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Look Who’s Driving Europe’s SUV Boom: ‘Modern Mums’, Millennials and ‘Quintastics’

05/23/2016

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MUNICH, Germany, May 23, 2016 – 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 survey.

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- olds, and “Quintastics,” a media buzzword for active and youthful 50somethings.

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 Motor Company-sponsored survey of 5,000 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K who own a car or who intend to buy one in the next 12 months. *

Ford released the survey data at its pan-European launch for the new Ford Edge SUV in Munich.

“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 fuelefficient 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.”

The percentage of SUVs sold in Europe compared with total car sales has grown from 6 per cent in 2005 to 22 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 identify this feature most with SUVs. Further, 78 per cent say performing well in bad weather has become more important, and 57 per cent identify this feature most with SUVs.

Practical considerations are a high priority for "Modern Mums”, as is style:

For Millennials, the SUV is a symbol of success:

Those in their fifties are now increasingly likely to continue to follow active pursuits, and the key attributes “Quintastics” associate with a modern SUV have become more important:

“For all kinds of people the SUV works because it offers a one-stop solution, just like a smartphone that also can be a camera, media player, and torch. An SUV can offer a capable approach to weekend adventures and a stylish and practical school-run option, with great visibility when pulling up to the kerb,” de Waard said.

Across Europe the survey revealed that those in Italy (31 per cent) and the U.K. (28 per cent) are the most likely to be considering an SUV as their next car.

*JATO Dynamics results are based on information provided by JATO Consult, the company's bespoke consulting service. Figures are based on 30 European countries. For more information please visit www.jato.com

** Calculation based on European Commission eurostat data that of estimated EU 28 population of 508,450,856, those aged 17 to 34-years- old account for 111,914,312 people, and those aged 50-59 account for 69,974,620 people http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database

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