French carmaker Renault has just revealed its new Kadjar compact SUV, in a strive to follow on the footsteps of Nissan’s success and harness the very strong worldwide demand for the type of vehicles.
Nissan, Renault’s Japanese alliance partner has long been known for its lineup of crossovers and SUVs – starting with the awkward subcompact Juke and ending with the large Pathfinder and Patrol models. Now, its French brethren has decided to play a page from its book, with the Kadjar model – unveiled by Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn at an event in Paris – “positioned very clearly as a crossover”, and slotting above the top-selling Captur. Crossover SUVs, with their ample space and offroad inspired styling combine with the conventional car architecture and by offering the best of both worlds have ensured their past decade success. But both Renault and rivals at PSA Peugeot Citroen have been slow to respond tot the segment’s upraise – they only launched the Captur and competing 2008 mini-SUV back in 2013.
Data sourced from IHS Automotive shows that Europe’s car registrations have fallen by 18 percent during the 2004-2014 decade to 2.85 million units last year. In the mean time though, sales of compact SUVs and crossovers have jumped four times to more than 1.5 million vehicles. Additionally, the industry forecaster predicts that deliveries of compact crossovers to further soar together with the European recovery, reaching sales of at least 2 million units per year at the start of the next decade.