Archives for November 2014

Renault to sell its 50.000th EV in Europe this year

As the Renault-Nissan alliance celebrates a combined tally of 200.000 Zero Emission vehicles worldwide, the Renault brand has something to celebrate all by itself in Europe before the end of the year. Total sales of its four-vehicle lineup of full-electric vehicles have added up to 48.471 units by the end of October 2014. The French brand sold 1.971 Zero Emission vehicles in October, so there’s a good chance the 50.000-unit threshold will be broken in November.

Renault-EV-sales-Europe-Twizy-Zoe-Fluence-KangooThe Zoe subcompact, Kangoo Cargo Van and Twizy quadricycle have sold in virtually equal numbers, each taking almost one third of the cumulative volume, while the Fluence compact sedan has been much less successful, taking less than five percent of the brand’s cumulative Zero Emission sales. That’s not very surprising, considering the Fluence didn’t have a quick-charge option and therefore takes up to eight hours to recharge. Besides that, a compact sedan isn’t a very popular body style in Europe, and its bland design hasn’t helped either. The Zoe has been the latest to reach the market and has been the strongest selling model of the lineup, contributing to over half of this year’s Zero Emission sales for Renault.

In contrast to its Alliance partner Nissan, which sells its Leaf compact hatchback in other continents as well, mainly North America and Japan, Renault’s EV sales are almost entirely limited to Europe. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September exotic and sports car segments


European-car-sales-statistics-exotic_car-segment-2014-BMW_i8-Ferrari_458_Italia-Audi_R8-Lamborghini_AventadorThe exotic car segment is up an encouraging 8% after the first nine months of 2014, thanks to an excellent third quarter, as total segment sales were down after the first half. This recovery is entirely due to the incredibly successful launch of the BMW i8, BMW’s new electric sports car with gasoline range extender. I had already predicted that the i8 would lead the segment in 2015, but in fact it already was the best selling exotic car on the market in the third quarter of this year, enabling it to shoot up into third place year-to-date. What a remarkable performance of such a groundbreaking new vehicle!

The Bentley Continental GT has overtaken the Ferrari 458 Italia to take back its leadership of the segment in the third quarter. These two models combined account for almost half of all exotic car sales in Europe, making you think whether they still classify as exotics.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Premium large SUV segment

European-car-sales-statistics-premium-large-SUV-segment-2014-BMW_X5-Range_Rover_Sport-Mercedes_Benz_M_ClassPremium large SUVs continue to progress as the segment grows 17% on the first nine months of last year. Almost 90% of this growth can be attributed to a single model, the new leader of the segment: the new generation BMW X5. The X5 almost triples its sales of the outgoing model last year, shooting up from fourth place to the top with more than 20% share of the premium large SUV segment. In second place is another model that’s been renewed and making big gains. The Range Rover Sport comes from fifth place last year to almost double its sales of the previous generation, which started sales in the third quarter of 2013.

These two have bumped the Mercedes-Benz M-Class from its distant and unthreatened leadership of last year, now down into the bottom spot of the podium. In 2015 and onwards the M-Class will be under further intensified competition as two former podium contenders will be replaced after both serving a decade or more.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Premium midsized and compact SUV segment

Sales of premium midsized SUVs are up 6% or more than 12.000 units on the first three quarters of 2013, thanks to the introduction of two all-new models from Porsche and BMW.

European-car-sales-statistics-premium-compact-crossover-segment-2014-Audi_Q5-Volvo_XC60The Audi Q5 holds on to the first place it claimed in the second quarter, but the recently refreshed Volvo XC60 continues to stay close, even outselling its German rival in September. I don’t think the XC60 will be able to pull a rabbit out of its had and finish in the segment’s first place for the first time ever, but reclaiming the second place it already held in 2009 and 2010 would be almost just as impressive considering the increased competition since.

European-car-sales-statistics-premium-compact-crossover-segment-2014-Range_Rover_Evoque-BMW_X3The Range Rover Evoque led the segment in the first quarter of the year, but has fallen behind since, being outsold by the recently updated BMW X3 in the second and third quarter, although it remains firmly in third place. 2014 is going to be the third year in a row where the Evoque finishes on the third step of the podium of the premium compact SUV segment.

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European sales 2014 January – September Limousine segment

The European limousine segment continues its strong growth curve which is fueled by model changes of a few major players in the segment. The newly one-year old Mercedes-Benz S-Class accounts for 85% of the growth of the segment all by itself, and almost all of the growth when combined with the segment’s number two, the Audi A8.


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As a result, the S-Class commands a whopping 42% share of the segment, two-and-a-half times as much as its nearest competitor. The rest of the ranking is completely stable in the third quarter, with the recently refreshed Audi A8 in second place and the Porsche Panamera completing the podium, as it did last year. Until the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz S500 plug-in hybrid, Porsche will be the only brand in this segment to offer a plug-in hybrid model.

