As demand for small SUVs in Europe jumps high, Renault may boost production of its Captur subcompact crossover by a third in 2014 to take advantage.

IHS Automotive forecasts annual sales of subcompact SUV/crossovers will rise to 582,790 units in Europe by 2016 from 307,300 this year. In the first half, sales in the segment rose 38 % to 213,804 vehicles, according to data from market researchers JATO Dynamics.

“We expect to make 120,000 units of the Captur by the end of this year. Next year, we could make up to 160,000 units if needed,” Rochelle Chimenes, a spokeswoman for Renault, told Automotive News Europe.

The Captur, which began sales in April, is built at Renault’s plant in Valladolid, Spain, and replaced the automaker’s slow-selling Modus subcompact minivan. The crossover joined newcomers to the segment in Europe such as the Peugeot 2008, Chevrolet Trax and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, challenging the official frontrunner, Nissan’s Juke.

The Captur has benefited from a growing consumer appetite for small SUVs and crossovers with sales of 60,887 in the first 10 months, making it the No. 3-selling small SUV in Europe, JATO figures show. The Nissan Juke led the segment with 91,713 sales followed by the Dacia Duster (73,491) with Mokka ranked fourth with a volume of 58,813.

Via Automotive News Europe


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