Lotus and Smart are the two latest car brands to join the SUV segment. Last month, the British brand presented the Eletre, its first SUV and one of many that will arrive over the next years. Earlier this month, Smart revealed the #1, a B-SUV that is due to rival with the Mini Countryman. These products are a response to the sales boom that has driven growth since the years 00’s.
As these vehicles are usually more expensive and based on regular cars platforms, the car makers make earn more money from them. The formula is quite easy: they develop a single platform and propose several models and body-types, with the SUV at the highest in the pricing structure. The price gap is quite significant, according to the data from JATO Dynamics.
In Italy, for instance, a B-SUV is 35% more expensive than a B-Car. This gap falls to 11% in the F segment (the luxury one). On an average, a SUV (all sub-segments) is 33% more expensive than a car (from B to F segments). Based on this, it is quite easy to understand why almost all the car brands in the world have at least one SUV in their lineups.
The 11 exceptions
However, there are still very few brands that have not been tempted yet by this boom. Some of them are not interested because it is not part of their brand’s DNA. Others simply don’t have the resources; and others are already working on it.
You can’t find a SUV from Abarth, Alpine, Bugatti, Chrysler, Ferrari, Lancia, Lucid, McLaren, Pagani, Polestar and Ram. The list excludes minor players like Caterham, Morgan, Dallara, Rimac, Koenigsegg, and others.
In the case of Alpine, Ferrari and Polestar, an SUV is expected to arrive within the next 2 years. Actually, the Ferrari Purosangue is due to be revealed in the coming months. With the exception of Ferrari, these brands need an SUV in order to gain more traction as relatively new brands. Chrysler should be also working on something, but there has not been anything confirmed.
Others like Bugatti, McLaren or Pagani are recognised as supercar brands, and therefore a SUV might not be a priority yet. However, this is due to change if the Ferrari SUV proves to be successful and harmless to the brand’s image.
On the other hand, Ram, the 6th largest brand by sales of Stellantis, is simply not interested considering its positioning as a trucks and light commercial vehicles brand.
Lucid has just started its journey as an independent brand but the second step should be a SUV. Abarth and Lancia are waiting for more products, but so far the product planning presentations have not mentioned a SUV within their future lineups.
The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is an Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.