Sales of SUVs have quadrupled in Europe since 2005 and are expected to keep rising, thanks to growing popularity with an unusually diverse group of buyers, according to a new Ford survey.
Mothers and Millennials
Once the choice of a select few ski buffs and outdoor enthusiasts, SUVs have been embraced by “Modern Mums” mothers with young kids, Millennials, 17- to 34-years-old, and “Quintastics,” for active and youthful 50-somethings.
Nearly one in three “Modern Mums” are considering an SUV for their next car, as are one in four Millennials; and one in five “Quintastics,” according to a new Ford-sponsored survey of 5,000 people in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain who own a car or who intend to buy one in the next 12 months.
“SUVs have grown from a tiny niche in Europe to one of the most significant automotive trends of the past decade,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe.
“Every time someone predicts SUV sales will cool down, they are proven wrong. That’s because SUVs have widespread appeal with men and woman, young and older people.”
The survey highlighted that perceptions of SUVs have changed dramatically. Of those surveyed, 82 per cent say that SUVs are no longer just a luxury vehicle, and have become more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly over the past five years. Nearly all recognize that SUVs are now available in a wide variety of sizes and options.
“Our range of three SUVs, with the upscale all-new Edge, arriving in dealerships across Europe now to complement our mid-sized Kuga and compact EcoSport, offers a wide variety of personal choice,” de Waard said. “We predict sales of 200,000 Ford SUVs in Europe this year – up by 200 per cent from 2013 – with 60,000 expected to sell in UK Dealerships.”
The percentage of SUVs sold in Europe compared with total car sales has grown from six per cent in 2005 to 23 per cent in 2015. This is expected to increase to 27 per cent by 2020, according to industry sales analyst IHS.
The survey shows that recognised SUV strengths are becoming increasingly important to car buyers. Of those surveyed, 82 per cent say keeping their family safe has become more important, and 52 per cent identifies this feature most with SUVs. Further, 78 per cent say performing well in bad weather has become more important, and 57 per cent identifies this feature most with SUVs.