Sales of midsized crossovers and SUVs in Europe grew by twice the speed of the overall market in Q1 of 2016, at +17%. And that growth is very likely to continue, as new players keep entering the segment. Due in the next 18 months are the Tiguan-based Seat Ateca and the slightly larger Skoda version of those cars, Peugeot will enter the segment with crossover-like replacements of the 3008 and 5008, Renault has just revealed the Koleos in China which will start sales here next year and MG may bring the GS to the UK. So far, no model has been able to come even close to the Nissan Qashqai, the undisputed segment leader since 2008. Sales of the Qashqai are stable at +2% despite new generations of its closest rivals and also despite its partner Renault successfully launching a Qq derivative with the Kadjar. And don’t forget the 7-seater Qashqai+2 has been replaced by the X-Trail as well. In fact, the share of Renault-Nissan in this segment has grown from 23,8% last year to 31,7%. Last year’s #2 Volkswagen Tiguan loses just 1% of its volume right before the new generation is launched. As result, the model is outsold by the new generation Kia Sportage and under heavy attack from the all-new Hyundai Tucson. The two South-Korean brands grow their share of the segment from 17,9% to 21,4%. The Tiguan was outsold by the Tuscon in January and February and both were outsold by the Kadjar in March, indicating it will be an interesting fight for the podium this year. That’s unlikely to include the Ford Kuga, which loses a position despite adding almost a quarter to its volume of last year.
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The Nissan X-Trail is the fastest growing model in the segment at +73% and jumps from 12th to 7th place and best Japanese model behind its little sibling Qashqai. The Toyota RAV4 is close behind with stable sales so far but a facelift and the addition of a hybrid option should help it improve this year. The Mazda CX-5 keeps selling strong at +3% and moving past the Skoda Yeti. The Honda CR-V loses 3% of its volume and drops out of the top-10, while Mitsubishi also loses share with sales of the ASX stable and those of the facelifted Outlander even down 7%. The Suzuki S-Cross is cannibalized by the Vitara and loses almost half of its volume, but also worrying is the 29% drop of the Jeep Cherokee, a model that’s still relatively fresh, but its polarizing design doesn’t seem to vibe with European buyers as much as it does in the US and in China.
Also check out the compact SUV segment in the US where the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape have ended a 17-year long winning streak of the Honda CR-V.
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