European sales 2015-Q1 Limousine segment

Last year, the Limousine segment in Europe got a boost from the arrival of the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which pushed total segment sales up 29% when compared to 2013. This year, the S-Class is no longer brand new, which means its explosive growth rate has subdued a bit to 10%, while the segment as a whole has actually lost 6% of its volume in the first quarter.

As a result, the S-Class improves its share of the segment from 38,5% in Q1 of 2014 and 42,8% at the end of 2014 to a whopping 45%, meaning almost 1 in every 2 limousines sold in Europe was made by Mercedes-Benz.

European-sales-limousine_segment-BMW_7_seriesThe facelifted Audi A8 also improves its share of the segment thanks to sales up 3%, less than half of the S-Class, but almost double the sales of its nearest two competitors: the 7-series and Panamera. The BMW 7-series is down 15% as the all-new generation is due by the end of 2015, which will feature a lot of groundbreaking technology as expected from a car in this class. This should help the 7-series back on top of the segment in 2016, for the first time since 2012.


Porsche-Panamera-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Porsche Panamera is suffering the worst loss of the top-10, losing more than a third of its volume and dropping off the segment podium, despite its environmentally conscious Plug-In hybrid version. It’s followed at a distance by the Jaguar XJ, which is due for some updates and also sees its sales decrease by more than 30% on last year.

With a decrease of just 1 unit in 2014 and down only 3% in Q1 of 2015, the Volkswagen Phaeton is surprisingly stable for such an outdated model, albeit at a very low level of around 125 sales per month. Perhaps an explanation for its stability is because every Phaeton is sold as either a company car for Volkswagen management or as a dealer demo model….

Maserati-Quattroporte-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Maserati Quattroporte continues its impressive improvement, with sales rising from 34 units of the previous generation in the first three months of 2013 and 190 units in Q1 of 2014 to 229 sales this year. The Quattroporte outsells the Bentley Flying Spur, down 29% by a large margin, mainly thanks to the availability of diesel engines, an absolute no-go for the British brand.


Limousine segment Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Change
1. Mercedes-Benz S-Class 4.608 4.187 10%
2. Audi A8 / S8 1.971 1.920 3%
3. BMW 7-series 1.199 1.411 -15%
4. Porsche Panamera 1.084 1.700 -36%
5. Jaguar XJ 426 631 -32%
6. Volkswagen Phaeton 381 393 -3%
7. Maserati Quattroporte 229 190 21%
8. Bentley Flying Spur 146 207 -29%
9. Bentley Mulsanne 61 53 15%
10. Lexus LS (est.) 41 62 -34%
11. Aston Martin Rapide 55 44 25%
12. Rolls Royce Ghost 49 46 7%
13. Rolls Royce Phantom 19 37 -49%
Segment total 10.269 10.881 -6%

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.

About Bart Demandt

Bart is a 36-year old Dutchman who’s always had a thing for cars, the automotive industry and statistics. He’s combined these passions by writing about them on His daily driver is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 which he just can’t seem to say goodbye to thanks to the mesmerizing exhaust note.
You can find all his articles Here.


  1. I can’t believe the new 7-series will get anywhere close to the volume of the S-Class, partly because the latter is an institution onto itself with an image way bring what the BMW or Audi can muster, and partly because the new 7-series just does not look that impressive!

    • Bart Demandt says:

      The S-Class may be an institution, but buyers in this segment are extremely sensitive to having the latest and greatest. With the hideous E65 BMW has already proven that exterior design is less important than having the newest toys. With its gesture control, laserlight headlights and remote parking features, the 7-series checks all those boxes.
      And don’t forget: the F01 7-series, introduced in 2008, already outsold the S-Class in 2009 and again in 2012 when it was updated and even the facelift-E65 came within 100 units of the S-Class in 2005, when Mercedes had the changeover from W220 to W221.
      We’ll see next year who’s right, but one thing’s certain already: in 2017 the S will be (back) on top!

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