and refinement, but it seems to catch on now that Ford has announced to make a few adjustments to make it better suited for our continent. Those include better noise insulation and the removal of that ghastly exterior-mounted spare wheel. However, the EcoSport is likely to be kicked down into 10th place by the end of the next quarter, and surely by the end of the year, as the Suzuki Vitara has struck a chord with European consumers as well. It was introduced in March, and has consistently outsold the little Ford in each of the last three months. It was Suzuki’s best selling model in May and has already overtaken both the Jimny and the SX4 in the year-to-date ranking. In July, the Vitara even managed to become the best selling model overall in Hungary, where it’s being produced.
Another already successful new small crossover is the Mazda CX-3, which also looks set to easily outsell the EcoSport in the rest of the years. I’m not sure if it’ll come up on top by the end of the year, as it has a six month gap to close, but its first full month of sales while still in run-up mode looks promising. Meanwhile, the SsangYong Tivoli is the newest and smallest model of the Korean SUV brand owned by Mahindra&Mahindra of India, and although its performance may be a bit snowed under in this boomign segment, it’s already closing in on the midsized SsangYong Korando to become the brand’s best selling crossover.
2015 first half small crossover sales Europe
Small SUV segment
Citroën C4 Cactus
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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