European demand for compact SUVs will continue to grow strongly in the midterm as new and updated models are added to the sector, segment-leader Nissan and analysts predict.
“What has surprised us is how robust the segment has been,” Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox told Automotive News Europe. “Now everyone is coming in. The market will continue to grow.”
Sales in the segment are on track to grow by 200,000 this year to 1.9 million and rise to 2.2 million by 2020, analysts at IHS Automotive predict.
The segment is benefiting from a lot of fresh models. Nissan’s sector-leading second-generation Qashqai debuted in early 2014. Renault launched the all-new Kadjar in late 2015 and Hyundai replaced the ix35 with the Tucson in the second half of last year. Those two key arrivals helped boost compact SUVs to a 26 percent share of Europe’s overall SUV market in October compared with 24 percent during the same period in 2014, figures from analyst JATO Dynamics show.
Sales and market share for compact SUVs are poised to keep rising this year because of the arrival of the new generations of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage and the refreshed Ford Kuga. This means all models in the segment’s top five will have undergone some level of significant upgrade within the last two years, making it one of Europe’s most competitive vehicle classes.
‘Room for everyone’
What’s unique about the compact SUV segment is that, unlike in other sectors in Europe, premium models are not at an advantage over their mass-market competitors.