Demand for Sports Utility Vehicles is at an ultimate high and sales are only expected to increase over the next few years. According to a report by IHS Automotive, sales of premium compact SUVs and crossovers are expected to rebound this year and double by 2020.
The German automakers are joined by companies like Volvo and Infiniti to compete for the premium customer looking for the safest, sportiest and most luxurious truck. The premium compact SUV segment is where most of the competition is today. The new BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA are the leaders, but they’re being challenged by the likes of Range Rover Evoque and the upcoming Infiniti QX30.
Stiffer competition for the Germans and the Evoque will come from the forthcoming compact SUV from Volvo, which is expected to be called the XC40 and is due to debut in Europe in 2018. The compact SUV will be the first to use Volvo’s new compact modular architecture (CMA) when production starts at its factory in Ghent, Belgium, the source said. IHS predicts the Volvo crossover will be popular in Europe, outselling the GLA in its first full year of availability with a forecast volume of 53,000.
IHS also expects JLR to expand its crossover lineup by adding what media reports call the Jaguar E-Pace, a compact SUV that would slot below the midsize F-Pace, which launches this year.
BMW and Audi are also preparing new models for the compact market. The X2 is slotted to arrive in 2018, while Audi’s Q2 was unveiled last month at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Both SUVs are expected to become high-volume sellers.