Crossover vehicles defy European car economy image

Fighting the overall European decline in demand, which has been slumped by high unemployment and a slow economic recovery, carmakers are targeting bright spots in the market to keep their businesses afloat.

Crossovers, which take up traits from SUVs but occupy the same space as a hatchback, have long been the industry’s bright spot, and are still joking with economic logic as customers choose to pay a little more for a car that only gives the appearance of a more substantial product. PSA, which was hit worse among all European makers, in June announced that it was doubling production of its 2008 crossover.

Meanwhile, Nissan’s Juke is still going strong, despite its very hate/love design and the fact that it is now facing some serious competition – we understood it became an absolute hit when it came into the market as it was the only one in that segment. Now, Opel’s Mokka and Chevreolt’s Trax or Renault’s Captur are all fighting out with the Peugeot 2008 and Nissan Juke for the title of Europe’s most popular crossover – and also churning out much-needed earnings to the automakers.

On the other hand, Dacia, Renault’s low-cost brand, is the continent’s best performer by sales growth, while customer interest for affordable models such as Fiat’s 500 has almost offset a slump in demand for mid-range cars, among the worst hit by the demand fall.

Via Financial Times