The midsized premium SUV segment in Europe enjoys hot demand with sales up 25% in the first half of 2016. This is a result of renewed models and the introduction of new players to the segment, but while most premium segments are dominated by the Germans, amazingly the leader of the midsized premium crossover class is an already 8-year old Swede! The Volvo XC60 shows flat sales and therefore loses a big chunk of share compared to last year, but its lead was big enough to hold on to the pole position. Behind it, there’s a fierce three-way battle for 2nd place between the Range Rover Evoque, freshly facelifted and segment leader in Q1, the Mercedes-Benz GLC, all-new and ready to take control of the segment, something its predecessor GLK never achieved, and the Audi Q5, just as old as the Volvo but #2 of the segment in Q2. The Volvo is likely to hang on to the lead and the GLC will leapfrog the Evoque by the next quarter for sure, but for the rest of this top-4….. The Audi’s strength is amazing and I almost can’t believe it could still outsell the completely fresh and great-looking Mercedes, but that’s exactly what it’s done in the second quarter and remains a force to be reckoned with.
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Jaguar-Land Rover has another two aces up its sleeve in this segment with the Discovery Sport, the only model available with optional 7-seat capacity, up 73% in 5th place, and the all-new Jaguar F-Pace, launched in Q2. With just the two Land Rovers, the British manufacturer would already the biggest of the segment, but the F-Pace only adds to that success. It already outsold the Lexus NX in its introduction quarter and the Porsche Macan in June, its third month of sales. Where does that leave BMW? Well, the X3 and X4 improve their volume, but by single digits and therefore lose share of the segment. Even when combined, the two models would only be in 2nd place behind the XC60. A new third generation BMW X3 will be launched in 2017, and that might help the brand to better compete in this segment. We also welcome the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe to the segment in Q2 with its first 13 sales in June. After its start-up phase, the GLC Coupe should be able to challenge the BMW X4 and the Macan for 8th place behind the F-Pace.
One size smaller, sales of premium compact crossovers improve even faster at +27% and BMW is much stronger here thanks to a recent redesign of the X1, which more than doubles the volume of its awkwardly proportioned predecessor. Still, the BMW X1 is so far unable to knock the Audi Q3 off its throne, as the small Audi improves 18% after a mild facelift. That leaves the Mercedes-Benz GLA a distant third while the Mini Countryman/Paceman is the only model to lose volume in the first half. A new generation Countryman will be revealed at the Paris Autoshow next month, and it is expected to get a plug-in hybrid option in time as well, a system similar to that of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer. The Paceman won’t be replaced.
2016 first half premium compact crossover sales Europe
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