The premium midsized SUV segment in Europe remains stable in 2013, also in the models ranking.
BMW X3 shows the biggest decline, but remains the leader of the segment, although Audi Q5 is getting close, followed closely by the highly successful Range Rover Evoque. Volvo XC60 loses some ground, but is still way ahead of Mercedes-Benz GLK. Mercedes clearly have made a misjudgment giving it a square, rugged look compared to the sleek, rounded exteriors of X3 and especially Q5, as GLK is selling at half the volume of its German competitors.
The increased interest in Land Rover Freelander must be a result of steep discounts, as the second generation wasn’t exactly state-of-the-art at its introduction in 2006. The long overdue new generation won’t come until the end of 2014, though. It is heavily dependent on the British market, taking 68% of its European sales in the first three quarters of the year.
The same can be said of Infiniti EX, which has been renamed QX50, but they might as well have just pulled the plug on the model. It doesn’t have the brutal looks of large SUV Infiniti QX70 (was FX), nor the handling of sports sedan Q50 (previously named G-series). Since it won’t be redesigned until 2016, it should just be put out of its misery, as there is no place for it in the European market.
The segment will get a bit more crowded (and a lot more German) in 2014, with BMW and Audi filling up all remaining numbers from X1 to X7 and from Q2 to Q8 respectively. Of course, Mercedes-Benz won’t be left behind, they will come up with a similar line of SUVs and SUV-coupe crossovers.
BMW will introduce its BMW X4, which is an X3-based X6-lookalike in 2014, with Audi not far behind to introduce a similar Audi Q4 crossover, which might even be a 3-door. Mercedes-Benz GLC will follow in 2016. Despite this German invasion, Volvo still wants a chunk of the pie, and is considering an SUV version of its V40, which will be named XC40. No introduction date has been published, though.
And finally in 2014, Porsche will have Macan on the market, a smaller Cayenne based on Audi Q5. Macan is very likely to storm the charts like Cayenne did a couple of years ago.
One step smaller, Audi has beaten its rival from München fair and square, with Q3 still outselling X1 and increasing its lead. They are followed closely by the British/German duo Mini Countryman and Paceman.
New entries will be A-class based Mercedes-Benz GLA by the end of this year, so expect it to take position right next to the existing models in 2014. Wait another year and BMW and Audi are already taking the next step, creating coupe-like crossovers with the introduction of BMW X2 and Audi Q2.
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