The BMW 7-series is stuck in fourth place, where it’s likely to finish the year. That would make 2014 the first year ever that the 7-series is not in the top-3 of the limousine segment. The big Beemer is likely to shoot back up to the top of the ranking in 2016 when the new generation hits the market.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Premium large car segment


The premium large car segment has lost some ground in the third quarter, as year-to-date sales are down by 1.500 units after being ahead by 12.000 units after the first half of 2014. The third quarter loss is almost entirely due to the slowdown of the two leaders of the segment Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-series.

TEuropean-car-sales-statistics-premium-large-segment-2014-Mercedes_Benz_E_Class-BMW_5_series-Audi_A6he ranking has fluctuated this quarter with the 5-series down to third place in July before rebounding to the top spot in August, when the E-Class was down in third place. But an excellent month of September secured the top spot of the segment for the Benz year-to-date. With the Audi A6 outselling the 5-series for the quarter, the E-Class looks set to hold on to it until the end of the year. The model last finished on top of the ranking in 2009 and 2010 before the 5-series took over. It’s been even longer for the A6, as the Audi last topped the premium large car segment in 2007 and it doesn’t look like the current generation will repeat that excellent performance of its predecessor.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Premium Midsize segment

Sales of midsized premium cars stay on track to finish 2014 above the 600.000 unit mark after dipping below that level for the first time since more than a decade. In fact, the midsized premium segment peaked in 2002 at over a million units and has lost 40% of its volume as the midsized car segment has slumped as a whole.


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The traditional leader of the segment, the BMW 3-series, is also the biggest loser of the segment at -15% as its coupe and convertible models have been renamed 4-series. This has created room for the new generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class to step up and outsell its competitor from Munich in September for the first time since February 2012. Year-to-date, the C-Class has come within 200 units of the Audi A4 and by the end of the year it will undoubtedly have taken back the second place of the segment the A4 took from it last year.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Premium Compact segment

The compact premium segment in Europe is stabilizing despite several important models being replaced or renewed. Total segment sales are up just 3% after the first nine months of 2014, but you can see relatively large swings in model popularity. The Audi A3 increases its grip on the segment, improving its share to more than 27% and selling over 50.000 unit more than its nearest competitor, the BMW 1-series.

European-car-sales-statistics-premium-compact-segment-2014-Mercedes_Benz_A_Class-BMW_1_series-Audi_A3It’s increasingly more complicated to compare specific models with each other in this segment as some brands use different names for different body styles, while others combine them all in one model. For example, A3 sales include the 3- and 5-door hatchback, convertible and sedan body styles, while Mercedes-Benz separates its A-Class 3-door hatchback from the CLA sedan. BMW separates the 3- and 5-door hatchback versions of the 1-series from the coupe and convertible 2-series, but to complicate matters, sales of the 2-series also include the Active Tourer. This is a front-wheel drive MPV that competes with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV and has almost no technical relationship with the rear-wheel drive coupe and convertible 2-series.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Large SUV segment

Sales of large SUVs in Europe are up an encouraging 18% after declining since 2006 when total segment sales topped 200.000 units. This year, the segment that’s traditionally the domain of Asian manufacturers with the occasional American model trying its luck isn’t even going to reach a fifth of that total. The top-3 of the segment hasn’t changed since, and the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Toyota Land Cruiser have even increased their share to a combined three quarters of segment sales.

Hyundai-Santa-Fe-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Santa Fe has more than recovered from its slow start of the year by lodging a very impressive third quarter, in which the model improved 83% on Q3 of 2013. I guess Hyundai has dealt with supply shortages of the Santa Fe, as its new generation has proven very popular in the USA, China and Russia, markets where SUVs and crossovers are much more popular. The new generation Sorento has just been revealed at the Paris Auto Show, and it may threaten its sibling if supply of the latter remains constrained.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 January – September Midsized SUV segment

The midsized crossover segment is still enjoying a healthy growth pace, increasing sales 11% in the first three quarters of 2014, as 14 models in the top-20 have sold more units than they did in the same period last year.

European-car-sales-statistics-midsized-crossover-segment-2014-Nissan_Qashqai-X_TrailThe first model to lose sales is the Nissan Qashqai which has suffered from a model change-over to its second generation. I had expected the new model to have picked up the pace by now and to have returned into positive territory by now, but it has fallen below 20% segment share instead. Considering the last quarter of the year is traditionally the slowest, the Qashqai may fall below the 200.000 annual sales mark for the first time since 2009. But even if it does so, it won’t be by more than 5.000 units. Perhaps the successful introduction of the 7-seater Nissan X-Trail as a replacement to both the outgoing X-Trail and the extended wheelbase Qashqai+2 is hurting sales of its smaller sibling. The X-Trail has already more than doubled its volume of last year and was up into 13th place in September, ready to move past the C4 Aircross and Forester by the end of the year.… Continue Reading …