With an increase of 13% to 1.227.950 sales, the midsized crossover segment in Europe has grown for the sixth consecutive year, almost doubling its volume since 2009. As opposed to the compact and midsized car segments, Volkswagen is not the commanding leader of this segment. Renault-Nissan is, with the Nissan Qashqai breaking its volume record in an unthreatened first place for the 8th year in a row, the 6th of which it sells more than 200.000 units. Renault has added the Kadjar to that, already the #3 of the segment in Q4 while still in start-up mode, while the Nissan X-Trail is the fastest growing model of the segment. Renault-Nissan models are responsible for 70% of the segment growth in 2015 and now hold a 26,1% share of the segment for the year (29,3% in Q4) and that’s unlikely to decrease this year as the Kadjar will reach its full potential and the X-Trail will benefit from the new turbocharged gasoline engine. And Renault is working on a new Koleos to fit above the Kadjar as well.
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Meanwhile, the competition doesn’t sit still, as Volkswagen has just launched its second generation Tiguan and the renewed Kia Sportage is arriving in showrooms in Q1 as well. That makes the relatively stable sales figures of the outgoing versions even more impressive, with the Tiguan losing just 2% in its 8th year on the market. The Sportage even improves by 9% in the final year of the current generation. The Kia’s cousin Hyundai ix35 loses its fourth place to the Ford Kuga, as it’s being replaced by the Tucson which arrives in 14th place. Combined sales of the outgoing ix35 and the new Tucson would give Hyundai the #3 spot, but Hyundai is expected to have to relegate its fourth place to Renault this year, as the Kadjar has outsold the Tucson every single month since its launch.
The Skoda Yeti and Mazda CX-5 are pretty stable in 6th and 7th spot, while the Toyota RAV4 suffers from a terrible Q4 in which it’s down to #13 as customers await the facelifted version. Mitsubishi’s two SUVs show impressive gains, the Outlander because of increased demand for its plug-in hybrid version, the ASX for unknown reasons, as its facelift will arrive in the second half of this year. The Suzuki S-Cross loses a quarter of its volume, possibly from cannibalization by the smaller Vitara, while the Fiat Freemont (a rebadged Dodge Journey) is now under threat from its FCA sibling Jeep Cherokee.
2016 will bring a number of new entrants to the segment, most notably from the Volkswagen Group, which will build Seat and Skoda models on the platform of the new Tiguan. MG is expected to bring the GS crossover to the UK following its successful launch in China, and Peugeot will turn the next generation 3008 into a real crossover instead of the MPV that the first generation was.
Midsized SUV segment
Citroën C4 Aircross
Suzuki Grand Vitara
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