SUVs Become the Largest and Fastest-Growing Automotive Segment in 2015

LONDON, UK – Global market research company Euromonitor International released today new automotive data. According to the new research, global sales of light vehicles grew 1.7 percent in 2014-2015, driven by the increasing popularity of Sports-utility Vehicles (SUVs), sales of which surged 22 percent since 2015.

SUVs overtook lower medium cars to become the largest automotive segment in 2015, accounting for 22.9 percent of light vehicle sales globally. Sales of SUVs grew from 5 million units in 2000 to 20 million in 2015 and are forecast to hit 42 million units by 2031.

Mykola Golovko, project manager at Euromonitor International, comments: “The popularity of SUVs in the early 2000s has precipitated a rush of companies trying to capitalise, with a growing number of brands and new concept offerings like crossovers to appeal to a wider audience.” An increasing number of consumers in key emerging markets will be in a position to trade up from smaller cars to SUVs. However, a combination of key social changes such as urbanisation, smaller households and an ageing population, in conjunction with increasing emissions regulations, have also boosted the fortunes of the small car segment.

Euromonitor predicts that small cars will see a global Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.9 percent between 2015 and 2031 but this is firmly secondary to the projected CAGR of 4.8 percent for SUVs.

The fastest growing SUVs markets in 2014-2015 were:

  • Thailand: +56.4 percent
  • Portugal: +54.8 percent
  • Italy: + 48.6 percent
  • China: +47.9 percent
  • Spain: +42 percent

Golovko concludes: “We’ve seen dynamic growth across most segments and markets through 2015, as pent up demand from the 2009 recession was realised. However, replacement demand in developed markets will start to slow and global growth will be increasingly reliant on SUVs and emerging markets.”

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