The midsized SUV segment remains stable, growing just 1% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. The fourth largest segment in Europe has a clear number one and number two, but there’s heavy competition for the other places in the top 10.
Soon-to-be-replaced Nissan Qashqai leaves the rest of the industry wondering when its sales momentum will come to an end, but for the first 9 months of 2013, its sales have remained virtually flat. The new generation will be introduced next month, a 7-seater to replace the Qashqai+2 is not planned, as Nissan will replace the body-on-frame X-trail with a crossover that is identical to the US Nissan Rogue, which will cater customers who need more seats. The new design will move X-Trail back up the ladder as well, increasing the Asian stranglehold on the segment.
The new generation Ford Kuga, similar to the US Escape, is unable to match the Korean’s sales pace, while Skoda Yeti should improve on a recent facelift to defend it against new generations of the Japanese competition. Mazda CX-5 is making waves, doubling its sales of last year, while model changes of Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have brought added interest into their showrooms. By year end, RAV4 will likely have passed CR-V again, as Toyota deliveries gain some momentum.
Look for Mitsubishi Outlander to move past little sister ASX and Fiat Freemont into the top 10 by year end, as 7.800 deliveries of the Plug-in Hybrid version will take place in The Netherlands to take maximum advantage of a tax break on plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles registered before January 1st.
Jeep Compass enjoyed just a short boost from its facelift, making it look like Grand Cherokee from the front. From very far away, that is. Mitsubishi-made Citroën C4 Aircross and Peugeot 4008 are unable to offset the decline in sales of their original sibling, while the utterly uninspiring Chevrolet Captiva, Suzuki Vitara and Samsung-based Renault Koleos are just not competitive enough in a market that has evolved beyond them.
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