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. [Read more…]