Sales of small crossovers in the US grew by 18% in 2019, to over 778,000 sales, which is the 9th consecutive annual record for the class since it all began in 2010 with the Nissan Juke. This means that now 4.6% of all car sales in the US were small crossovers, also a new high. Six out of the top-7 nameplates set a new annual sales record, with the exception of the former segment leader Jeep Renegade, which is down for the third consecutive year and loses its top spot with sales down 21%. The General Motors twins Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore dominate the top of the charts, claiming the lead from the Renegade. The Trax is up 30% and the Encore is up 10% as both nameplates cross the 100,000 sales barrier for the first time and GM now holds 28.2% of the class (35.8% of the non-luxury part) with its two models. The Renegade, with its 21% loss, is not even on the segment podium anymore this year, as the Honda HR-V also jumps ahead but just misses the 100k mark with sales up 16%. In 5th place we find the Hyundai Kona, up 56% on its introduction year to leapfrog the Ford EcoSport, which improves 19% to stay ahead of the Nissan Kicks. The Mazda CX-3 loses 4% to its lowest annual sales since its launch in 2015, but the big loser in the class is the Fiat 500X with sales down by more than half, to just over 2,500 units, less than 3.3% of what its platform sibling Renegade sold. We welcome the Hyundai Venue to the class in 2019, a model positioned below the Kona in terms of size and content.
In the luxury part of the segment, which makes up 21.5% of total small crossover sales, the Cadillac XT4 jumps to the class lead in its first full year of sales, and opening up a big gap to its rivals, with the Mercedes-Benz GLA down 8% and almost 10,000 sales behind the XT4 as the GLA is due for a redesign in 2020. The BMW X1 takes a big hit with sales down 39% while its sister model X2 also loses 30% in 2019. That allows the Volvo XC40 to close in on third place of the luxury small crossover class, with sales up 42% to just 161 sales behind the X1. The Lexus UX is also chasing that same position and is just over 900 sales behind the XC40. The Audi Q3 is down 12% and falls behind those rivals, but leapfrogs the Mini Countryman which is down 20%. Its fellow British countryman Range Rover Evoque is helped by the new generation to rebound with a 16% gain and will be aiming for a new annual sales record in 2020. The Jaguar E-Pace is losing share by growing slower than the overall segment at +7% and therefore remains a niche player. At least it now outsells the Infiniti QX30 which has officially flopped as the GLA’s platform sibling loses another 60% after already losing 42% in 2018. In December 2019, we’ve welcomed the Mercedes-Benz GLB, the segment’s first model with optional 7 seat capacity.
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