Sales of small crossovers are up about 25 per cent across the board, propping up a flat market overall
Small SUVs, high-riding hatchbacks, little crossovers. Not matter what you call them, sales in this part of the market are absolutely booming, pinching sales from the depleting Small Car and Light Car segments.
While the overall new vehicle market has cooled by 0.3% over last year’s record (to the end of August), sales in the ‘Small SUV’ segment have leapt up by almost 25%, to 93,415 units.
To give that some context, the overall SUV market – where all the growth is coming from – is up a comparatively meagre 9%. The market share of Small SUVs has thus gone from 9.5% this time last year, to 11.9%.
Broadly speaking, industry sales data, called VFACTS, separates the Small SUV market into halves: under $40,000, and over $40,000. More accurately, it’s the mainstream models versus the premium ones.
In the sub-$40k market, growth has been striking. For one, high volume and new-to-market offerings such as the Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross have come in without really hurting existing players.
For instance existing class champions such as the Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai, Subaru XV and Honda HR-V have all grown their respective sales this year. At the same time, a few new contenders have made decent impressions, albeit at lower scales. These include the reborn Jeep Compass and MG ZS.
That said, the growth isn’t quite unanimous. Popular offerings such as the Mazda CX-3, Holden Trax and Suzuki Vitara, plus the small-volume Nissan Juke, Ford EcoSport, Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade and Suzuki Ignis (a dubious inclusion) have all taken hits.
Mitsu Eclipse Cross
Citroen C4 Cactus
The Small SUV above $40k segment has accounted for 10,984 sales this year, up a healthy 23.4% over the same period in 2017.
That said, in such an age-dependent segment, a few models from the car park have taken hits, including the soon-to-be-replaced Audi Q3, the still-fresh BMW X1, and little-known Infiniti Q30/QX30 twins (both technically categorised this way).
This has been more than offset by growth to other key existing staples, and contributions from new entrants such as the BMW X2, Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-Pace.
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