SUV’s a hit in the wilds of Europe

Australians love their SUVs. We’ve taken to them with gusto, with SUVs now comprising approximately one-in-three new car sales across the land. Whether it’s the promise of getaways in the outback or their sheer family-friendly practicality, it seems Aussies can’t get enough of them.

But we’re not alone. Europeans have also taken to them with relish, finding 4WD’s the perfect choice for tackling the great outdoors of London, Berlin, Paris, Rome and beyond. In fact SUVs have outpaced hatchbacks like the VW Golf and Ford Fiesta as Europeans’ vehicle of choice.

The British-designed Nissan Qashqai is a particular favourite in the UK. Nissan’s Sunderland plant churns them out at the rate of 350,000 a year, making it the country’s biggest volume manufactured car. (By the way, it’s pronounced “Cash’kai”)

Elsewhere in Europe the Qashqai and its curious looking cousin, the Juke, made up one-in-eight SUVs sold throughout Europe in 2015.

Not only have SUVs pushed hatchbacks down the pecking order, they’re gradually replacing people movers, which now account for one-in-10 new vehicles sold.

Even at the well-heeled end of the market fancy 4x4s are replacing cars like the BMW 5 series and Mercedes E-class in executive car parks throughout Europe.

“Similar to the shift towards SUVs in the US car market, Europeans are clearly favouring these vehicles,” said Felipe Munoz, Global Automotive Analyst at JATO Dynamics.

“In 2015 this segment drove most of the growth as more consumers moved away from the traditional segments and MPVs, towards SUVs and crossovers,” Mr Munoz said.

“Both economic and social factors such as the lower fuel prices and the growing appeal of SUVs’ benefits had a big influence on this sales boom,” he concluded.

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Categories: Ford, Nissan, Australia, Europe
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