After 3 years and one quarter of booming growth, the premium large SUV segment in Europe has hit a roadblock. Sales were down 6% in Q2, pulling down the year-to-date growth rate to just 2%, less than the overall market. A total of 150.235 large luxury SUVs were sold in the first half of 2017. The BMW X5 is on its way for a fourth consecutive year on top of the ranking, ever since the current generation was launched. The Audi Q7 jumps from 4th place in the first quarter to 2nd in the second quarter and also grabs that position in the first half ranking, outselling the Volvo XC90 (down 30% in Q2) and Range Rover Sport (down 13% in Q2). The XC90 has seen a similar drop in the US, where they blamed it on limited availability due to worldwide demand, especially for the T8 plug-in hybrid version, but the same seems to be happening in Europe now. With less than 1.000 monthly sales, China can’t be responsible for the limited availability in Europe and the US, so there must be another explanation. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more. [Read more…]
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The midsized premium SUV segment continues to outgrow the overall market with a 12% increase in Q2 and a 20% increase in the first half of 2017, to 276.300 sales. The two segment leaders consolidated their grip on the segment as both showed double digit growth while their closest four rivals all showed double digit declines. As a result, the #1 and #2 hold a combined 40% of the segment in Q2 and 37,3% in the first half. Amazingly, the Volvo XC60 reclaims the top spot it lost to the Mercedes-Benz GLC in the first quarter. Keep in mind that almost all of these sales are the outgoing model, as the new generation had only just arrived in showrooms by the end of the first half. And the GLC figures also include sales of the GLC Coupe, which makes the Volvo figures even more impressive. If the changeover to the new generation happens smoothly, the XC60 could finish on top of the ranking for the fourth consecutive year, and potentially with more than 100.000 sales for the first time ever. The Audi Q5 took third place in the second quarter but still lost 17% on the sales figures of its predecessor in the same period last year, and it’s not enough to kick the Range Rover Evoque off the year-to-date podium.
Sales in the limousine segment in Europe increased 4% in Q2 of 2017, and as a result the segment is up 5% in the first half, to 23.337 sales. However, 4 models out of the top-5 and 7 out of the top-10 show double digit declines in the second quarter as only one model more than makes up for all of their losses. Segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class sees its share of the segment thaw from a dominant 45% in the first half of 2015 to 38,7% in the first half of 2016 to “just” 32,8% now. Its segment leadership still cannot be touched, although we have to mention that its figures include sales of the coupe and convertible versions, so in terms of pure sedan sales, the BMW 7-series could be either very close or even ahead. Worryingly, the 7-Series is already down 19% in Q2 despite being still in its second year of sales. The main culprit of its early demise may the the new generation Porsche Panamera, which sold a healthy 2.670 copies in the second quarter, less than 500 sales behind the 7-Series. In fact, the Panamera was the segment leader in June, holding 31,2% of the segment that month and selling 200 more copies than both the Mercedes and the BMW. And this is before Porsche has launched the Sport Turismo version, a kind of shooting brake/station wagon version which should boost its popularity further.
The premium large car segment in Europe remains in the positive in Q2 of 2017 with a 5% increase, leading to an 8% sales gain in the first half of the year, to 218.019 sales. In the top-4 we have 2 nameplates growing with large double digit figures, one losing with double digit figures and one newcomer, so a dynamic segment indeed. Well, in terms of sales, that is. After reclaiming the segment lead in 2016, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains king of the hill, growing its share of the segment by 6,3 percentage points on the first half of last year, to 31,2% as it adds more than a third to its volume of the same period in 2016. The all-new BMW 5-series, launched earlier this year, grows even faster than the E-Class in Q2 but is unable to take its crown. It does distance the Audi A6 in third place (down from #1 in the first half of 2016), as it loses 17% in the second quarter and a painful 5,4 percentage points of share. What’s worse for the A6, it outsold the new Volvo S90/V90 by less than 5.000 units in the quarter. Not enough to start worrying about the Swedes breaking the German domination of the segment, but still a small yet welcome success for Volvo. However, the top-3 sellers increase their share to almost three quarters of total segment sales. Keep in mind, the E-Class includes coupe and convertible versions, which the other models don’t have, and these two-door versions are still pretty fresh so could be responsible for most of the growth of the nameplate, together with the also still recent station wagon.
