• CSUV registrations led the way and outsold the traditional segments • MPVs, large and luxury sedans suffered the biggest volume losses last year
In the words of the late, great Freddy Mercury…it’s finally happened.
The inevitable has been rushing towards us like a unruly winter storm. For the first time in the history of UK and European car sales, Crossovers and SUVs now lead the way, outselling the traditional subcompact and compact segments.
CSUVs registered an increase of 24% at 3.2 million units and their market share grew from 19.8% in 2014 to 22.5% last year, according to industry analysts JATO Dynamics. CSUVs outsold traditionally popular car types (hatchbacks and superminis), which saw their market share slip to a little under 22%.
Overall, European new car registrations went up by 9.3% in 2015, driven by an unsurprising CSUV boom that contributed to a big part of the total growth.
A closer look at the CSUV segment revealed small CSUVs such as the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke can take most of the kudos for the segment popularity explosion, with year-on-year registrations increasing by a whopping 38% last year.
Mid-sized (Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga) CSUVs and large CSUVs (Audi Q7, Volvo XC90) achieved sales growth of 42% and 27%, respectively.
In the region, the Renault Captur was the best-selling small CSUV, followed by the Brit-built Nissan Qashqai leading the pack (again) in the compact CSUV sub-segment. One of my favourites, the XC60 from Volvo topped the mid-size CSUV pile, while BMW’s X5 is the one to follow in the large CSUV sub-segment.
Suffering the most market share losses were MPVs (Citroen C4 Picasso, Ford Galaxy) which dropped by a fraction under 1 per cent. Large saloons (BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class) also suffered lost volume, falling by half a per cent to 0.67 per cent of the EU/UK market.
As sales of CSUVs rampage onwards and upwards, it should be no surprise that the uber-luxury end of the market is dipping it’s manicured toe into SUV waters; Bentley’s new Bentayga, Jaguar’s imminent F-Pace, Maserati’s proposed Levante and Lamborghini’s (no, just no) Urus – even Roll-Royce is deep into developing their offering. However, like any well-managed business, if there’s money on the table, it would be rude to leave it there.
Mind you, if you’re wanting to buy a future Ferrari CSUV, you’ll have to commit murder.
This week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief and Ferrari Chairman, Sergio Marchionne, made it crystal clear that Ferrari does not plan to introduce an CSUV to rival upcoming Lamborghini (no, just no) Urus, to meet the company’s volume goals. “You’d have to shoot me first”, he clarified.
But, I think I’m with you, Freddy…the world has gone slightly mad.