Once a strong volume segment in Europe, the mid sized category is now on an accelerated decline because of rising pressure from crossovers and SUVs and the introduction of more affordable models from premium automakers.

The mounting pressure is forecasted to trigger the segment’s lowest sales for the decade, with mainstream carmakers seen losing a huge chunk of sales. Back in 2011, the mid sized cars were reaching deliveries of at least 800,000 units, while now the full year outcome could reach a tally below the 500,000 units mark.

“It’s very tough to be in the mid-sized segment in Europe,” said not long ago Toyota Europe CEO Didier Leroy. “The question is whether we should develop a specific car for Europe or shall we use a much more global product?” he said about the European-built Avensis.

“I am sure we’ll eventually see some mid-market brands abandon the segment all together in favor of crossovers or other niche/lifestyle vehicle types. The long-term sales trend is down,” says Tim Urquhart, the principle analyst at IHS.

IHS Automotive also predicts that Honda would give up the sales of the Accord model in the region, starting with 2015, because of very low demand. The Japanese automakers already have experience in such withdrawals, with Nissan’s Primera disappearing from the market back in 2008.

Via Automotive NEws Europe


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