Sales of premium midsized cars in Europe slightly declined in the second quarter of 2017, which leads to a slim 2% increase in the first half, to 378.426 sales. Of course that handily beats the 16% loss for the mainstream midsized segment, which is now almost 100.000 sales behind its luxury version. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class increases its share of the segment to over 25% thanks to a 5% increase in Q2, and it remains unchallenged by either of its two rivals Audi A4 and BMW 3-series, which both lose volume. The A4 is actually in serious trouble with a 22% loss in Q2 and not all of these losses can be attributed to the new generation Audi A5, as that model may be up 51% in the second quarter but in absolute terms Audi is still down 4.400 sales. One sidenote to the figures of the C-Class: they include sales of the coupe and convertible versions, which BMW and Audi sell under separate nameplates. When looking at combined figures, Audi takes the semgent lead with 110.822 sales, just ahead of BMW with 108.303 sales. [Read more…]
Growth has stalled in the premium compact car segment in Europe, as the segment is down 8% in Q2 of 2017, leading to a 5% loss in the first half of the year to 468.243 sales. The ranking is relatively stable, but some individual models still show significant volume decreases or increases. The dominant segment leader Audi A3 is down 15% in the second quarter and sold just 4.500 cars more than the #2 Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The A-Class has enjoyed increasing interest from buyers, as it was one of the fastest growing models in the segment in 2016 and continues to gain share in 2017. It distances the BMW 1-series for which the facelift effect already appears to be wearing off. Sales were stable in Q2 reducing the first half gain to 8%. The next generation 1-Series will become more of a follower than an individualist, losing its rear wheel drive platform and the 6-cylinder engine option, as well as its somewhat controversial styling in favor of more vanilla styling and mechanics. Undoubtedly that will only help it increase sales further and to become a real challenger for the segment lead.
Sales of small crossovers in Europe are starting to plateau after booming growth in recent years. The segment grew by just 5% in Q2 and is now up 10% in the first half, to a record 853.391 units. However, as the segment leader has just been facelifted and a whole bunch of new models are ready to enter the segment, expect the growth to continue for the rest of this year and next. The Renault Captur is down for the first time in its career, losing 12% in the second quarter and 6% year-to-date, as the facelifted version is just making its way into the showrooms. Its segment leadership remains uncontested, as it still sold more than any other model in both quarters. Still, its closest two rivals, the Peugeot 2008 and the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka continue to grow and therefore the top-3 is getting closer to each other but also distancing themselves from the rest of the segment. In 4th place we still find the Dacia Duster, which is stable but therefore loses a full percentage point of share compared to the first half of 2016.
At just 29.700 sales in the first half of 2017, the large SUV segment is one of the smallest in Europe, in contrast to the US where it’s almost the largest segment as Americans buy 32 times as many of these cars than Europeans do, as American dealers have already sold almost a million of these vehicles this year. And every single model in the US midsized (yes, they have an even bigger segment above these) crossover segment top-13 (out of 19) outsells the entire European segment combined. No wonder most of these models never make it to the old continent and the segment continues to shrink with Nissan not replacing its Murano and Pathfinder or Mazda its CX-9 as they have done in the US. Then again, Ford entered the segment by bringing the Edge over from the States. And while absolute volume remains relatively low (9.200 in Europe vs. 71.000 in the US), it has quickly become the segment leader with a commanding 31% share. However, that can’t prevent the segment from losing 3% of its volume in Q2, as every other nameplate lost with double digits. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Edge, the segment would be down 22% in the second quarter and down 12% in the first half, instead of up 17%.
Sales of compact crossovers in Europe maintain their explosive growth rate, jumping 29% in Q2 and 33% in the first half, to 720.194 units. This is 8,6% of the total European market, almost 2 percentage points up from the 6,7% in the first half of 2016. The Nissan Qashqai holds on to its top spot for the first half, but sales were up only 2% in the second quarter as it was outsold by the Volkswagen Tiguan by 300 sales. It seems like the Qashqai will keep its crown of the segment for yet another year, extending its streak to 11 years as the compact crossover champion. The all-new Peugeot 3008 SUV storms up the charts to third place, up from #6 in the first quarter, proving it is an instant hit for the French brand. It’s unlikely to be able to challenge the two top players in this segment, considering it was still at only 75% of their volume in the second quarter, but nonetheless an impressive performance for a newcomer to the segment. It also manages to outsell the two South-Korean models which have been around for a few generations now and have built up quite some recognition and a customer base over the years. [Read more…]
After a strong rebound in 2016, the large MPV segment continues its demise. A 23% loss in Q2 means sales are only slightly higher than the Q2-2015 level and on par with Q2-2014 again. All nameplates lose volume in Q2, five out of seven with double digits, and only one manages to improve in the first half. In that depressed context, the Ford S-Max holds on to its lead of the segment, but a 17% loss in Q2 means it outsold its nearest rival by only 1.000 units. That was the Seat Alhambra, which reclaims the #2 spot year-to-date from its clone Volkswagen Sharan. Combined, the VW Group twins hold a 43,5% share of the segment in the first half (45,1% in Q2), up from 39,9% in the same period last year. That’s higher than the combined share of the S-Max and its platform sibling Ford Galaxy, which together hold 38,9% of the segment, down from 39,3% last year. This is despite the fact that the Sharan and Alhambra are by far the oldest models still on sale in the segment, having been introduced in 2010, compared to late 2015/early 2016 for the S-Max and Galaxy.