The small SUV segment in Europe is the fastest growing segment, growing 65% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. By year end, the growth percentage will have increased even further, thanks to the hugely successful new entrants into the segment.
In 2014, the podium will look much differently, with Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 storming the podium, leaving Opel Mokka and Dacia Duster behind.
Within a few years time, the number of players in this segment will increase, as manufacturers have taken an interest in one of the bright spots in the European car market.
One of the new entrants in 2014 will be Fiat 500X, a crossover which will feature design clues from its little sister Fiat 500, as Fiat is trying to build 500 into a family of vehicles, much like BMW’s successful Mini brand. 500X will be introduced in the second half of next year and will share its platform with a Jeep vehicle.
Another new entrant looking to take some share of the growing small SUV pie is Ford Ecosport, already successful in India and South America. It has been designed specifically for these kinds of markets, so it will lack some refinement in comparison with some of its European competitors. But looking at the success of Dacia Duster, that doesn’t have to hurt sales if the price is right.
Further down the road, expect entries from VW, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Kia. VW will have its Up!-based Taigun ready for the market at the end of 2015, and expect it to compete for the top spot in 2016. Toyota is planning a true crossover to replace its slow-selling Urban Cruiser in 2016 and Hyundai/Kia are hoping to match their success in the midsized SUV segment with models below their ix35 and Sportage, to be introduced in 2016 as well. Kia has unveiled a concept car called Niro in Frankfurt, while Honda’s Jazz-based Urban SUV Concept from the Detroit autoshow will hit the market in 2015.
Suzuki will keep SX4 in some markets next to the newly introduced, larger SX4 S-Cross, which will compete in the midsized SUV segment.
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