As the demand for small SUVs will keep going up throughout Europe, sales of subcompact cars will start to gradually decrease in the region.
The SUV segment has overturned the traditional subcompact and compact sectors in Europe last year, to become the best-selling one and thus marking a first time ever event in the region. The most wanted sport utility vehicles were the small ones, which accounted for 40 percent of the total (3.2 million units) at 1.28 million units. The subcompact models still have not lost their groove, as IHS Automotive forecast their sales to hit a five-year high of 3.2 million this year.
However, from 2017 onwards, the demand will enter into a downward trend for the segment, with sales expected to drop to 2.7 million by 2022. The reason is obvious, as more and more customers are shifting their attention towards smaller SUVs, rather than hatchbacks and compact family sedans, while the automakers are seizing the moment by launching more crossovers. IHS predicts sales of B-segment SUVs/crossovers will double by 2022.
“Consumers keep making the shift from subcompacts to the B-SUV segment despite the big difference in average price,” Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst for JATO Dynamics, told Automotive News Europe. A small SUV costs up to a third more on average on several markets compared with a similar subcompact model, according to figures gathered by JATO.