Sales of compact crossovers in Europe are up 11% in 2019 to 2.36 million, which makes this the fourth largest segment at 15% of the total European car market. This segment has doubled in the last three years and tripled in the last eight years. Big event at the top of the ranking: for the first time since its launch in 2007, the Nissan Qashqai is not the best selling compact crossover in Europe due to a 5% drop in sales while its rival Volkswagen Tiguan gains 6% on 2018, which allows it to claim the segment lead for the first time ever. One caveat to this claim: VW doesn’t publish split figures for the standard Tiguan and the 3-row midsized Tiguan Allspace, which we estimate at 15% of the nameplate’s total. And while the Qashqai lost its crown, 2019 still marks the 10th consecutive year of 200,000+ sales and a new generation will be launched in 2020. The Peugeot 3008 drops below the 200k mark after one year but holds its third place.
Ford has milked out the outgoing second generation Kuga in the last quarter with big discounts before the new generation arrives in 2020. As a result, the Kuga was the #2 best selling compact crossover in Europe in Q4. This also cleared out its remaining stock of inefficient models before the stricter average fleet emissions quota kicked in, while the third generation Kuga will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. However, the new Kuga will grow beyond our size limits for the compact crossover segment (4.35 – 4.60 meters length) and into the midsized crossover segment. The Hyundai Tucson is relatively stable at -1% but therefore loses share, while its sibling model Kia Sportage is down 9%. The Toyota C-HR is also down 9% in its second full year of sales, while the Renault Kadjar is back up 10% to above 100,000 sales after its facelift. The Skoda Karoq also crosses the 100k mark in its first full year of sales, while the Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X stays just below it. The Seat Ateca is surprisingly up 26% in its third full year of sales, while the Citroën C5 Aircross lands at nearly 80,000 sales, which brings the PSA share of this segment to 19.9% of the mainstream part of the segment, still behind VW Group’s 22.9% but now ahead of Renault-Nissan’s 19.4% share. The Mazda CX-5 is down 7% but leapfrogs the Jeep Compass, down 12%. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is stable, while the Subaru XV is down 28% as the Japanese brand is struggling to make its models suit the European consumer tastes and emissions regulations. The Jeep Wrangler, while remaining a niche model, is up 10% to its highest annual sales volume in Europe in at least 20 years thanks to the new generation. Also just renewed is the SsangYong Korando, up 11% but with still a neglectible share of 0.1%. Its upcoming EV version may help increase sales, but it may also be hindered by low brand recognition. We welcome the Mazda CX-30 to the ranking, a model that should be able to outsell its larger sibling CX-5 here in Europe.
In the luxury part of the segment, which accounts for 22% of compact crossover sales (up from 19.4% in 2018), the BMW X1 still rules despite a 3% drop, ahead of the Audi Q3, up 58% thanks to the new generation and the addition of the crossover-coupe Q3 Sportback. The Volvo XC40 is up to third place ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLA which is about to be replaced in 2020. The XC40’s upcoming EV version could be a nice ace up its sleeve to improve further in 2020. The Range Rover Evoque is up 20% thanks to the new model, but remains below the first generation’s minimum of 50,000 annual sales with a peak of 64,000 in 2016. The BMW X2 is up 24%, giving BMW a share of 29.6% of the luxury compact crossover class, while the DS7 Crossback’s 50% gain helps it leapfrog the Jaguar E-Pace which sees stable sales. The Lexus UX arrives at the bottom of the ranking as we’re used to from the Japanese brand, but perhaps the upcoming UX e, Lexus’ first electric car, will push the aggressively styled crossover further up the charts. The Mercedes-Benz GLB, while sitting on the same platform as the GLA, is classified in the midsized crossover segment due to its length.
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