Europe: Small SUVs eat away subcompact sales image

The past couple of years, the small class SUVs and crossovers have been all the rage – so much that the subcompact segment – which has been Europe’s best-selling class for eight years – could loose the crown in 2014.

Numbers coming from market researcher IHS Automotive show us that the subcompact segment could loose its status quo, as the small SUVs eat away market share from the more traditional cars of the class.

HIS Automotive predicts the compact class would have this year sales of 2.76 million units, up from 2013’s 2.57 million, while the reigning subcompact segment would shrink from 2.72 million cars last year to 2.64 million vehicles in 2014.

“Some cannibalization by subcompact SUVs was inevitable but this has been somewhat stronger than Renault and Peugeot expected,” said Jonathon Poskitt, LMC Automotive head of European sales forecasting.

Of the top 10 subcompact models, the only ones with a declining share in the first quarter of 2014 were second placed Renault Clio (down 1%) – which could face internal competition from the Captur and the Peugeot 208 (in fifth place, down 7%), dominated by the new 2008 sibling. On the other hand, HIS Automotive forecasts small SUV segment sales to increase to steeply to around 600,000 autos by 2016.

Via Automotive News Europe