Welcome to the most dynamic segment of 2013 and 2014. Sales of small crossovers in Europe have more than doubled in the first quarter of 2014, adding almost 100.000 units, after already increasing 81% over the full year 2013. Of course, new entrants are to thank for these huge steps the segment is taking. These new entrants are making big waves, shaking up the ranking big time. The two French contenders Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 have come out of nowhere straight into the top two positions.
The low-budget Dacia Duster is left behind in third place, despite increasing its sales by almost a third thanks to the facelift and engine updates. It feels the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka breathing down its neck, less than 500 units behind thanks to a sales jump of 60% compared to the first three months of 2013, when it was still in warm-up mode. The top five is completed by the only model showing a sales slowdown, last year’s leader Nissan Juke. The Juke will be updated this year with more fuel efficient engines, while the love-it-or-hate-it styling is not tempered with. That’s not surprising, considering over 100.000 people seemed to love it enough to buy one last year.
Far behind in sixth position is the Chevrolet Trax, which was also all-new for last year, but will be discontinued when Chevrolet exits the European market next year. In fact, Trax sales have already cooled in March to the lowest number since May 2013, its first full month of sales. If the sales slide continues like this, the Trax may not even improve on its 17.658 sales over the full year 2013.
The Suzuki SX4 still sold alongside its larger replacement Suzuki S-Cross midsized SUV, while its twin Fiat Sedici is in run-out mode until it will be replaced by the 500X small crossover based on the Jeep Renegade. Both are expected in showrooms later this year.
Ford is also introducing its Ecosport small crossover in Europe this year. It has been designed specifically for markets like India and South America, where it is already successfully competing with the Duster. It may not be as refined as some of its European competitors, but that hasn’t hurt the Duster either. And to keep the momentum for this segment going, Honda will introduce its Jazz-based HR-V next year, while the Volkswagen Up!-based Taigun is due even further into the future.
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