Europe’s B-SUV sales soared 39% during the first 4 months of 2015, from 280.000 units in 2014 to 387.000 this year. The demand was boosted by the arrival of new nameplates that were not available last year, the refresh versions of existing models, and the increasing SUV sales boom. France keeps ranking first as the largest European market for this kind of cars, with 23% of the total, and it was followed by Italy (17%), UK (16%, estimated May figures), Germany (12%) and Spain (8%). Thanks to the France demand, Renault was able to lead the ranking by models, with a solid Captur that controls 17,5% of the segment. Its market share has fallen since January as other models started to grow (Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade). Other French, the Peugeot 2008 comes in second place but only few units ahead of the third in the ranking, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka. The top 5 is completed by other Renault-Nissan products: the Dacia Duster (boosted by French market) and the Nissan Juke (strong in the UK).
When considering the sales changes, the ranking is different. Excluding the spectacular and logical growth of the Cactus and Ecosport sales, the Mokka was the B-SUV to post the highest jump, up 42%, outperforming the segment’s rise. The remaining models demand advanced less than total segment (under 39%), which means that a big part of the total growth (around 75%) comes from the arrival of the new models (Cactus, Renagade, 500X, Ecosport and Vitara), while the other part is explained by the Mokka. In the negative side there’s the aged Mini Countryman/Paceman, down 29%, whereas the Juke, Duster and Yeti posted timid gains. The newcomers registered mix results: the Cactus, which is on sale since March 2014, already occupies the 6th position thanks to outstanding results in France (4th place) and Spain (3rd place). The Ecosport still manages very low figures (the European version is expected to hit the dealers this month) and was outsold by the Renegade, 500X and a bearish Countryman.
The Jeep Renegade comes 8th with 17.131 units sold or 4,42% of total sales. Its registrations peaked in March (UK effect?) with almost 5.400 units but they seem to have already stabilized around 5.000 units/month. That’s around 60.000 units/year plus 6.000 units/month or 72.000 units sold in NAFTA per year. That would total 130.000 units that wouldn’t include Middle East, Australia and African markets. Jeep’s initial production target for its Italian plant was 150.000 units/year. Due to its high price and upper position in the segment, the Renegade won’t ever have the same sales levels of the Captur, 2008 or Mokka. That’s the Fiat 500X’s job. The sales for the new Fiat have been continuously growing since January but total registrations are still low when compared to its direct rivals. When the 500X sales reached a peak in April, the result was still 10.000 units behind the Captur. However it outsold the Cactus and the Yeti and got close to the Juke. Based on its annual target (around 120.000 units in EMEA and NAFTA), the 500X isn’t far from the goals, but maybe it can do much more considering what its rivals from Renault, Peugeot and GM are doing.
The Renegade in NAFTA and Brazil
Since its launch, Jeep has sold 9.573 Renegades in USA and only 241 in Canada (Jan-May). During the first full month, April, there were 4.214 Renegades registered, which is a bit less than the total in Europe (4.538). Canadian market would have helped if it wasn’t because of the extremely low numbers: only 180 units that were followed by 60 during May 2015. To better understand these figures I took the sales results of the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore, 2 direct competitors. A rapid growth took place in Brazil, where the locally built Renegade had its first full month in May after selling 575 units in April, followed by a good jump in May when Jeep sold 2.492 units, not far from the usual leaders, Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport. This means that the brand sold 3.152 units by the end of May.