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Making money: Carmakers drawn to SUVs

Fleets key to segment’s 20% growth in 12 months

The compact SUV segment is strong, has far more players with more to scrap over and is just under 20% up year on year. Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan are central players.

While the segment is up, the retail element is down which means fleets have been responsible for the total growth. It is hard to believe anything other than that all these cars are perks.

Again, Nissan is the boss player. It holds top spot with Qashqai which takes half the segment. Nissan sold 32,242 in 10 months this year.

Honda is in second place with the CR-V. But its market share is just 13% and is more reliant on retail than Nissan.

Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan all do better on retail sales than on fleet. Kia and Hyundai are very obviously applying pressure in this segment.

Respectively they are up 60% and 70% on last year.

The GM twins, Vauxhall and Chevrolet, are behaving similarly with the Antara and Captiva respectively.

Chevrolet is marginally ahead with the Captiva, with 1,408 sales year to date and in 12th place. Antara is 13th and taking 1% market share.

Ford debuted in the compact 4x4 segment in June 2008 and sold 4,000 Kugas in the first year, trebling that in 2010.

Today it has a 7.5% segment share. It has done well with the two wheel drive version which now accounts for a third of sales.

Kuga has become its best-selling SUV. The next Kuga will be a Ford world car which means that it will have 80% commonality and near-identical appearance to the US version called the Escape.

Volkswagen does very nicely with the Tiguan in the compact sector sitting at 6th place with an 8% market share. Touareg is similarly placed in the big boys’ sector.

The Tiguan is three years old and got a two-wheel drive variant two years ago.

Since then, the two-wheel drive has moved significantly from 9% to 26% of the brand’s SUV sales.

The planners in the SUV sector see market growth slowing now after an exceptional run and reckon that retrenchment will be especially marked in the compact segment.

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  • Irishboy4 - 21/12/2011 05:16

    The last Range Rover sold in the UK without Power Steering was white, it was a three door sold from Chain Garages Alperton, Wembley London, in 1976 by their Sales Manager Paul Chafer. It would appear a lot more than PAS is standard on SUV's now!