The premium midsized car segment improves 7% in the first three quarters of 2016, almost in line with the overall market at +7,5%, and better than the mainstream midsized car segment at +5%. As in most premium car segments, the German brands dominate, with almost 86% of cars sold in this class having a German badge, but at least that figure is falling (last year it was over 87%) thanks to increased competition from Jaguar and Alfa Romeo, even if the latter is still gearing up. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is stable on last year, which means it loses share of the segment, but it holds on to the lead of the segment, outselling its closest rival the redesigned Audi A4 by 3.000 units in Q3. The BMW 3-Series is left behind in a distant third place, even though it grows 3% on last year. Keeping in mind the C-Class doesn’t split sales of its coupe and convertible models the way its rivals do with the A5 and 4-Series, it’s safe to conclude the A4 is the leader when it comes to sedan and station wagon sales.
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Looking at total brand volume, Audi is also the leader, just 250 units ahead of BMW, both in the 163.000 range, while Mercedes-Benz is third with less than 135.000 sales. Volvo is the best non-German again with its S60 and V60, even though the duo was outsold by the Audi A5, which is in sell-out mode before the new generation hits showrooms later this year. The Jaguar XE is already losing momentum, down in each of the last four months when compared to last year, just after its introduction. Perhaps this will stimulate Jaguar in its decision to launch a station wagon version of the XE after all. The Alfa Romeo Giulia is slowly starting to gain traction, entering the segment top-8 in Q3 and selling within 200 units of the XE in both August and October. Automotive News (with data supplied by JATO) has looked at pure sedan sales in continental Europe, as the Giulia hadn’t started sales in the UK before September, and in this ranking the Giulia was the #4 in September, not far behind the A4:
September midsize premium sedan sales in Continental Europe with % change:
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4.300 -16%
- BMW 3-Series 3.033 +11%
- Audi A4 2.091 +55%
- Alfa Romeo Giulia 1.718 New
- Jaguar XE 845 -26%
- Volvo S60 503 -19%
- Lexus IS 340 +28%
- Infiniti Q50 209 +32%
Alfa Romeo is working on a station wagon version of the Giulia as well, to boost sales of the nameplate in Europe. The DS5 and Volkswagen CC will be passed by the Italian player by year-end as the former is quickly losing ground and the latter is being phased out to make room for the Arteon. The Japanese entries are stuck at the bottom of the segment, with the Lexus IS still selling at double the rate of the Infiniti Q50 and the RC coupe version has found its stride at 500 sales per quarter.
Also check out the premium midsized car segment in the US, which is in a big recession as sales plummet 17% and all existing models lose volume, with just two in single digits, all others lose double digits and the leading BMW duo is the biggest loser of the segment.
|Premium midsized car segment||2016 Q3||2015 Q3||Change|
|2||Audi A4 / S4 / RS4||128.645||99.777||29%|
|6||Audi A5 / S5 / RS5||35.025||36.044||-3%|
|10||Alfa Romeo Giulia||5.106||0||New|
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Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.