Sales of small crossovers in Europe continue their booming growth curve in 2019 with another double digit gain in the first quarter. An increase of 11% leads to nearly 570.000 sales which means we’re very likely to see over 2 million sales in this segment this year for the first time ever. This segment already accounts for 14% of the overall European car market, up another two percentage points in a single year. That means this segment is closing in on the compact car segment (the “Golf class”) to become Europe’s second largest segment after the subcompact cars. No wonder manufacturers that are not playing in this class yet are rushing to join the party, while existing brands are doubling down on their efforts. As a result, it’s not only one of the biggest segments in terms of volume, but also in the number of players, with no less than 29 and another handful of newcomers arriving this year. And we also have a new player on top of the charts, with the Volkswagen T-Roc beating its rivals to the #1 spot just a year after its launch. It now holds 10% of the segment, but the former leader Renault Captur is not far behind, just 1.000 sales separate the two models and the Captur still manages to increase its sales despite having the second generation ready for launch in the second half of this year. As a result of that model change, the T-Roc looks set for a full-year victory to knock the Captur of the top spot it held for five years.
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But the T-Roc is not the only challenger for the top spot, as the Dacia Duster is up 19% thanks to its second generation, and it’s up to third place, fewer than 2.000 sales from the leader. The Duster looks set to cross the 200.000 sales mark this year for the first time ever. That leaves the Peugeot 2008 in fourth place with sales down 10% as its second generation will arrive in showrooms this year. The Citroën C3 Aircross is up to #5 with sales up 29%, outselling its platform sibling Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X which is up 19%, as these two models are split by the Ford Ecosport at +33%. The Crossland X is therefore also ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X, which is due to be replaced in the second half of this year, when it will transition to a PSA platform as well. The Seat Arona and Hyundai Kona complete the top-10, both with significant improvements on last year, when both had just been launched. The Kona has a take rate of 23,7% for the EV version. That leaves the Fiat 500X out of the top-10 with sales down 15%, while its platform sibling Jeep Renegade is up 2% but down to 14th place. The Nissan Juke, the grandfather of the segment is in dire need of a replacement with sales down 11% into 13th place, and the new generation will finally arrive later this year, and it promises to keep its extravagant styling. The Mazda CX-3 improves its share of the segmentand distances the Kia Stonic, which can’t keep up with its platform sibling Kona for lack of an EV option. The latter has helped the Stonic’s larger brother Niro to grow 46% (with a take rate of 22% for the EV and 20% for the PHEV) and pass the Citroën C4 Cactus.
In the bottom of the ranking, the Honda HR-V is losing ground quickly, while the new generation Suzuki Jimny is not yet able to boost sales of the nameplate. The MG ZS is reaching new heights for the Chinese brand, outselling the soon-to-be-replaced Kia Soul and the SsangYong Tivoli, despite only being sold in the UK for now. MG still has plans to export to mainland Europe and perhaps the arrival of the electric version of the ZS will help realize those plans. We welcome the Volkswagen T-Cross to the charts, a model that sits at the lower end of the segment in terms of size, whereas its sibling T-Roc sits at the larger end.
2019 promises yet again a lot of product news, with new versions of the Captur and Juke, and the launch of the Skoda Kamiq and Ford Puma. Kia will launch a third generation of the Soul, including an EV version again. Mitsubishi will give the ASX yet another facelift (its third).
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