Sales of small crossovers in Europe took a pauze of their booming growth in recent years. The segment grew by 5% in 2017, to just under 1,51 million units, or 9,7% of the total market, up from 9,5% in 2016. In Q4, volume was up 14% again thanks to new brands entering the segment. The entire top-5 showed single digit growth or declines, indicating the growth is indeed fueled by new entrants. Even with a 2% decline and a resulting one full percentage point of share of the segment, the Renault Captur still rules and is the only nameplate in the class to sell over 200.000 units. Its closest rivals are still the Peugeot 2008 and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, both with a 3% increase, although the latter was down by 15% in Q4, potentially from internal competition from the newly launched Crossland X, landing at #14 for the year after taking 6th place in the fourth quarter. The new generation Dacia Duster has started sales early 2018, but the outgoing version managed to show a 4% increase last year after a 13% gain in Q4. This is a new annual record for the nameplate. One of the models that made this segment popular Nissan Juke is down 6% but manages to leapfrog the Fiat 500X to reclaim 5th place even though it is one of the oldest models in the class.
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The 14% decline is a worrying sign for the 500X, as it is one of only 4 continued models in the segment to show a double digit loss. Its platform sibling Jeep Renegade is down just 5% and stays just ahead of the Suzuki Vitara. The Ford Ecosport enters the segment top-10 after its facelift and interior upgrades, jumping ahead of the Citroën C4 Cactus which is due for a facelift in 2018. The Mazda CX-3 is impressively stable at +3% in its second full year on the market. Perhaps even more impressive is the stable volume of the Mitsubishi ASX considering this was its 8th year of sales without any major updates. The Kia Niro hybrid crossover lands at #15 in its first full year, proving much more popular than its platform sibling Hyundai Ioniq. The facelifted Suzuki S-Cross is the best performer in the segment with a gain of 37%, allowing it to outsell the Honda HR-V and the newcomer Citroën C3 Aircross landed at #10 in Q4 ahead of the CX-3 and EcoSport. Other newcomers are the Kia Stonic at #21, its sister model Hyundai Kona at #23, directly followed by the Seat Arona and its platform mate Volkswagen T-Roc. Of these four, the T-Roc is a top-5 player and the Stonic a top-10 player in 2018, the other two are expected to be slightly behind.
After this avalanche of news last year, 2018 is unlikely to be quieter, with new versions of the Juke (Nissan won’t bring the Kicks to Europe, unless it changes its mind after all), ASX (which will become a bit smaller to make room for the Eclipse Cross between it and the Outlander) and Duster which is already in showrooms as mentioned above. We’ll also welcome the MG XS, which is called ZS in China, Volkswagen T-Cross to cover the bottom-end of the segment, and finally an all-new version of the segment grandfather Suzuki Jimny. As mentioned above, the C4 Cactus will be updated, as will the Vitara, Renegade, 500X and HR-V. And Hyundai will launch a very promising electric version of the Kona.
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