One clear trend emerged from Europe’s six-month vehicle sales: Torrid demand for SUVs and crossovers is putting increased pressure on minivans. Overall first-half sales of people movers decreased 13 percent in the first half to 582,000 units from 657,000 in the same period last year. The Opel/Vauxhall Meriva, Volkswagen Touran and Citroen C3 Picasso were among Europe’s former hot-sellers that were hit by declining sales in the first half (for a look at all the segment winners, click on the PDF above).
Meanwhile, combined sales of SUVs and crossovers ranging from the Renault Captur to the Nissan Qashqai to the Audi Q3 increased 18 percent in the first half to almost 1.6 million units (see table, below).
That means more than 21 percent of car buyers in Europe chose an SUV or crossover in the first half, up from 20 percent last year and 17 percent in 2013. Another first-half highlight was that all five of the SUV/crossover segments monitored by Automotive News Europe, using data from JATO Dynamics, grew more than the overall market.