Compact SUVs were boosted by strong performances from the segment-leading Hyundai Tucson, up 10 percent, the new Kia Sportage, up 37 percent, and the Cupra Formentor, which more than doubled sales to finish the quarter at No. 9. The new Renault Arkana was 10th.
The VW Tiguan, which led the compact SUV segment through three months last year, suffered a 31 percent decline leaving it at No. 6. The Tiguan was hit by production issue at VW’s Wolfsburg plant during the quarter.
The new Nissan Qashqai fell 32 percent to eighth as the automaker slowly ramped up deliveries of the new-generation model.
Compact segment suffers
Compacts slumped to become Europe’s No. 4 segment after a long run as the region’s third-largest category.
The overall segment fell 18 percent during the quarter after sales of the Golf and the Ford Focus each dropped by one-fifth.
Demand for the segment’s No. 3 model, the Skoda Octavia, fell by more than one-third, providing an indication of how hard supply shortages have hit the Czech company. Waiting lists for the Octavia are more than a year, the brand has said.
The Skoda Kodiaq midsize SUV was less affected, with sales down 7.6 percent in the quarter, leaving it at the top of segment ahead of the Peugeot 5008.
The midsize SUV segment, more than any other thus far, is shifting to full-electric models helped by a surge of new entrants. This is happening because models of this size have appeal beyond Europe. Car buyers have rewarded automakers that have debuted new EVs in the segment as the VW ID4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Skoda Enyaq iV and Kia EV6 took the No. 3 through No. 6 slots, respectively, in the top 10. The fresh models helped boost the overall segment by 17 percent.
Sales of minicars dropped 30 percent in the quarter as automaker reduced production of combustion-powered models. In addition, the presence of electric modes in the segment is growing, led by the Fiat New 500 at No. 4. The battery-powered 500 was also Europe’s No. 3-selling EV during the quarter with sales of 13,663 (see table, below).