Sales of small crossovers in Europe are starting to plateau after booming growth in recent years. The segment grew by just 5% in Q2 and is now up 10% in the first half, to a record 853.391 units. However, as the segment leader has just been facelifted and a whole bunch of new models are ready to enter the segment, expect the growth to continue for the rest of this year and next. The Renault Captur is down for the first time in its career, losing 12% in the second quarter and 6% year-to-date, as the facelifted version is just making its way into the showrooms. Its segment leadership remains uncontested, as it still sold more than any other model in both quarters. Still, its closest two rivals, the Peugeot 2008 and the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka continue to grow and therefore the top-3 is getting closer to each other but also distancing themselves from the rest of the segment. In 4th place we still find the Dacia Duster, which is stable but therefore loses a full percentage point of share compared to the first half of 2016.
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The Toyota C-HR is the most successful launch this year, jumping to 5th place ahead of the Fiat 500X and segment grandfather Nissan Juke, which are both down 18% in Q2. The C-HR benefits from its optional hybrid powertrain, while its love-it-or-hate-it styling seems to appeal to a broader audience than I had expected. The 500X is disappointing, having peaked at a 5th place last year with over 100.000 sales but now already losing again. More worryingly, it’s for more than 50% of its sales dependent on its home market Italy, an unhealthy high percentage. Its platform sibling Jeep Renegade shows a similar figure but remains more stable so far this year. After a booming first quarter, the Ford Ecosport gains 7% in Q2 to normalize its growth curve, but that also means it’s unable to really compete in this segment, and to make matters worse: it was outsold by the Citroën C4 Cactus in the second quarter, kicking it back out ot the top-10. The Cactus itself has peaked too soon and is down a worrying 24% in Q2.
The Skoda Yeti will be replaced by the Karoq soon, but is impressively stable with just a 6% loss in the first half. The Mitsubishi ASX gains 17% in Q2 for no apparent reason, while the Honda HR-V becomes the biggest loser of the segment in Q2 with a loss of 29%, pulling down its year-to-date figure to -10% as it barely remains ahead of the Kia Niro and facelifted Suzuki S-Cross, which both outsold it in the second quarter. The S-Cross has just been facelifted and is the fastest growing model in the segment, while its sibling Vitara in 9th place is slightly down as it too will receive some minor updates soon. Suzuki has a third model in this segment, one that many of you may have already forgotten about. The Jimny, already in its 19th year on the market and virtually unchanged since, manages a 17% improvement in Q2 and is on schedule for its best year of sales since 2010. Then again, it’s not even the oldest model still on sale, as that title goes to the Lada Niva in 23rd place.
The Kia Soul has lost its mojo and is down 22% in the second quarter, while the SsangYong Tivoli is down 31%. Even with sales of the extended version XLV combined, the South-Korean model loses volume, both in the quarter and the half. We welcome the Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X, the crossover replacement to the Meriva, which will soon be joined by its platform sibling Citroën C3 Aircross. The Crossland X was already in 14th place in June, while still in ramp-up mode and seemingly without cannibalizing the Mokka.
In 2017 the new product onslaught will continue thanks to VW Group and Hyundai-Kia: we will finally see the long-awaited Polo crossover (T-Roc / Taigun?), although that may not be in showrooms until late this year or early 2018, as first Seat will bring the Arona based on the new Ibiza. The replacements to the MPVs Hyundai ix20 (named Kona) and Kia Venga (named Stonic) will become crossovers as well, making the South-Koreans compete in this segment too, at last. Nissan will also present the second generation Juke and at the end of the year, Dacia will present the new Duster, but that won’t hit the market until 2018, just like the next gen Mitsubishi ASX which will become a bit smaller to make room for the Eclipse Cross between it and the Outlander. MG will enter the segment with the XS, which is called ZS in China, but the name MG ZS has already been used in Europe for the sporty versions of the Rover 45.
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