The success of cars such as the Volvo XC40, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA had pushed compact SUVs to become the biggest premium vehicle segment in Europe.
Through April this year, however, sales in the segment fell by a fifth, causing it to lose the No. 1 spot to premium midsize SUVs.
Given that the compact SUV is in the so-called “sweet spot” for consumers in Europe, what happened?
All models with the exception of the full-electric Mercedes EQA and EQB posted sales declines in the first four months, resulting in an overall sales dip of 45,000 units compared with the same period last year, according to figures from Dataforce.
Hardest hit in terms of numbers was the segment-leading XC40, which lost almost 13,000 sales.
As measured by percentage decline, the worst affected model was the Jaguar E-Pace, down 61 percent to just 1,625 sales in the region (see chart, below).