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.
The 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.
The 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of just 1 unit in 2014 and down only 3% in Q1 of 2015, the Volkswagen Phaeton is surprisingly stable for such an outdated model, albeit at a very low level of around 125 sales per month.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….
The 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|
|2.||Audi A8 / S8||1.971||1.920||3%|
|8.||Bentley Flying Spur||146||207||-29%|
|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%|
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.