As each major motor show looms, I start to wonder whether we’re ever going to reach ‘peak SUV’. Most car manufacturers are rushing to tap into the booming customer desire for high-rise vehicles of all sizes, but not all of them can be winners in terms of sales, can they?
At present, though, the appetite for them remains voracious, particularly in the compact SUV segment mined so successfully by the trailblazing Nissan Qashqai and those that have followed.
Similarly, any self-respecting manufacturer wouldn’t dream of rocking up at a motor show these days without some form of shiny new electric or hybrid vehicle with which to showcase its ambitious vision for future mobility.
Setting SUVs and EVs aside, there’s still life in the more traditional market segments, and this is going to be reflected in some manufacturers’ offerings when the Paris motor show gets underway tomorrow.
Look at supercars: the segment only accounts for a fraction of a percentage of the total European car market, so there is an argument that we shouldn’t pay it much heed.
However, these are the cars that make the big headlines and attract customer attention by tweaking our emotions and indulging our automotive fantasies; they project dynamic images for the manufacturers who make them (or at least make good ones). So while the significance is small when looked at in light of the whole industry, the reach and significance are massive for manufacturers.