Renault Minivan Adjusts to Growing SUV Market
Renault recently revealed their modern Espace. This seven-seater mid-size SUV has been designed to perfectly suit families found in Europe, and is centered around the Renault-Nissan CMF-C/D platform; which is the same used with others from the alliance, including current renditions of the Nissan Sentra, X-Trail and Qashqai. This very same platform is also employed with the five-seat version of this newest Renault model, the Austral.
This model has been around since 1984 when Renault first debuted it as a rare automobile. Since then, the Espace has earned a reputation as a benchmark amongst large MPVs in Europe. Data from JATO Dynamics indicate that over the last 36 years Renault has sold more than 1.3 million of these vehicles.
Despite their assertions, Renault is the one that confirms that the 6th generation of Espace is no longer a minivan. As evidenced by the plummeting sales for MPVs in zones like North America and Europe, plenty of companies have discontinued this segment of vehicles and instead opted to put their efforts towards SUVs, which are evidently more sought-after. Yet, they still make use of the recognizable title of Espace in order to make capacity of the seven-seater SUV. Clearly, this has very little to do with its origin connection.
In response to the consumer trend towards SUVs, the French company has taken decisive action. The ascendancy of SUVs, which began in the U.S. during the late 1990s and surfaced in Europe roughly a decade later, has left minivans, small cars, sedans, and MPVs with limited options. In 2014, customers had a selection of 52 different models; yet by 2019, that number had dwindled to just 20.
The Espace closely mirrored the earlier ventures of the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 a while ago. Similarly, both the Opel Meriva and Citroën C3 Picasso have been succeeded by SUVs. Ford has adopted the moniker of Puma for the newly-unveiled B-SUV model, while Mitsubishi took on the name Eclipse, previously utilized for a sports car, to brand its compact SUV. As of now, the Mustang badge is being sported by the all-electric Mach-E SUV from Ford.
The basis for the relocation of iconic labels is the heated appeal for SUVs internationally. According to JATO data, 5.64 million SUV’s were enrolled in Europe during last year. Although not the greatest amount of outcomes (the absolute peak was established in 2019 with a total of 6.06 million models), SUVs realized unprecedented 50.1 percent marketplace presence.
Evidently, nearly half of the motor vehicles enrolled in Europe in the past year were SUVs. This starkly contrasts to the meagre levels of popularity they enjoyed just a short while ago.
In the United States, a marked transformation has taken place with regards to SUV market shares. Starting out at a mere eleven percent back in 1995, SUV ownership presently stands at an unprecedented all-time-high of 54% as of 2022. A staggering eight million and one hundred thousand units were purchased by customers only last year in 2019.
It is reasonable to assume that if this tendency remains, in no time we may witness the manifestation of a transformation of common car types such as wagons, MPVs and sedans into SUVs. This could be observed with the brand new Renault Scenic. It appears the SUV style is highly advantageous for both manufacturers and consumers.
Sport Utility Vehicles are a great choice for those looking for a combination of practicality and comfort, as well as the rugged looks of a vehicle that can handle any terrain. Elderly people will appreciate the ease of getting in and out of an SUV without having to exert too much effort. For those who don’t particularly enjoy the thrill of driving, SUVs offer the “advantage” of a higher driving position. Families, too, can benefit from SUVs when it comes to long trips. The popularity of SUVs shows no sign of waning anytime soon.
Felipe Munoz, acknowledged as a specialist in the Automotive Industry by JATO Dynamics, has written this piece.