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…]