At just 42.000 sales in the first three quarters of 2017, the large SUV segment is one of the smallest in Europe, in contrast to the US where it’s almost the largest segment as Americans buy 32 times as many of these cars than Europeans do, as American dealers have already sold almost one and a half million of these vehicles this year. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-13 (out of 19) outsells the entire European segment combined. No wonder most of these models never make it to the old continent and the segment continues to shrink with Nissan not replacing its Murano and Pathfinder or Mazda its CX-9 as they have done in the US. Then again, Ford entered the segment by bringing the Edge over from the States. And while absolute volume remains relatively low (13.100 in Europe vs. nearly 105.000 in the US), it has quickly become the segment leader with a commanding 31,2% share. However, that can’t prevent the segment from losing 19% of its volume in Q3, as every other nameplate lost with double digits, except for the low-volume SsangYong Rexton. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Edge, the segment would be down 30% in the third quarter and down 19% in the first nine months, instead of up 4%.
The Hyundai Santa Fe loses its second place to its platform sibling Kia Sorento, as the Santa Fe is down by a harsh 43% in Q3 and is now down 22% for the year so far. The Sorento doesn’t have much to celebrate either, losing 22% of its volume in Q3. The two South-Korean models have gone down from over 60% share of the segment to less than half. The Toyota Land Cruiser is down 24% in the third quarter and clearly outsells the Mitsubishi Pajero (named Shogun in the UK and Ireland and Montero in Spain) which is down 37%. As mentioned above, the SsangYong Rexton is the only other model to improve, thanks to a 7% gain in Q3. A new generation (called Rexton G4) is already on sale in its home market South Korea, but there hasn’t been any indication if and when it will come to Europe.
A new Santa Fe should be on its way for 2018 or early 2019 and it will be available in two sizes again, although there have been rumors that Hyundai is planning to separate them a bit more in terms of styling, with a sportier look for the 5-seater and and give them different names as well.
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