Sales of premium large cars are down 1% to 389.184 units in 2015, which makes last year the second-worst year for the segment, after 2009. However, if you consider that the top-4 models, which hold over 80% of segment volume, are due to be replaced in 2016, a decrease of just one percent is actually quite a stable performance. The new generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class has already been revealed and will be the first of the three to arrive in European showrooms. As a result, it is down the most at -15%. It remains to be seen if the design of the new E-Class is going to be a hit or a miss, as it either looks like a shrunk S-Class or a blown-up C-Class. Then again, don’t expect any revolutions from Audi and BMW either, as this is by far the most conservative segment in terms of design. Both will show their new generations of the A6 and 5-series soon and they should be in showrooms in the second half of the year. Considering Audi’s design evolution, it’s not hard to imagine what the new A6 will look like: exactly like the outgoing model with just a few touch-ups to keep it recognizable yet fresh at the same time. Meanwhile, BMW is expected to follow a similar strategy even though the new 5-series will be built on a shortened version of the lightweight platform of the also new 7-series, which means it’ll shed some weight. All three will become available with electrified drivetrains, although no all-electric versions are in the pipeline that we know of.
Car sales statistics for the premium large car segment in Europe, updated every quarter.
Last week Volvo finally released pictures of the long-awaited S90 sedan, which replaces the long-in-the-tooth S80 model. And, would you know it, it’s a rather good-looking car, at least until you look at the rear, where the desire to be original seems to have gotten the better of the designers’ sense of style. Still, for a car that’s based on an inherently FWD platform the S90 looks really dynamic, with a large “premium gap” between the front wheels and the leading edge of the doors. Add to that a plush interior that manages to look both premium and uniquely non-German, and the promise of a segment-leading “dual engine” plug-in hybrid system, the S90 has potential to succeed where the S80 failed. [Read more…]
The premium large car segment in Europe has found the way back up again, with sales improving 4,4% in Q3, bringing the year-to-date score to -2%, from -5% in the first half of the year. The ongoing three-way battle between the Audi A6, BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class appears to be decided for 2015, with the A6 extending its lead in Q3, even if the 5-series gained 9,1% this quarter and sold just 300 units less than its rival. This also put the 5-er well ahead of the E-Class to consolidate its #2 spot that had been under fire in Q2.
For the A6, which hadn’t led the segment since 2007, it’s likely to be a short stint on top, as both of its main competitors are being completely renewed next year. Mercedes will go first, around the end of the second quarter, and BMW will follow shortly with the new 5-series. Audi won’t renew the A6 until a year later. [Read more…]
The premium large car segment in Europe continues its slow but steady decline, with sales down 5% in the first half of 2015, after a 3% drop in Q1. After the Mercedes-Benz E-Class led the segment in 2014, the BMW 5-series took control in the first three months of 2015, but in the following quarter, both were being outsold by the Audi A6, and by a vast margin.
Year-to-date the A6, which has been facelifted earlier this year, is now ahead of its two main rivals with a 3.500 and 4.500 units lead respectively, thanks to being the freshest of the threesome. Both the 5-series and the E-Class have been facelifted in 2013, the former only slightly and the latter received major updates and will be fully renewed next year. The 5-series won’t be replaced until 2017. If the A6 manages to hold on to its top position, which I think it will, it will be the first time since 2007 it will top the class, and also the first time for the current generation. The E-Class outsold the 5-series in May and June, so the full-year top-3 is likely to be in this order: A6, E-Class, 5-series. [Read more…]
Sales of premium large cars continue their slow but steady slide, with sales down 3% in Q1 of 2015 after falling by respectively 3% and 8% in 2014 and 2013. The traditional top-3 is reshuffled again, with the BMW 5-series back in the lead, just as it was after the first three months of last year, before being overtaken by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class by the end of 2014.
However, the E-Class is now kicked down into third place, possibly due to cannibalization of the smaller, but newer C-Class. The Benz is outsold by the recently facelifted Audi A6 for the first time since 2012, thanks to sales up 15% for the A6. The battle for the segment crown will remain fierce until the end of the year, with just 2.000 units between the three competitors and the third-placed E-Class outselling both its rivals again in March. [Read more…]
Sales of premium large cars are down for the third straight year to the segment’s second lowest figure in at least two decades, above only 2009. In a segment where the top two players dominate with more than 50% share, the fortunes of these two have a large influence on the overall figure.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been the leader every year until 2005, when it was outsold by both the BMW 5-series and the Audi A6. Ten years later, 2014 is only the third year that the E-Class has finished back on top since, with the A6 taking first place from 2005 until 2007 and the 5-series winning in 2008 and 2011 until 2013.
