After returning to growth in the first quarter of 2019, the premium large SUV segment in Europe accelerates in the second quarter with a 6% increase in sales, to bring the first half figure up 4% to just under 142.000 sales. As to be expected from a still very fresh model, the BMW X5 holds on to the segment crown and even manages to consolidate its leadership with a 10% gain. That adds 0,8 percentage points to its shareof the segment, which now stands at 14,5%. Its nearest rival is the Range Rover Sport, helped by the PHEV version which has a take rate of 26%. That’s even better than the #3 Volvo XC90 which has a take rate of 24,5% for the T8 Twin Engine version. The XC90 is down 13% in the first half but still outsells the all-new Volkswagen Touareg which more than doubles its sales of last year. The Audi Q8 distances its sibling Audi Q7 for 5th and 6th place, the latter down 39% for the half, with Q2 sales even down by more than half as the Q7 was in 8th place just ahead of its all-electric sibling Audi e-Tron. This is the only luxury segment where the Germans don’t dominate the top of the charts, but just due to their large number of entrants (12 out of 24 nameplates are German), they still control more than half of its sales with a 60,2% share of the segment. BMW is the leader with 17,6% share with its three models, followed by Audi with 17,3% with its three models, and Mercedes-Benz is struggling at just 11,9% for its four models. This is mostly due to the fact that the new generation Mercedes-Benz GLE has only just started deliveries and the nameplate is still down 39% for the first half, but should be able to recover in the second half of the year.
European car sales by segment
The midsized premium SUV segment in Europe falls into decline in the second quarter of 2019 with a 9% loss to just over 125.000 sales, after a 1% growth in the first quarter. As a result, the first half figure is down 4% to just over 260.000 deliveries. Among brands, BMW is the big winner after replacing its two entries into this segment last year as both are up by large double digits. The Mercedes-Benz GLC stays on top of the ranking, even accounting for the GLC Coupe version of which sales are included with the regular GLC. Mercedes-Benz sells 410 more cars than BMW but is losing ground quickly with a 20% drop in sales, compared to +47% for the X3 and -12% for the former segment leader Volvo XC60, which has a take rate of 17,7% for the PHEV version. However, the German brands are launching their full electric crossovers this year, with the Mercedes-Benz EQC already in showrooms, the BMW iX3 coming early next year just like the slightly larger Audi e-Tron, to which Volvo does not yet have an answer. The Audi Q5 is down 18% but holds on to 4th place as there’s a significant gap to the rest of the segment. [Read more…]
Sales of limousines in Europe stabilized in the second quarter of 2019, after declining in 2018 and Q1. In Q2 sales were stable at just above 12.000 units, bringing the first half figure to just under 22.700 sales, down 9% on last year. We have one newcomer and just two nameplates at the bottom of the top-10 that improve their sales year-over-year, with the rest all in red, of which all but one with double digits. The dominant segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class loses a significant chunk of its share of the segment with a decline of 32% in the second quarter, bringing the year-to-date number to a loss of a quarter of its sales, with a 5,8 percentage points loss of share to 26,8% of the segment. In the second quarter, the top-3 was upside down from the first half ranking, with the Porsche Panamera as the top seller with sales stable on last year, after a 50% loss in Q1, bringing the year-to-date figure to -26%. The BMW 7-series also outsold the S-Class in Q2 as it reduces its loss of the first quarter with an 8,5% improvement in Q2 thanks to the facelift. Keep in mind that S-Class sales include the Coupe and Convertible versions, which BMW splits out under the name 8-Series and most other brands don’t offer in this segment. [Read more…]
The premium large car segment in Europe has fallen into a double digit decline in the first half of 2019, with sales down 17% in the second quarter to just under 95.000 sales, after a 13% decline in the first quarter. That leads to a year-to-date decline of 15% to just over 195.000 sales. Only two of the 13 existing models in the class sell more than they did in the same period of 2018, while all the others suffer double digit declines. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class holds its top position with sales down 11% which means it increases its share of the segment to 28,9%. Despite a take rate of 13,9% for the plug-in hybrid version, its nearest rival BMW 5-series loses 19% but still outsold the #3 Audi A6 in the second quarter by nearly 2.000 units. The latter has just been renewed and delivers 15% more vehicles than in Q2 of last year. The A6 adds 6 percentage points of share of the segment, which means these three models now account for 76,5% of all sales in this class. At brand level, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi control 83,3%, up from 77,7% last year. The A6 clearly has a shot at the #2 spot for this year, but is already too far behind the E-Class to reclaim the segment title it last held in 2015. There’s only one caveat to that remark: the E-Class is also available in Coupe and Convertible versions, and sales of those are not split out. Unfortunately we can’t directly compare sales figures of only the sedan and station wagon versions, but the E-Class isn’t as dominant as it seems from these numbers. The Volvo S90/V90 takes a hard hit because of cannibalization from the new S60/V60, which looks very similar to the V90 but is quite a bit more affordable. Sales of the Swedish models are down by 41%, accounting for almost half of the total segment’s decline so far in 2019 and there’s now a significant gap to the top-3.
Sales of midsized luxury cars in Europe continue their downward trend in the first half of 2019, with deliveries down 1% to just under 335.000 units. And if it hadn’t been for the thunderous arrival of the Tesla Model 3, the segment would have been down by 22%. In March and June, Tesla delivered more Model 3’s than any midsized namplate except for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. I specifically say delivered as these registrations fluctuate greatly from month to month, depending on when the ship with Model 3 cars arrives from the US and cars are delivered to customers, some of whom may have ordered their EV more than a year ago. Still, Tesla has dropped a bomb onto this segment, and others will have to follow suit. For the first half of 2019, the C-Class is still in command despite a 3% drop in sales, as its formerly closest rival Audi A4 loses more than a quarter of its volume, as well as 4,5 percentage points of share, as some gasoline models still haven’t been available due to the WLTP standards introduced last September. That allows the BMW 3-series to claim the #2 spot thanks to the new generation, leading to a 3% gain in the first half and a 14% increase in Q2.
