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How the SUV/crossover boom is breaking sales records right across Europe - and Ireland


Future: Skoda Kodiac.

Future: Skoda Kodiac.

Future: Skoda Kodiac.

SUVs - especially compact models - are sweeping all records before them and are now, for the first time, outselling traditional cars in many European countries.

The new figures, from the well-know JATO Dynamics concern, show how our fascination with Crossovers/SUV prompted a major lift in buying.

In Ireland sales were up more than 35pc last year. But there were bigger increases in some other countries, the figures reveal.

And the level of buying shows no sign of abating. That's especially the case here where this week's SIMI registrations show how the Hyundai Tucson crossover/SUV (pictured) was the country's best-selling car in January.

The JATO report says: "For the first time in the history of European car sales, SUVs led the way, outselling the traditional subcompact and compact segments."

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

Small SUV sales across Europe increased by 38pc, topping the one-million mark (1.2m) for the first time. But compact SUVs fared even better, accounting for 40pc of their 1.28 million total. And mid-sized SUVs grew by 42pc (to 470,400) with large models up 27pc to 243,000.

And virtually every carmaker is either updating SUV lineups or adding to them as all forecasts point to exponential growth.

Skoda's 'Kodiaq' SUV (pictured), is just one of many examples of how carmakers see future shaping up.

It is both a design study and, I'm told, quite close in many areas to the brand's new 7-seater SUV which we can expect to see here quite early next year.

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SEAT is also about to debut its first SUV which will be called the Ateca and it will debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

Meanwhile, Renault's large SUV is due later this year but will not be a seven-seater, according to reports, unlike the Nissan X-Trail with which it shares its platform.

And there will be countless others; with everyone from small mainstream automakers to traditional, luxury saloon manufacturers all getting in on the SUV boom.

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