Last year, the Limousine segment in Europe got a boost from the arrival of the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which pushed total segment sales up 29% when compared to 2013. This year, the S-Class is no longer brand new, which means its explosive growth rate has subdued a bit to 10%, while the segment as a whole has actually lost 6% of its volume in the first quarter.
As a result, the S-Class improves its share of the segment from 38,5% in Q1 of 2014 and 42,8% at the end of 2014 to a whopping 45%, meaning almost 1 in every 2 limousines sold in Europe was made by Mercedes-Benz.
The facelifted Audi A8 also improves its share of the segment thanks to sales up 3%, less than half of the S-Class, but almost double the sales of its nearest two competitors: the 7-series and Panamera. The BMW 7-series is down 15% as the all-new generation is due by the end of 2015, which will feature a lot of groundbreaking technology as expected from a car in this class. This should help the 7-series back on top of the segment in 2016, for the first time since 2012. [Read more…]