The world has been taken by storm by vehicles that are not in the passenger car category – meaning sales of pickups, SUVs and crossovers have gone through the roof.
While the US market experienced an unprecedented achievement – the sport utility segment outshined passenger car sales every month last year – Europe is dealing with its own love for crossovers, the fastest rising segment in the region in 2014. And automakers are keen on pushing the acceleration pedal to the floor when it comes to new model launches in the segment – for example the mid-2013 introduced Renault Captur quickly rose atop its segment in just a year and a half. The acceleration into the SUV/crossover segments this year include crucial launches such as the Audi Q7 premium large SUV and the competing Volvo XC90. We will also have new compact crossover launches from Renautl and Toyota set to take on a restyled Volkswagen Tiguan.
Renault will complement its best-selling Captur subcompact crossover (it also boasts the highest-selling entry-level SUV, the Dacia Duster) with an unnamed (for now) compact model that is based on the latest generation of the Nissan Qashqai crossover SUV. The South Korean duo Hyundai – Kia also have novelties in the field – the former launching an all-new ix35 and the latter bringing the restyled and upgraded Sportage. The Kia affiliate is also bringing the larger and not so hot-selling Sorento in advance, from February.
The subcompact crossover segment – initiated by the very quirky and yet utterly successful Nissan Juke back in 2010 – is becoming the largest battlefield in Europe. Complementing the already established top-sellers, namely the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Dacia Duster and Nissan Juke comes a Japanese army – the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. European brand new introductions are spearheaded by the Fiat 500X, a stylish relative to the rugged and adventure-prone Jeep Renegade.
Via Automotive News Europe