Sales of premium compact SUVs and crossovers are expected to rebound this year, after falling 5 percent last year, and double by 2020 as automakers such as Volvo and Infiniti join the segment, analysts at IHS Automotive forecast.
Demand for the entry-level premium models fell 5 percent to 238,880 in 2015, according to figures from market analysts JATO Dynamics. The main reason for the decline was the changeover to the second-generation BMW X1. Sales of the X1 dropped 35 percent as the first-generation model was replaced last autumn. The roomier successor, which uses BMW's new front-wheel-drive platform, will move back into second place behind the segment-leading Audi Q3 and just ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLA, IHS believes. The X1 fell to fourth in the segment last year from second in 2014, JATO's figures show.