Sales of compact luxury cars in Europe are down 4% in the first half of 2019 to just over 400.000 units. Only four nameplates manage to improve their sales in this period while all the others are down by double digits. After storming to the top of the chart in 2018 for the very first time ever, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class distances its competition further this year, with a 41% increase in deliveries and a 7,5 percentage points improvement of share, as it now holds almost a quarter of the segment sales by itself. That leaves the former segment leader Audi A3 down into 2nd place with a loss of 12% and the BMW 1-series in third place with a loss of 2% just when a new generation arrives in showrooms. Mercedes-Benz has a second model that improves its sales in this class, with the B-Class up 5% thanks to its all-new third generation, moving past its direct rival BMW 2-series Active/Gran Tourer, and this is before a first-ever 7-seater version of the B-Class is launched. The 2-Series vans are down 22% despite relatively successful sales of the plug-in hybrid version, which makes up about 20% of the model’s sales. In sixth place we find the third Mercedes-Benz model with the CLA, down 12% as the new, second generation is just arriving in showrooms. Undoubtedly, the CLA will end the year in the positive when deliveries of the new model, including the Shooting Brake version, start to gain traction. [Read more…]
Sales of large SUVs in Europe have been in a downward trend in recent years and that trend continues in the first half of 2019 with a decline of 23% in deliveries as this remains the smallest segment of the European car market with fewer than 19.000 sales in the first six months of the year. Interestingly, this same segment is one of the largest in the United States representing over 12% of the total market with just over one million sales in the first half, compared to just 0,2% of the European market. After every single nameplate in this class lost volume in Q1 of 2019, there’s one model that showed an improvement in Q2, while all the others were down by double digits. The top-3 has been turned upside down in Q2 but not enough to change the ranking for the first half. In the second quarter the new generation Hyundai Santa Fe was outsold by its sibling model Kia Sorento while the Ford Edge took the lead. As a result, the Edge is just one sale behind the Sorento in third place, with the Santa Fe ahead by just another 22 sales. A close race indeed! Hyundai-Kia now holds just under half of this segment and Ford another quarter.
The compact crossovers segment in Europe has been growing briskly in recent years, but in the first half of 2019 that growth has stalled as the segment grew by just 400 sales to just over 951.000 sales. That means it now makes up 11,4% of the total Euorpean car market, up from 11% in 2018. We’ve separated the tables of the compact and midsized crossover segments but still feature them in one post and in one graph as the models in these classes are so close to each other in size and there are so many different opinions on which models belong in which of these segments. Combined, sales in these segments are down 1% to 14,1% of the total European car market, and VW Group improves its share of these segments to 24,4% while Renault-Nissan is down to 19,7% and PSA grows to 19,6% of these segments combined, for a whopping 63,8% share by just three manufacturers.
Sales of small crossovers in Europe continue their booming growth curve in 2019 with another double digit gain in the second quarter. An increase of 11% to 612.000 sales brings the first half tally to 1,18 million sales, which means this segment already accounts for 14,2% of the overall European car market, up nearly two percentage points in a single year. That also means this segment is now larger than the compact car segment (the “Golf class”) to become Europe’s second largest segment after the subcompact cars. No wonder manufacturers that are not playing in this class yet are rushing to join the party, while existing brands are doubling down on their efforts. As a result, it’s not only one of the biggest segments in terms of volume, but also in the number of players, with no less than 29 and another handful of newcomers arriving this year. After flamboyantly taking the lead in the first quarter, the Volkswagen T-Roc is knocked back down into third place by two Renault Group models, the Renault Captur and Dacia Duster. The Captur reclaims the lead of the segment it has held since 2014, even though the model’s second generation will be arriving in showrooms soon. The Duster meanwhile enjoys it best quarter ever, averaging just shy of 20.000 monthly sales, an incredible performance from the no-nonsense brand. The T-Roc is therefore relegated into third place, and it will be interesting to see how this three-way battle unfolds in the second half of 2019. Will the Captur have a similar change-over to the new generation as the Clio or will there be a hiccup in deliveries? Will the Duster continue to impress or will it (finally) run out of steam? Will the T-Roc strike back or will it suffer from internal competition by the T-Cross and new generation Golf?
The large MPV segment in Europe lost volume for the 10th consecutive quarter in Q2 of 2019 with a 12% decline to just under 24.000 sales. European families, businesses and car rental companies continue to lose interest in this type of vehicle and the future of the segment looks bleak as fewer brands see profitability at these volumes while 7-seat crossovers cannibalize their MPV rivals, even though the latter are still way more space efficient and practical. Of the six remaining players in this segment, only one manages to improve its sales with four of the other five down by double digits. The Seat Alhambra holds on to its top spot, a position it was unable to maintain for the entire year in 2018, but it outsold all of its rivals in both quarters of 2019. With a loss of 12%, the Alhambra loses slightly faster than the overall segment, which is not surprising considering it’s also the oldest model in the class, together with its identical twin Volkswagen Sharan, which is down by a similar percentage in the first half, but was down 22% in Q2. VW Group now holds 48,1% of all large MPV sales in Europe. The segment best seller for the past three years, the Ford S-Max loses 10% of its sales and is for now relegated to the #2 spot. The S-Max may strike back later this year unless Ford decides to pull the plug on its large MPVs early.