Car sales statistics for the premium compact car segment in Europe, updated every quarter.

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 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 first half Premium Compact segment


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The European compact premium segment is up a shy 3% in the first half of 2014, but this is all thanks to new entrants and increased sales of the segment leader, Audi A3. Helped by the addition of the “Limousine” sedan version, the A3 has added almost a third to its sales of last year, while its three closest rivals all lose volume in double digits. As a result, it has fortified its leadership, last year the A3 had the BMW 1-series breathing down its neck after six months, but this year they are separated by more than 35.000 sales.

The newly released BMW 2-series isn’t yet helping the brand from Munich, topping out at 1.726 sales in June, less than a tenth of June’s A3 sales. Perhaps the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class rival 2-series Active Tourer can help BMW catch up with Audi in this segment.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014-Q1 Premium Compact segment

Audi-A3-S3-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeSales of premium compact cars in Europe have slowed their growth in the first quarter of 2014, increasing just 6% which is less than the overall market at +7%. Despite big differences in volume increases or decreases, the top eight ranking is stable on the full year 2013. That means the Audi A3 is still firmly in the lead it took over from the BMW 1-series. In fact, the A3’s lead over the 1-series after just three months is already larger than it was over all twelve months last year.

The Mercedes A-Class and B-Class see the effect of the brand broadening its line-up, as the CLA four-door coupe and the GLA compact crossover undoubtedly cannibalize on their sales. Overall, sales of Mercedes-Benz’s 4-car compact car line-up have grown slightly, but that’s only because the GLA hasn’t started its deliveries until March.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2013 Premium Compact segment

Audi-A3-BMW-1-series-Mercedes-A-Class-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium compact car segment is the fastest growing premium segment, growing 21% in 2013, to a full-year total of over 720.000 units. Add another 208.000 premium small cars to the mix, and the segment is closing in on a million annual sales.

The segment is on a roll thanks to new entrants and model changes in recent years.

The BMW 1-series and Mercedes-Benz B-Class are already the “oldest” of the top players, as both were renewed in 2011, while the Audi A3, Volvo V40 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA were introduced or renewed in 2012.

As a result, the 1-series has lost the top spot of the segment to the A3 and has the A-Class breathing down its neck, while it sold more than two times as good as the outgoing MPV-styled A-Class.… Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Premium Compact segment

Audi-A3-BMW-1-series-Mercedes-A-Class-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium compact car segment in Europe remains the place to be for premium automakers, as the segment grew another 24% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year, totaling over 550.000 units in 9 months, or over 700.000 units when combined with the premium small car segment. New introductions and model changes of the big players make this a very dynamic segment.

The need to look twice to distinguish the new generation from the old generation, hasn’t hurt sales of Audi A3 at all, which has helped it steal the top spot from BMW 1-series. The small Beemer has also been redesigned, but the designers were to obsessed with ensuring it would be a good car, they forgot to make it look any better than the previous model.

Mercedes-Benz has finally got the memo that a premium compact car is bought by accountants, consultants and law firm apprentices instead of elderly people, which caused a 180° U-turn from the MPV-like old A-Class to the sporty hatchback new generation. As a result, the Stuttgart-based brand has finally caught up with its rivals out of München and Ingolstadt in this segment as well. Those in need of a higher seating position will be served by B-Class, while the hip and trendy are now welcome at Mercedes-Benz as well for a mini CLS, called CLA.… Continue Reading …