Sales of midsized crossovers are growing even faster than their smaller rivals, at +26,8% in Q4 and +22% in the full year 2016, compared to +16% for the small crossover segment and +6,2% for the overall market. And while the growth is fueled by newcomers and updated existing models, the segment leader and the model that started the popularity of this segment Nissan Qashqai maintains its leadership of the segment, even though its volume is stable on last year. However, its dominance of the segment will be challenged in 2017, as the new generation Volkswagen Tiguan already outsold its British-Japanese rival in Q4, by 2.600 sales and will fight for the segment lead for the first time ever. In third place we find another relative fresh model: the Hyundai Tucson, knocking down its sibling Kia Sportage off the podium for the first time since 2012.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off
*We have to make a sidenote here that we’ve shuffled up the small and midsized crossover segments a bit since last quarter, in order to give a better reflection of the market. This means the Skoda Yeti, Mitsubishi ASX, Suzuki S-Cross and Kia Niro have been moved down to the small crossover segment.
Fifth place is occupied by the Qashqai’s platform sibling Renault Kadjar, which handily outsold the Sportage in Q4 to claim fourth place. It relegates the Ford Kuga into 6th place despite sales up 17% for the year. Then there’s quite a large gap to the second tier, led by the Toyota RAV4 with sales up 35% and the Nissan X-Trail, adding 50% to its 2015 volume, passing the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander in the process. All three lost volume and all three were outsold by the next two models in Q4: newcomer Seat Ateca and the second generation Peugeot 3008, now a true crossover. In fact, in 2017 the Ateca and 3008 will join the top tier group in volume to expand the top-6 to a top-8 and push the Japanese mid-segment down two more spots.
The consolidation of the segment shows in the bottom half of the ranking, with only one models from the numbers 16 to 26 growing its volume while all others showed double digit losses, compared to the entire top-8 in positive figures. Six out of those losers in the bottom half are about to be discontinued anyway, of which only the Opel/Vauxhall Antara will get a successor this year. Just below, we welcome two more newcomers: the Skoda Kodiaq arrived in Q4 and sold its first few demo models before customer deliveries begin in 2017, while the China-made MG GS has made a shy entrance into the UK, its only market.
A lot of news can be expected again in 2017, promising another year of growth for the segment: Nissan will facelift both the Qashqai and X-Trail while its partner Renault will launch the second generation Koleos, which is already on sale in other markets, most notably China. The same can be said of the Volkswagen 3-row Tiguan Allspace, already on sale in the People’s Republic as the Tiguan L, and the next generation Jeep Compass is already on sale in China and Brazil, Europe will follow later this year. Similarly, the next generation CR-V is already on sale in the US, which is by far the most important market for the model, selling over 8 times as many units as in Europe, so we’ll have to wait until the end of the year for it. Peugeot will give the 5008 a similar treatment as the 3008, moving it from the MPV segment to a real crossover, while on the same platform Opel/Vauxhall will launch the Grandland X to replace the unsuccessful Antara. Mazda has already presented the new generation CX-5 while Mitsubishi will reveal a third crossover at the Geneva Autoshow in March to fit between the ASX and Outlander, the Eclipse Cross. Ford will do the same, adding a model between the EcoSport and Kuga.
Also check out the heavily competitive compact SUV segment in the US where the European numbers 2, 3 and 4 are only in 17th, 16th and 14th place respectively, while the European numbers 10,7 and 8 top the charts.
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