The small crossover segment in Europe has definitely hit a ceiling as sales were up just 4% in Q3 even though a slew of new models has been launched during the past few months. For the first nine months of 2017, the segment is up by just 3% to a record 1,13 million sales. As those new entrants gain traction with deliveries, the segment should continue its growth into 2018, but logically even when the absolute growth stays strong, as the segment gets bigger it will get harder to keep up those double digit figures of recent years. After a 12% loss in Q2, segment leader Renault Captur is down by just 2% in Q3 thanks to its facelift. However, the #2 Opel/Vauxhall Mokka was just 1.700 sales behind this quarter, closing in on the YTD #2 spot by just 77 sales. For now, the Peugeot 2008 still holds that second place, but it was down by 12% in the third quarter and was almost down to 4th place as it outsold the Dacia Duster by only 1.500 units. The Duster returns to the black even though its replacement has already been revealed. YTD, the top-5 is relatively stable, including the Nissan Juke, despite being one of the oldest models in the segment.
In fact, the Juke reclaims its 5th place from the Fiat 500X, which is down 20% in Q3, and its platform sibling Jeep Renegade is down by an ever worse 23%. The Renegade was outsold by the Suzuki Vitara, Ford Ecosport, Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X and even the Mazda CX-3 in the third quarter, but holds on to its 7th place for now. Citroën has announced it won’t replace the C4 hatchback and instead will let the C4 Cactus do the heavy lifting in both the small crossover and the compact car segment. The bad news about that decision is that the Cactus is down by 26% in the third quarter and by 21% for the year so far. Thanks to its facelift, the Suzuki S-Cross is up 31% in Q3 and it doesn’t seem to cannibalize on its sibling Vitara, which is up 4% as well. Best selling newcomer this year is the Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X, which was in 9th place for the third quarter, followed by its platform sibling Citroën C3 Aircross which was still in start-up mode but already tied the S-Cross for 15th place in September and should be able to reach a similar volume as the Crossland X. We also welcome the Kia Stonic in 24th place, the Volkswagen T-Roc in 26th place, the Seat Arona in 27th place and the Hyundai Kona in 29th place. All of these haven’t showed their true potential yet and will be climbing up the ranking in the fourth quarter. The T-Roc should be able to fight for the segment podium in 2018, while its sibling Arona should be able to fight for a top-10 position and the two South-Korean models should be able to position themselves in between them. I personally think the Stonic has more potential than the Kona, just because it has a more appealing design than the somewhat controversial Kona.
In 2018, Nissan will present the second generation Juke as it won’t be bringing the Kicks to Europe, Dacia will launch the new Duster, and we’ll get to see 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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