Archives for February 2015

European sales 2014 Limousine segment

Sales in the limousine segment in Europe were still sizzling hot in 2014, thanks to a few all-new or redesigned models, and that model offence will continue this year and next as the traditional leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets some increased competition from its closest rivals.

Limousine-segment-European-sales-2014-Mercedes_Benz_S_Class_MaybachIn 2014, the S-Class more than doubled its sales, and as a result, it has accounted for over 95% of the overall segment’s growth, meaning the other 12 models have seen their sales increase with less than 400 sales combined, or less than 2%. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz takes almost 43% share of the segment. But that’s not even a record, as its predecessor from two generations ago (the W220) grabbed almost 50% segment share in 2001 with over 30.000 sales vs. “only” 17.638 in 2014.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Premium Large segment

Sales of premium large cars are down for the third straight year to the segment’s second lowest figure in at least two decades, above only 2009. In a segment where the top two players dominate with more than 50% share, the fortunes of these two have a large influence on the overall figure.

Large_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2014-Mercedes_Benz_E_ClassThe Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been the leader every year until 2005, when it was outsold by both the BMW 5-series and the Audi A6. Ten years later, 2014 is only the third year that the E-Class has finished back on top since, with the A6 taking first place from 2005 until 2007 and the 5-series winning in 2008 and 2011 until 2013.

Both the Mercedes-Benz and the BMW fall below 100.000 units and they won’t be likely to recover in 2015, as both models will be completely renewed in 2016. That may give the A6 an advantage this year, as it has just received a facelift and was surprisingly stable in 2014 after declining 16% in 2013.

Behind the traditional German Big 3, the Swedes finish in fourth place, like in the midsized premium segment.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Premium Midsize segment

Midsized_Premium_car-segment-European-sales-2014-BMW_3_seriesThe midsized premium car segment has rebounded from its lowest figure in a few decades, increasing a modest 5% thanks to a handful of new and redesigned models. 4 out of the 9 models that haven’t been discontinued lose sales, with the biggest hit taken by the segment leader BMW 3-series, after peaking at over 200.000 sales for the first time since 2008. There are two major reasons for the sharp drop in 3-series deliveries; one is the renaming of the model’s coupe and convertible versions to 4-series, as combined sales of the 3 and 4 are still up on 2013. The second reason is the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, up 13% but that’s still the nameplate’s second lowest figure since its introduction two decades ago.

Pushed down by the C-Class into third place, and hitting its lowest sales since its introduction as well, the Audi A4 is still surprisingly stable for a model that’s due to be replaced soon, at just -3%. With the new generation ready to reach showrooms in the middle of the year, the A4 should be able to rebound in 2015.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Premium Compact segment

Sales of compact premium cars in Europe rise “just” 3% in 2014 after increasing 15% the year before. That still means record sales for the segment at almost three quarters of a million units. And if you thought a 3% change in overall volume means stable model sales, think again.

Compact_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2014-Audi_A3The almost traditional leader, the Audi A3, adds 19% to almost break 200.000 units, making it the model’s third best year ever, just 3.000 short to break its own 2006 record. It did reinforce its leadership, as the BMW 1-series drops 14% as the coupe and convertible versions are now counted separately as the 2-series.

The 1-series is now trailed by just 10.000 units by its archenemy Mercedes-Benz A-class, down 8% in third place. Its MPV sibling B-Class is the biggest loser of the top-10, undoubtedly losing sales to the BMW 2-series Active Tourer, BMW’s first-ever MPV and first-ever front-wheel drive car. Unfortunately, sales of the Active Tourer and the 2-series coupe and convertible are not separated, even though all they share is their name.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Large SUV segment

The large SUV segment in Europe has rebounded strong from its record low in 2013, with sales almost back up to 2012 levels and the first year-over-year increase since 2006. This year sales should consolidate before improving further in 2016 thanks to the introduction of new and redesigned models.

Large_SUV-segment-European-sales-2014-Hyundai_Santa_FeThe Hyundai Santa Fe increases its hold on the segment now that its limited supply has somewhat been relieved. The Santa Fe now holds a share of almost 35% of the segment, which should drop slightly this year as the model awaits its facelift at the end of 2015. The new generation Sorento will reach showrooms in the second quarter and may help increase the combined share of Hyundai-Kia even beyond the current 59% of the segment’s sales.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Midsized SUV segment

For the first time ever, more than 1 million midsized crossovers have been sold in Europe in a single year, only 7 years after first breaking the 500.000 sales threshold. And I don’t expect the growth to stall in 2015, as key models have recently been renewed and one highly anticipated new player will enter the segment. In 2014, the 12 best selling models all managed to improve their sales figures on the year before.

