Small SUVs The Lone Bright Spot In Europe
An invasive species originating in North America is threatening the native fauna of Europe in a big way. Small crossovers, largely based on B and C segment hatchbacks, are one of the few growth segments in Europe’s ailing auto industry, so much so that they could even help reverse the fortunes of a couple ailing auto makers.
Peugeot and Renault, two car makers that have struggled in recent years, are expected to post big sales volumes of their upcoming small crossovers. One forecasting house predicts that the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 will even bump the current segment leader, the Nissan Juke, down to third place. Meanwhile, Ford is counting on the upcoming EcoSport for both volume and margin, thanks to its assembly in India.
By 2016, the segment is set to grow to 550,000 vehicles, up from just under 300,000 in 2012. The vehicles will be very profitable for auto makers, as they can charge a $3,900 premium on average for a car that uses the same basic B or C segment underpinnings. Furthermore, traditional market leaders like VW, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are largely devoid of any product in these segments, giving PSA, Renault, Ford and even GM a wide berth to capture market share in this segment.
What have I been saying on the recent EcoSport, Cherokee articles? Thanks Derek.
I wonder if the rise of compact SUVs has anything to do with the deterioration of roads due to broke governments and municipalities. I definitely prefer the floaty feel of my wife's CUV to my compact car over the crap roads where I live.
Shame the Captur has to be a Clio on stilts in order to sell. The new Clio looks so good, as does the Clio wagon. Very, very nice. Shame they're so expensive that the Dacia range will outsell it. If Renault could figure out how to lower the Clio's initial price, or put some of its interior and exterior goodness on to the Dacia, then we'd really be talking. As is the Captur will outsell the wagon, though for reasons of costs it probably won't outsell the Clio hatch. But maybe it'll sell some Clios for them. BTW, love that Alpine blue. Almost got a Clio in that color (or something very similar to it). Somebody got it first and I had to settle with another car.
I though the Renault Captur was just a Nissan Juke reskinned? If so, it'll be a win-win for Nissan-Renault.