Sales of compact crossovers continue to surge in Europe, with a 15% gain in 2018 to over 1,7 million sales or 11,1% of the overall market, up from 9,6% in 2017 and 7,7% in 2016. Most of the growth comes from newly launched or very recent models. We’ve decided to separate the tables of the compact and midsized crossover segments but still feature them in one post and in one graph as the models in these classes are so close to each other in size and there are so many different opinions on which models belong in which of these segments. Combined, sales in these segments are up 15% to 13,7% of the total European car market, and VW Group and Renault-Nissan each control 22% and PSA another 17% of these segments combined, for a whopping 61% share by just three manufacturers. The Nissan Qashqai is still the best selling crossover in Europe, despite losing 7% on its record volume of 2017. Its closest rival is still the Volkswagen Tiguan, down 9% although its figures are estimates, as we don’t have official split figures from the 7-seater Tiguan Allspace and we estimate a 15% take rate for that version, which is featured in the midsized crossover segment. The Peugeot 3008 continues its impressive run and also crosses the 200.000 sales threshold thanks to a 20% increase on last year. When combining these segments, the 3008/5008 duo would be on top of the charts, just ahead of the Qashqai/X-Trail, with the Tiguan trailing at a distance. By any standard an impressive performance from the French brand, and we’re curious to see how the all-new Citroën C5 Aircross will perform once its deliveries start to show its true potential.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off
The Ford Kuga keeps improving even in the mature days of its product cycle, setting an annual sales record for the fifth consecutive year, and at the same time claiming 4th place from the Hyundai Tucson, down 10%. The Toyota C-HR is the big winner in the top-8 with a gain of 21%, leapfrogging the Kia Sportage, down 6% and Renault Kadjar, down 10% to just below 100.000 sales. The top-10 is completed by two newcomers, both siblings of top-3 players: the Skoda Karoq and Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X. The Jeep Compass sells almost five times of what it has ever sold in Europe in a single year. In fact, it sold more in 2018 alone than in all of the previous 12 years before combined. That puts it above the Seat Ateca and the Mazda CX-5, the latter of which gains 18% thanks to the new generation. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross lands at #14, followed by two redesigned models: the Subaru XV and Jeep Wrangler, both of which improve significantly. In fact, 2018 is the second best ever sales year in Europe for both of them, after 2012. Among niche players, the DR Motor DR4 stands out, the Italian version of the Chinese JAC Refine S3. At the bottom of the ranking we find the Hyundai Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle with its first 92 deliveries.
In 2019 we won’t see a lot of product news, except for a next generation SsangYong Korando (of which an all-electric version is planned), the facelifted Renault Kadjar and perhaps MG will bring the HS to its UK dealers.
The midsized crossover segment has been growing at lightning speed in recent years due to an influx of new players to the class. Although growth has slowed down slightly, it’s still in double digits and will continue to do so in 2019 as there’s still plenty of news in the segment. 2018 has brought a new name on the top of the ranking, with the Peugeot 5008 rising three places from #4 in its first year as an SUV, claiming almost 20% of the segment and leaving the Toyota RAV4 and Skoda Kodiaq behind. The Nissan X-Trail is the big loser of the segment, down 31% while the next generation isn’t due for at least another year. The Mitsubishi Outlander rebounds after two years of declines and stays ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace (estimated at 15% of overall Tiguan sales). The Honda CR-V is struggling as the new generation is taking long to arrive in Europe, and the Renault Koleos nearly hits 19.000 sales in the first full year of sales for the new generation. That’s not even a record for the nameplate, as the previous version, a rebadged Samsung imported from South-Korea, sold over 21.000 units in 2009. The new Koleos has greatly improved in terms of design and quality, but it doesn’t help that it’s only available with big diesel engines in Europe. The Subaru Forester is due for a redesign and the Jeep Cherokee just can’t seem to break through in Europe the way its smaller siblings Renegade and Compass have. We welcome the Seat Tarraco to the segment, a model that should be able to reach 8th place once its deliveries pick up steam.
In 2019 we’ll get the new generations of the RAV4 and CR-V and Renault will update the Koleos with hopefully smaller and/or more efficient engines.
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