The small SUV segment was in position to pass small cars to become Europe’s most popular vehicle class in late 2021 as the gap between the two shrunk to 100,000 units.
Impressive volume increases for models such as the segment-leading Peugeot 2008 pushed sales up 13 percent to 1.59 million through October 2021, leaving small SUVs just behind small cars at 1.60 million after 10 months, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
The small SUV growth has been driven by automakers prioritizing precious semiconductors for models that returned bigger margins.
In October, the Peugeot 2008 was Europe’s best-seller overall, while one of the region’s longtime sales leaders, the compact-sized Volkswagen Golf, fell out of the top 10 for the month.
Small SUVs are largely built on the same platforms as small cars and can use much of the same technology, but customers will pay more for them.
The average price of small SUVs sold through the first 10 months was 26,366 euros, compared with 20,699 euros for small cars, JATO figures show.
Customer demand has been met by increased model proliferation among automakers. For example, in September VW launched its third small SUV, the Taigo.
The coupe-styled crossover, which is adaptation of a Brazilian model, joins the T-Roc, No. 2-seller in the segment, and the smaller T-Cross, which was No. 6. Sales of both models were up more than 20 percent after 10 months (see table, below).