Europe: SUVs and crossovers rode 2014’s recovery image

With sales growing 21 percent last year and now accounting for 20 percent of the overall delivery tally across the region, the high-riding body style seems to have followed the US trend – taking the lion’s share of the recovery process.

The European continent saw last year its first annual sales increase since 2007, finally emerging out of a six-year slump that yielded two-decade low sales. And the SUVs and crossovers were there to take advantage of the surge, with models ranging from the small Opel Mokka to the luxuriously large BMW X6 saw an increase in deliveries of 21 percent in 2014 to a total of 2.5 million vehicles, according to figures sourced from JATO Dynamics. The jump has been four times higher than the overall market’s increase of 5.3 percent to a total of 12.8 million units. Practically, one in five customers chose an SUV or crossover last year in Europe, rising from 17 percent back in 2013. Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn points out that even as the US is well known for its appetite for SUVs and pickup trucks, actually Europe was second only to China in the segment’s performance, with the largest auto market in the world seeing SUVs and crossovers grow to make up 26 percent of overall sales.

The French Japanese alliance has been enjoying the growth in the segment for years, after premiering a new crossover niche back in 2007 with the Qashqai and then another new one back in 2010 with the subcompact Juke. Today, the best selling SUV/crossover in Europe remains the Nissan Qashqai, now in its second generation – with a tally of 204,500 units, according to JATO data, last year. The alliance also took command of the second-largest SUV/crossover segment – the subcompact sector – with hot entries such as the Renault Captur, Nissan Juke and Dacia Duster. The Captur finished first last year with sales of 165,868 autos, the Juke was fifth after placing on the top position back in 2013 and the Duster was third after being No.1 from 2010 to 2012.

Via Automotive News Europe