Midsized_SUV-segment-European-sales-2014-Nissan_QashqaiThe new generation Nissan Qashqai has enjoyed a very strong fourth quarter to continue the model’s streak of five consecutive years above 200.000 sales, although its share of the segment has dropped below 20%. The Qashqai also celebrates 8 consecutive years as the segment leader. In second place, the Tiguan breaks its sales record at just over 150.000 sales, no less than 7 years after its introduction, an equally surprising as impressive performance, only equaled by the Fiat 500. The Tiguan is the best selling midsized SUV from a European manufacturer in a segment that’s dominated by Asian brands, which control two thirds of the segment’s sales.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Small Crossover segment

Sales of small crossovers in Europe continue to amaze, shooting through the 700.000 units milestone, as I predicted a modest 670.000 after the first three quarters. This is an increase of 52% on 2013, and with a slew of new players entering Europe’s hottest segment this year, the growth isn’t likely to stall anytime soon. In fact, I expect over 1 million annual small crossover sales within a few years time.

Small_crossover-segment-European-sales-2014-Renault_CapturUntil those new players hit full steam, the 2014 top-5 enjoys a combined share of almost 92%, with the top-4 each selling well over 100.000 units, compared to just one model above that threshold in 2013. Not surprisingly, the Renault Captur has taken control of the segment with just under 165.000 sales, almost 1 in every 4 small crossovers sold. Behind the leader, there’s a fierce battle for second place, with Opel/Vauxhall Mokka outselling the Peugeot 2008 and Dacia Duster in the last quarter to narrow the gap between second place and fourth place to just 8.000 units.

Last year’s leader Nissan Juke falls below 100.000 sales for the first time in four years, as it received a facelift in the second half of 2014. Sales already rebounded in the fourth quarter, but not enough to keep it from losing 8% of its volume. Undoubtedly the Juke will break into six figures again in 2015, despite the ever-increasing competition.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Large MPV segment

With an increase of 5%, the large MPV segment in Europe has rebounded slightly in 2014 from its record low a year earlier when sales plunged by 17%, but that still makes it the second-worst year in more than two decades.

Large_MPV-segment-European-sales-2014-Volkswagen_SharanThe ranking remains stable, with the Volkwagen Sharan and Ford S-Max increasing their share of the segment to over half of all sales in the segment, with the biggest winner in third place, as the Seat Alhambra adds 18% to last year’s volume. With the Ford Galaxy in fourth place, the VW Group and Ford take almost 87,5% of large MPV sales in the continent.

The new generation of the sporty S-Max is ready to hit European dealerships in the second quarter of 2015, followed by the functional and spacious Galaxy by the end of the year, so Ford is likely to steal VW’s crown as MPV best seller over the next 12 months.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Midsized MPV segment

The European midsized MPV segment has been shaken up this year, although a 2% overall drop in sales doesn’t fully reflect the fierce competition between some of the top sellers.

Midsized_MPV-segment-European-sales-2014-Citroen_C4_PicassoExcluding the newly arrived VW Golf Sportsvan, only three other models manage to improve their sales, of which one by less than 50 units. Big winner is the Citroën C4 Picasso/Grand Picasso, adding over 30.000 units and stealing the leadership from the Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic for only the second time since the latter created the segment almost 2 decades ago. With a new generation Scenic not due in showrooms until 2016, Citroën has a shot of making it two in a row. However, there’s a new challenger in the segment, which has made a thunderous arrival. Replacing the aging VW Golf Plus which never has ranked higher than 5th in the segment, the Golf Sportsvan boldly took first place in four of the last five months of the year, signaling it has its sights set on the segment leadership in 2015, even without a 7-seater option, which is reserved for the aging Volkswagen Touran.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 Small MPV segment

Small_MPV-segment-European-sales-2014-Fiat_500LSales of small MPVs in Europe have seem to hit a ceiling at just over 400.000 annual sales, as customers prefer the much more trendy small crossovers. Only two models manage to increase sales and do so by a large margin, while the rest of the segment is struggling. With the segment leader 500L soon to get internal competition from the 500X crossover, and no new models planned for the year, I predict the segment to take a big hit in 2015 and easily fall below 400.000 sales for only the second time in a decade. It may even drop as low as 350.000 sales, while the overall market remains stable or may even show a slight increase again.

Sales of the two segment leaders Fiat 500L and Nissan Note were both down in each of the last two months of the year, indicating their impressive winning streak in 2014 isn’t likely to continue into 2015. The 500L reaches record sales for the model at 94.000 units, while the Note clocks its best year since 2007. Contrastingly, even though sales of the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva remain relatively stable, the model is still down more than half on as recent as 2011.… Continue Reading …