Monday, 27 March 2023 06:56

The popularity of SUVs destroyed the search for sedans and station wagons

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The sedans VW Passat, Ford Mondeo and Renault Talisman are no longer produced in Europe, and Citroen has designed the new C5 X in crossover style.

Classic limousine versions of cars are increasingly rare in the offer of car manufacturers in Europe, and sales of limousines and station wagons have been declining for years.

Some manufacturers have completely abandoned the classic D-segment sedans. Volkswagen has stopped making one of its most successful models in history – the Passat, albeit only in sedan form, while the Variant station wagon is still being sold (it will be made in the next generation as well).

Renault stopped making its D-segment model, the Talisman, last year, while Ford stopped making the Mondeo in Europe after 30 years.

Back in 2016, Honda withdrew its Accord sedan from the European market. Citroen has replaced its former C5 sedan with a wagon/SUV hybrid, which it calls the C5 X.

Back in 2015, 1,009,420 new D segment vehicles were registered in Europe, while in 2021 only 603,339 cars of this class were sold, with a share of 6 percent in the total sales of new passenger cars, writes Večernji.

There are even fewer larger cars in the upper middle class, and their share in sales is less than 2 percent, while the share of the largest high-class sedans is less than 0.5 percent.

Due to weaker competition on the market, sales, or the share of sales, is growing for sedans that remain on offer, primarily from German premium manufacturers.

Limousines are still by far the most popular in China, where they account for almost half of the total market. However, even those who remained are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with SUV models. These cars are simply so popular and in an upward sales trend, that they "steal" customers from all segments of the market.

For example, according to data from the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), in 2015, 2,457,688 new SUV cars of all classes were registered in Europe, while in 2021, as many as 4,453,236 new SUV vehicles were registered (as much as 46% of passenger vehicle sales ).

Limousine variants in the compact class are increasingly rare on the market. While 10 years ago almost every compact car had a sedan version, today they are much rarer.

Let's think of the limousine version of the Opel Astra, a kind of limousine version of the VW Golf that was called the Jetta, or the limousine version of the Ford Focus.

Limousine versions were also offered in the B segment, so there was (albeit not in all markets), for example, the VW Polo sedan and the Renault Clio (Thalia).

Today, sedan bodies are extremely rare in this segment on the European market, for example, Dacia produces the Logan, but does not offer it in all markets.

However, in the compact class today, Mazda 3 sedans or Toyota Corolla are exceptions that prove the rule, unlike in the past when compact class sedans made up a serious part of the sales cake.

The Honda Civic, on the other hand, is only offered in a sedan version. But, in the compact class, station wagons are still present to a greater extent.

Caravans are generally the most popular in Europe, but their sales are steadily declining. Of course, also at the expense of the SUV model. In 2019, 2.35 million wagons were sold worldwide, while only 1.6 million were registered in 2021.

Caravans are still in demand in Europe. With just over a million units sold in Europe in 2021, station wagons accounted for 8.3 percent of total passenger car sales, and that's as much as 64 percent of global station wagon sales (1.6 million in total).

Caravans were supplanted from the US and Canadian markets by minivans about 20 years ago, while such body designs were never popular in the Far East, and they are even less popular in Latin America.

In China, which is the real market for sedans, station wagons make up a completely negligible part, considering that in that country in 2021 as many as 25.548 million new vehicles were registered, and only 107,000 station wagons, with a growth of 34 percent.

However, the Chinese market is a great potential and if wagons become in demand there, there could be a significant increase in their production very soon.

Subaru Outback best-selling station wagon, Škoda Octavia third

The Subaru Outback is by far the best-selling station wagon in the world, and that's before 

everything can be attributed to the American market and the fact that it is a model flirting with the crossover/SUV class.

The second is the Toyota Corolla TS, while the third, also popular here, is the Škoda Octavia Combi. Followed (globally) by wagon versions of VW Passat, BMW 3 Series, Lada Vesta, Volvo V60...

In the first half of 2022, according to the JATO Dynamics website, the C-SUV segment was the most popular in Europe with 1.26 million cars sold, or a share of 22.8 percent.

Right behind it is the B-SUV segment with 1.04 million new registrations, or a share of 18.8 percent. They are followed by the B segment with 17.3%, the C segment with 13.8% and the A segment with a 6 percent share.

Segment D with 321,000 registrations had a share of 5.8 percent with sales down 21 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The D segment is the most popular in Sweden, where it has a sales share of 12.5%, in Germany the share of the D segment is 9.77%, in Denmark 8.7%, in Norway 8.57%, and in Estonia 8.08%.

Of the manufacturers, Tesla has the largest share in the D segment with 47 percent.

The D-SUV segment sales growth trend of 19% brought the mid-size SUV class very close to the D-segment sedans with 292,000 units sold, i.e. a share of 5.3 percent.

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