Sales of midsized premium cars stay on track to finish 2014 above the 600.000 unit mark after dipping below that level for the first time since more than a decade. In fact, the midsized premium segment peaked in 2002 at over a million units and has lost 40% of its volume as the midsized car segment has slumped as a whole.
The traditional leader of the segment, the BMW 3-series, is also the biggest loser of the segment at -15% as its coupe and convertible models have been renamed 4-series. This has created room for the new generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class to step up and outsell its competitor from Munich in September for the first time since February 2012. Year-to-date, the C-Class has come within 200 units of the Audi A4 and by the end of the year it will undoubtedly have taken back the second place of the segment the A4 took from it last year.
These three models account for almost 7 out of 10 cars sold in this segment, and that share grows to 86,5% when we include their siblings 4-series and A5. As both Audi models are starting to show their age, the 4-series has outsold the A5 every month last quarter to leapfrog its competitor in the year-to-date ranking and it will move up another spot by the end of the year, moving into 4th place.
Of the remaining 4 models, the Volvo S60/V60 is the only one to take a significant piece of the segment, and even manages to grow faster than the segment as a whole. The Volkswagen CC is down for the 5th straight year, but isn’t likely to be threatened by the only non-European models in the ranking despite impressive relative growth figures for both the Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50. The now hybrid-only IS300h more than doubles its sales of last year, when the new generation was introduced, and it manages its third-best ever segment share of 1,7% after breaking the 2% mark in 2006 and 2007.
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Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2013 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.