Both the Mercedes-Benz and the BMW fall below 100.000 units and they won’t be likely to recover in 2015, as both models will be completely renewed in 2016. That may give the A6 an advantage this year, as it has just received a facelift and was surprisingly stable in 2014 after declining 16% in 2013.
Behind the traditional German Big 3, the Swedes finish in fourth place, like in the midsized premium segment. [Read more…]
The premium large car segment has lost some ground in the third quarter, as year-to-date sales are down by 1.500 units after being ahead by 12.000 units after the first half of 2014. The third quarter loss is almost entirely due to the slowdown of the two leaders of the segment Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-series.
The ranking has fluctuated this quarter with the 5-series down to third place in July before rebounding to the top spot in August, when the E-Class was down in third place. But an excellent month of September secured the top spot of the segment for the Benz year-to-date. With the Audi A6 outselling the 5-series for the quarter, the E-Class looks set to hold on to it until the end of the year. The model last finished on top of the ranking in 2009 and 2010 before the 5-series took over. It’s been even longer for the A6, as the Audi last topped the premium large car segment in 2007 and it doesn’t look like the current generation will repeat that excellent performance of its predecessor. [Read more…]
Sales of premium large cars are up 6% in the first six months of 2014, and we have a neck-to-neck race for the victory in the segment: While sales of the leading BMW 5-series remain flat, the chasing Mercedes-Benz E-Class has gained 10% to bring it within 300 units of the 5-series. In fact, the E-Class has outsold its rival every month since March, with the exception of June, when the 5-series beat it by a single unit: 9.117 vs 9.116.
Mercedes-Benz has called the update of its E-Class last year its most expensive midcycle facelift of any model ever, and it seems to be paying off. If the E manages to take over the segment crown by the end of this year, it will be the first time to do so since 2010 and only the third time in the last ten years, while the 5-series had never beat its main rival before 2005.
The Audi A6 remains almost flat as well, firmly in third place but at a distance of already more than 10.000 units behind its two rivals, which the previous generation managed to beat three years in a row, from 2005 to 2007. The current generation has only managed a single second place, in 2012, by a margin of just 700 sales. [Read more…]
Sales of premium large cars in Europe have rebounded in the first three months of 2014, up 8% after a similar decline over the full year 2013. The top six ranking is stable, although the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is now challenging the BMW 5-series for the lead. Thanks to a 25% increase of sales, the E-Class has slashed its lifelong competitor’s lead from 7.654 units during the same period last year to less than 1.900 units. In fact, the Benz even managed to outsell the 5-series in March.
Meanwhile, the gap to the Audi A6 in third position has grown to almost 6.000 sales, as the A6 saw sales slightly decline. The 2005 to 2007 segment leader is falling further behind its main rivals as the latest generation A6 doesn’t vibe with European consumers as the previous version did.
The Volvo V70 in fourth place rebounds from a decline in 2013 to a 20% sales increase, thanks to a minor update in the third quarter of 2013, of which also the aging S80 is taking profit. The Jaguar XF has also been updated last year, but is already down 4% again this year.
The all-electric Tesla Model S is responsible for almost half of the segment’s growth, and is amazingly selling an average of 1.000 units per month. [Read more…]
The premium large car segment in Europe decreases at the same rate as the rest of the market at -4%.
No change in the lead yet, as the BMW 5-series moves along with the segment, but the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is closing in quickly thanks to the facelift, the most expensive facelift in the history of the brand, helping the model increase sales 9% and to within 1.000 units from the lead. The E-Class was the segment leader in the second half of the year and may steal the lead in 2014 if it keeps up this performance.
The Audi A6 is left far behind, despite being as fresh as the 5-series (both have been renewed in 2011), it is 25.000 units behind the segment leader, whereas the previous generation surprisingly was the king of the segment in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Obviously the BMW 5-series F10 compares more favorably against the Audi A6 4G than the previous generation 5-series E60 did against the A6 4F. [Read more…]