Car sales statistics for the limousine segment in Europe, updated every quarter.

European sales 2016 Limousine segment

Limousine-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Mercedes_Benz_S_Class-BMW_7_series-Audi_A8Sales of limousines in Europe were up 5% in 2016, compared to an overall market up 6,2%, but were stable in Q4. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been so dominant in this segment that it holds on to its lead despite a 10% loss in volume while its nearest rival more than doubles up. The all-new BMW 7-series outsold the S-Class in Q4 and looks set to take control of the segment in 2017, the last time it did so was in 2012. Keep in mind it may already have done so in 2016 when comparing pure limousine sales, as the S-Class figures also include sales of the coupe and convertible models, which BMW doesn’t offer. The Audi A8 stays in third place with sales down 20% for the year as it’s starting to show its age. The A8 lost more than a third of its volume in Q4, when it was outsold by the all-new Porsche Panamera, which is aiming for that #3 spot in 2017.

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European sales 2016 Q1-Q3 Limousine segment


Sales in the limousine segment in Europe are up 7% in the first three quarters of 2016, slightly slower than the overall market at +7,5%. In the first half, the segment had outgrown the market, but growth has slowed in Q3. Unsurprisingly, the German luxury brands control more than 90% of this segment, of course helped by their home country, which is the largest market for these vehicles in Europe. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class sees its share of the segment diminish from 44,7% in the first nine months of 2015 to 38,4% in the same period this year, keeping it ahead of the all-new BMW 7-Series. But there’s a catch: S-Class sales include those of the coupe and convertible models, which means that in pure sedan sales, the 7-Series may actually have reclaimed the lead of the segment. The Audi A8 is a distant third, unable to keep up with the brand power of the S-Class (“the best or nothing”), nor the freshness of the 7.

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European sales 2016 first half Limousine segment


Sales of limousines in Europe were up 10% in the first half of 2016, which is faster than the overall market at +8,8%. The segment showed particular strong sales in Q2, when sales grew 13,5%, boosted by the new generation BMW 7-series. Despite deliveries of the latest version of Munich’s largest sedan picking up traction, it still trailed the king of the segment Mercedes-Benz S-Class by 600 units in that second quarter. However, keep in mind that Mercedes includes sales of its S-Class Coupe and Convertible in these figures, and unfortunately we don’t have a breakdown per body style. That means we’ll have to make assumptions of the share of non-sedans the brand sells, but I’m pretty sure it’s been a tight race between the S-Class sedan and the 7-Series sedan in Q2. The Audi A8 is now a distant third with sales down 13% on last year, when it had just been facelifted.

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European sales 2016 Q1 Limousine segment

Limousine-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Mercedes_Benz_S_Class-BMW_7_series-Audi_A8The limousine segment in Europe grew 6% in Q1 of 2016, boosted by the new generation BMW 7-Series, which almost triples its volume over the same period last year, while suffering from supply shortages on the Plug-In Hybrid 740e version. That version has apparently already been sold out for the rest of the year. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class manages to hold on to its #1 position for now, but bear in mind its figures include the still very fresh Coupe version, and we don’t know how many as sales are not split. That means that BMW could lead in pure sedan sales of the 7-Series vs. the S-Class. The S-Class convertible has also just arrived at dealerships, so total sales of all versions will probably stay in front for the rest of the year, but I’d love to know the sales distribution of its body styles before declaring it the winner of the limousine segment.

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European sales 2015 Limousine segment


After rising sharply in 2014 thanks to the new generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the limousine segment takes a small correction in 2015 with sales down 6% to 38.807 sales. The segment leading S-Class follows that trend and keeps its share of the segment at almost 43%, selling almost as much as its three closest competitors combined. But that is about to change in 2016, as BMW has just launched the latest generation of its 7-series, which promises to be loaded with even more tech and features than the S-Class. The BMW already outsold the Audi A8 by a large margin in Q4 as the outgoing model was in sell-out mode and the first few units of the new model were registered. Mercedes-Benz has always been one of the strongest players in this segment, coming up on top 15 years in the last 17, with the BMW 7-series taking the crown twice (2009 and 2012), both times by margins of less than 1.000 sales. But 2016 may be the third time the 7 tops the S, although deliveries of BMW’s plug-in hybrid version won’t start until late in the year, an ever more important version even in the limousine segment as business owners and board members want to show their consciousness about the environment without having to sacrifice (rear-seat) comfort. Thanks to its 2014 facelift, Audi holds on to its impressive second place for the second time in a row and the fourth time ever as the A8 did as well in 2007 and 2008.

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European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Limousine segment

mercedes_Benz_S_Class-european_car_sales-2015-limousine_segmentThe limousine segment in Europe stays in a subdued mode in Q3 of 2015, still down 9% for both the quarter and the first nine months. With the Mercedes-Benz S-Class controlling almost 45% of all limousine sales in Europe, it’s no surprise that the segment depends heavily on fluctuations in that model’s demand. As the S-Class is now in its second year of the new generation, a 9% decrease in Q3 and -4% for the year so far isn’t too bad, especially considering the rest of the top-6 fares even worse. Bear in mind that the Benz is probably also helped by a handful sales of the new S-Class Coupe, which isn’t split from the sedan in our statistics. Its traditionally biggest rival BMW 7-series has already revealed its upcoming new generation, which promises a ton of new technology and features that should help it topple the S-Class dominance in 2016. A plug-in hybrid version should do the trick as well.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015 first half Limousine segment

Limousine-segment-European-sales-2015-Mercedes_Benz_S_ClassSales of limousines in Europe were up 29% in 2014 and another 10% in Q1 of 2015, thanks to the introduction of the very successful class leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But with that model reaching its second anniversary, its sales are plateauing at just over 9.000 units in the first half of the year, almost flat with the same period in 2014. And that’s the best result in the top-6, with the challengers of the almighty S-Class all losing more ground on last year: the Audi A8 remains in second place with sales down just 4%, but the Porsche Panamera is kicked off the podium with a margin of just 2 sales by the soon-to-be-replaced BMW 7-series. ThLimousine-segment-European-sales-2015-BMW_7_seriese Panamera loses 30% of its volume, while the 7-series is down 18%. The new generation 7-series is due by the end of the year and has already been revealed, so the Panamera may steal its position back for the full-year ranking as the BMW will suffer from the model changeover, but I’m confident the new generation 7-series will finish on top of the ranking next year.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2015-Q1 Limousine segment

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.

European-sales-limousine_segment-BMW_7_seriesThe 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.… Continue Reading …

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 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 …