Seems Australia isn’t the only corner of the globe to be experiencing ‘SUV fever’, with the European market also taking a shine to the high-riding wagons.
Data from business intelligence company, Jato Dynamics, reveals the SUV segment outsold all other ‘traditional’ passenger car classes in Europe for the first time in 2015.
SUVs now account for 22.5 percent of all new car sales in Europe - up from 19.8 percent in 2014. The ‘subcompact’ passenger car segment was next-best (and not far behind) with a market share of 22.0 percent.
Splitting the SUV segment into sub-categories tells a different story, however, as the high-riders can only claim the top step of the sales podium when combined.
Also, some SUV segments are outpacing others, with the ‘small’ (up 38 percent) and ‘midsized’ (up 42 percent) classes showing the strongest growth, ahead of ‘large’ (up 27 percent) and ‘compact’ (up eight percent) models.
But while the compact SUV class may be showing less year-on-year growth than the medium-sized segment, compact SUVs are still the most popular with 1.28 million sales last year. Small SUVs were close behind on 1.2 million.
The Renault Captur is Europe’s best-selling small SUV, while other class sales-leaders are the Nissan Qashqai (compact), Volvo XC60 (midsized) and BMW X5 (large).
Other popular models include the Opel Mokka, Peugeot 2008, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander.
The hottest sellers within the passenger car classes included the Fiat 500 (city cars), Ford Fiesta (subcompacts), Volkswagen Golf (compacts), Mercedes-Benz S-Class (luxury), Audi TT (sports) and Volkswagen Passat (midsized).
Overall, 3.2 million new SUVS were sold in Europe throughout 2015, and Nissan got the lion’s (market) share with 11.8 percent.
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