All around the world the SUV/crossover segment has been booming, with customers deserting the proverbial sedan and wagon body style in favor of the more polyvalent sport utility vehicle.
In Europe the biggest rivalry surrounds the subcompact and compact segment, with the latter’s war ready to reach new proportions as more brands introduce new models to compete with sales of refreshed offerings. According to researcher IHS Automotive, the sector is expected to top annual deliveries of 2 million units by 2020 – essentially doubling the size of the market for such vehicles from the figure registered in 2014. According to JATO Dynamics, last year’s sales volume secured the fourth overall place on the continent’s auto market, behind subcompacts, compacts and minicars. “I don’t think a volume automaker in the region can afford to be without one (SUV or crossover),” comments Ian Fletcher, an IHS principal analyst. Renault recently introduced the new Kadjar compact during the traditional Geneva auto show in March and IHS predicts the all-new offering will quickly rise to the fourth position overall by 2017, trailing only Nissan’s second-generation Qashqai and the refreshed variants of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Peugeot 3008.
The new Kadjar is a renewed attempt by the French automaker to secure a leading position in the segment after its first attempt, Korea-built Koleos, was a sales flop on the continent. Renault chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn forecasts the Kadjar will be able to emulate the success of the Captur subcompact crossover, which jumped from the third to the top spot last year in its first year of full availability in Europe. The VW Group is not idle in this department as well, with the second-generation Tiguan expected to officially debut in September during the Frankfurt auto show next to the first sport utility from sister brand Seat – both riding the group’s modular MQB architecture.
Via Automotive News Europe