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SUVs take over as best-selling cars in Europe

The research by JATO Dynamics shows that SUVs outsold the traditional subcompact and compact segments, posting an increase of 24% at 3.2 million units.

SUV registrations grew in all of the 29 countries analysed, with the UK posting the highest volume increase from 501,200 units in 2014 to 630,400 in 2015. Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Croatia and Greece all posted more than 40% growth.

Overall SUV market share grew from 19.8% in 2014 to 22.5% in 2015, leaving the subcompacts in second position with 22.0% share, and the compacts segment third with 20.6%. These vehicles along with the mid-size sedans/SW and sports cars were the only segments to gain market share in 2015.

JATO added that SUV growth was partly driven by small SUVs, which contributed almost 38% of total SUV segment registrations in 2015. Their volume increased by 38% over 2014, exceeding, for the first time, the one million-unit mark at 1.2 million.

However, despite their strong growth, they were still behind the compact SUVs, which accounted for 40% of the total at 1.28 million units. Small SUVs growth rate was also outperformed by the 42% increase posted by the mid-size SUVs, which totalled 470,400 units. The large SUVs came last with 243,000 units, up by 27% on 2014’s results.

JATO’s research also showed the segments that declined in 2015, with large sedans/station wagons down 1%, MPVs down 2% and luxury sedans down 6%.

2015 performance by segment:

Segment

Ch. vol 2014-15

SUV

+24%

Sporty cars

+18%

Mid-size sedan/SW

+13%

City cars

+8%

Subcompacts

+6%

Compacts

+6%

Large sedan/SW

-1%

MPV

-2%

Luxury sedans

-6%

Others

+9%

 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.