The urgent need to lower vehicle emissions in Europe ahead of tougher CO2 rules that start to take effect next year is hitting sales of midsize SUVs.
First-quarter sales of midsize SUVs slipped by 7.7 percent, despite the addition of new entrants such as the Seat Tarraco and the latest generation Hyundai Santa Fe.
"We are seeing a deceleration of the midsize SUV boom," JATO Dynamics global analyst Felipe Munoz said.
The decline comes after years where midsize SUVs showed the same growth as their small counterparts as consumers shunned minivans in favor of models such as the Mitsubishi Outlander and Skoda Kodiaq, which continued to gain in the first quarter despite the sector's downward trend.
The biggest decline among models in the segment's top 10 was experienced by a former No. 1, the Nissan X-Trail, which lost 70 percent of its sales in the first quarter to leave it in fifth place. Also tumbling was the Renault Koleos, down 47 percent, and the Ford Edge, which suffered a 47 percent drop.