Hitting the e-SUV spot

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OEMs are rushing to bring out more electric SUVs in a bid to meet emissions targets and protect margins. But they will require innovations in design and engineering to stay desirable and competitive in an increasingly crowded field

The relentless trend towards SUVs is apparent across virtually all vehicle markets. SUVs, including crossovers and compacts, are now the most popular vehicle segment in Europe, reaching 40% of sales. In North America, the SUV segments are more than 45% of sales, and together with pickup trucks account for around 70% of the light vehicle market; at current rates, they could approach 80% by the middle of the decade.

Carmakers continue to launch new SUV and compact SUV models even as they pare back sedan offerings. In North America, Volkswagen has not only recently added the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport to its line up but is now launching the new Taos compact SUV. In a telling symbolism, it began production of the model this past October in Puebla, Mexico, where it took over assembly space that until last year produced the iconic (but less profitable) Beetle.

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