European sales 2017 first half Premium Large segment

Large_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Mercedes_Benz_E_Class-BMW_5_series-Audi_A6The premium large car segment in Europe remains in the positive in Q2 of 2017 with a 5% increase, leading to an 8% sales gain in the first half of the year, to 218.019 sales. In the top-4 we have 2 nameplates growing with large double digit figures, one losing with double digit figures and one newcomer, so a dynamic segment indeed. Well, in terms of sales, that is. After reclaiming the segment lead in 2016, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains king of the hill, growing its share of the segment by 6,3 percentage points on the first half of last year, to 31,2% as it adds more than a third to its volume of the same period in 2016. The all-new BMW 5-series, launched earlier this year, grows even faster than the E-Class in Q2 but is unable to take its crown. It does distance the Audi A6 in third place (down from #1 in the first half of 2016), as it loses 17% in the second quarter and a painful 5,4 percentage points of share. What’s worse for the A6, it outsold the new Volvo S90/V90 by less than 5.000 units in the quarter. Not enough to start worrying about the Swedes breaking the German domination of the segment, but still a small yet welcome success for Volvo. However, the top-3 sellers increase their share to almost three quarters of total segment sales. Keep in mind, the E-Class includes coupe and convertible versions, which the other models don’t have, and these two-door versions are still pretty fresh so could be responsible for most of the growth of the nameplate, together with the also still recent station wagon.

Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off

Volvo-S90So Volvo has clearly established itself as a volume player in this segment, but Jaguar risks falling further behind, as the new generation XF appears to have fallen out of grace. Its cosmetic updates were only minor, which disguised the fact that it was mechanically completely overhauled and that may be costing it buyers who might think it has changed too little. Another point of criticism is that the smaller XE looks exactly the same as the XF, especially from the front. A 45% loss in the second quarter means the XF was outsold by the Tesla Model S. The next four models in the ranking also fall with 42% or more in the second quarter: the Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz CLS, BMW 6-series and the Maserati Ghibli. The 6-Series has lost its coupe version, which ended production last quarter, as BMW prepares for the next generation. The first new 6-Series is the Gran Turismo, which formerly was a 5-Series but has been renamed for its second generation. At the bottom end of the ranking we find the Asian players, led by the Lexus GS, down 31% in Q2, the Infiniti Q70, down 39% and the Hyundai Genesis, down 72% to a mere 15 sales.

Later this year Jaguar will already update the XF again after the aforementioned criticism and complaints about its interior quality, and it will combine this with the much needed introduction of the second generation XF Sportbrake. As mentioned, BMW will rename the next generation 5-Series Gran Turismo to 6-Series Gran Turismo, and Audi is ready to reveal the 2nd generation A7.

Also check out the premium large car segment in the US, where the Mercedes-Benz E-Class almost sells as much a the #2 and #3 combined.

  Premium large car segment 2017-H1 2016-H1 Change Share
1 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 67.957 50.183 35% 31,2%
2 BMW 5-series 51.293 42.141 22% 23,5%
3 Audi A6 / S6 / RS6 42.645 50.395 -15% 19,6%
4 Volvo S90/V90 30.077 248 New 13,8%
5 Jaguar XF 7.355 9.007 -18% 3,4%
6 Tesla Model S 6.729 5.872 15% 3,1%
7 Audi A7 / S7 / RS7 3.544 5.148 -31% 1,6%
8 Mercedes-Benz CLS 3.264 4.567 -29% 1,5%
9 BMW 6-series 1.965 3.143 -37% 0,9%
10 Maserati Ghibli 1.559 2.464 -37% 0,7%
11 Lexus GS 843 1.091 -23% 0,4%
12 Volvo V70 / XC70 477 26.432 -98% 0,2%
13 Infiniti Q70 272 181 50% 0,1%
14 Hyundai Genesis 29 85 -66% 0%
15 Lancia Thema 6 22 -73% 0%
16 Volvo S80 4 779 -99% 0%
  Segment total 218.019 201.780 8%  

Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2016 and monthly sales from 2012 to 2016, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.

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.

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. Losange says:

    A well-deserved success for Volvo. The S90/V90 needed some time to get into gear, but it looks like Europeans have embraced the only car in this segment combining style, innovation, comfort and luxury without looking like its predecessor. Of course the roads would be even more beautiful with the Maserati Ghibli on top, but that car is too expensive/sporty for (corporate) E segment buyers.

  2. Jaguar XF geting punished for being boring, the worst thing a JAAAAAG could ever be. I was really surprised they didn’t update the interior with the lauch of the Sportbrake… but they sure didn’t. Easily a generation behind of all of it’s competitors when it comes to design.

    Saw a Thema last week. How was that supposed to look Italian again?

    And of course, congrats to Volvo.

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