The growth of the compact crossover segment in Europe slows down slightly in Q3 of 2017, but it’s still the second-fastest growing mainstream segment at +25% in the third quarter and +32% year-to-date. Almost 1,13 million compact crossovers have already been sold so far this year, virtually the same number as the small crossover segment whose growth curve has flattened. The Nissan Qashqai still tops the ranking and continues to win sales, but it’s losing share of the segment as it increased by just 8% both in Q3 and YTD. Its main rival Volkswagen Tiguan gained just 4% in the third quarter, as the new generation had just reached its full potential in the same period last year. Behind these two leaders, three players are having a pretty close race, selling within 2.000 units of each other in the third quarter. The Peugeot 3008 holds the final step of the segment podium and behind it, the Hyundai Tucson feels the Ford Kuga breathing down its neck in the third quarter as the Ford improves 11% while the Tucson sees stable sales. This top-5 holds almost two thirds of the segment with the rest of the top-10 holding nearly the other third as the remaining models make up just 2,6% of the segment.
The Kia Sportage loses 4% in Q3 and is down 7% for the year, but still holds a comfortable advantage over the all-new Toyota C-HR which moves into 7th place, passing the Renault Kadjar which is the big loser in the top-10, down 22% in the third quarter. The Seat Ateca is exactly where the brand expected it to be, holding 5% of the segment, giving it 9th place ahead of the recently renewed Mazda CX-5, which was up 12% last quarter. Outside the top-10, the new generation Jeep Compass makes itself noticed with sales up more than 30-fold on the previous generation last year. It will be interesting to see if it has the potential to make it into the segment top-10 in 2018. We welcome the Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X to the segment, which hasn’t shown its true potential by far with only a 13th place in the third quarter. Another newcomer is the Skoda Karoq, which is the Czech version of the Tiguan and Ateca. It should be able to outsell its Spanish sibling by the time its customer deliveries start in earnest.
A lot of news can be expected again in 2018, promising another year of growth for the segment: Subaru will renew the XV, the Citroën C5 Aircross will make it into showrooms this year too, the sister model of the 3008 and Grandland. The Aircross is already on sale in China, but Citroën wants to limit its product launches to one per year in Europe to spread its resources and marketing attention. In 2017 it had already brought the C3 Aircross to the market. Mitsubishi will launch a third crossover to fit between the ASX and Outlander: the Eclipse Cross. Ford will do the same, adding a model between the EcoSport and Kuga. The new generation Jeep Wrangler is already in showrooms in the US and will make its way down to Europe as well, but don’t expect that model to storm up the ranking anytime soon, even though its efficiency has significantly improved which should help it become more affordable in the European countries where vehicles are taxed based on their fuel economy.
The midsized crossover segment grows by a whopping 53% in the third quarter and 34% year-to-date, making it the fastest growing mainstream segment, thanks to a few popular new entrants. Like in the compact crossover segment analysed above, Nissan is the leader here as well, even though it wasn’t a comfortable leadership in the third quarter with the entire top-4 within 2.000 sales of each other. The X-Trail improved 16% year-over-year to hold on to top spot, followed by the Skoda Kodiaq, which is still in third place for the first nine months of the year. The YTD #2 Toyota RAV4 edged out a segment win in Q2 but was down to third in Q3 with a loss of 16% on last year. The Peugeot 5008 passes the Mitsubishi Outlander and Honda CR-V to move up to 4th place. These two Japanese players are both down by double digits, the CR-V by more than 20% as the new generation hasn’t arrived in European showrooms yet. The Subaru Forester gains 14% in Q3 but was outsold by the Renault Koleos, which is unable to make a similar impact as its French rival 5008 because it doesn’t have the same downsized petrol engines available, being developed as a so called “world car” instead of specifically for Europe.
In the upcoming months we’ll welcome the 7-seater Tiguan Allspace and another Seat crossover that’s based on that Allspace and the Kodiaq. Nissan will give the X-Trail the same facelift it already gave the Rogue in the US. As mentioned, no word yet on when we can expect the new CR-V.
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