1.1 Definition and scope of study
SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle and identifies mixed machines that combine the pragmatism of an automobile with the ruggedness of an off-road vehicle, from which they inherit many features that go well beyond mere size. These models are perfectly adapted to both urban and off-road scenarios. The elevated driving position compared to a traditional car gives a wide feeling of control, handling and safety. The global SUV market has been valued at $2924.52 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.42% from 2020 to 2027. Over the past six years, this segment has been a real benchmark in terms of units sold across Europe.
In 2019, prior to Covid, SUVs had recorded a total of 6.03 million units sold in Europe representing a 38.3% share of the total market, an all-time high in recent years. In Italy, SUVs' share of the car market is around 40%, with small SUVs leading the sector. These models also climb positions in the ranking of the best-selling individual cars, with Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade coming in at #4 and #5 in the ranking of the best-selling cars in Italy in 2020.
The trend will continue in the coming years, with many brands, such as Peugeut, Hyundai and Alfa Romeo, already announcing new models coming to market. Consumers are looking for small and compact SUVs, but mostly electric: the electrification trend in all expected variants (mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100% electric) is less extensive among high-wheel models, so the market will quickly adapt. Major manufacturers include Volkswagen Group, Toyota Group, Renault Nissan Alliance, FCA-PSA, General Motors, Hyundai-Kia, Ford Group, Honda Motor and Merceder Daimler.
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