European sales 2017-Q1 Premium Compact segment

Compact_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Audi_A3-Mercedes_Benz_A_Class-BMW_1_seriesAfter outgrowing the overall market in 2016, the premium compact car segment in Europe appears to plateau in the first quarter of 2017 with sales down 1% in a market that continues to grow (+7,8%). The dominant segment leader is in trouble, as the Audi A3 loses 12% of its volume in the same period last year, while its nearest rivals continue to grow. The A3’s top spot is not yet in jeopardy, as the model still has an 11.000-unit advantage over its nearest rival, but its share of the segment has dipped to an all-time low of 20%. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class holds on to 2nd place by the skin of its teeth, as the BMW 1-series grows 16% to come within 300 sales of the A-Class. It will be interesting to see how the next generation 1-Series will perform when it gets front-wheel drive and loses the 6-cylinder option, making the current generation the last hatchback in its segment with those two features which are so important to enthusiasts but much less so for the average buyer. It will trade those qualities for more generic styling and more interior room.

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

If we look at total brand sales in this segment, BMW’s four models have reclaimed the lead from Mercedes-Benz’ three models as both brands grow with low single digits, but Audi is distanced with sales of its single model down 12%. Volvo is best of the rest, as usual in Europe, with the facelifted V40 up 4% to distance the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and CLA. The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is now starting to show its age with a loss of 19% as last year’s minor facelift has had very limited impact. In 9th place we find the Mini Clubman station wagon, and the top-10 is completed by the BMW 2-series Coupe & Convertible. The electric BMW i3 gains significantly thanks to its upgraded battery with improved range, to handily outsell the DS4. The unsuccessful Infiniti Q30 only outsells the already 6-year old Lexus CT.

Also check out the premium compact car segment in the US, where the entire top-4 is down with large double digits but the Audi A3 sedan holds on to the lead as it does in Europe

  Premium compact car segment 2017-Q1 2016-Q1 Change
1 Audi A3 / S3 / RS3 47.354 53.946 -12%
2 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 36.408 35.245 3%
3 BMW 1-series 36.108 31.069 16%
4 BMW 2-series Active/Gran Tourer 22.759 26.959 -16%
5 Volvo V40 18.463 17.742 4%
6 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 17.632 17.557 0%
7 Mercedes-Benz CLA 16.731 16.895 -1%
8 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 10.032 12.419 -19%
9 Mini Clubman 8.935 8.313 7%
10 BMW 2-series Coupe & Convertible 7.779 8.113 -4%
11 BMW i3 5.395 2.902 86%
12 DS4 3.622 4.885 -26%
13 Infiniti Q30 2.661 1.006 165%
14 Lexus CT 2.262 2.249 1%
15 Lancia Delta 2 1 100%
  Segment total 236.143 239.301 -1%

Premium small car segment

Small_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Mini_Cooper-Audi_A1-Lancia_YpsilonThe premium small car segment is down 2% as two of the five models show double digit losses. Segment leader Mini (including the 4-door and convertible versions) consolidates its leadership with an increase of 17% to increase its share of the segment to a dominant 40%. The perennial #2 of the segment Audi A1 loses 19% and as a result is outsold by a model that’s almost exclusively sold in Italy: the Lancia Ypsilon. Only 167 units of the Ypsilon were sold outside of its home market. The segment ranking is a reflection of the age of the models, as the Mini is by far the freshest of the bunch, as the current generation is just 3 years old. The A1 was first introduced in 2010 and the current generation Ypsilon was launched in 2011. The DS3 in fourth place was launched in 2009 and the Alfa Romeo MiTo is already 9 years old without any major updates but it still manages to gain 12% on the first quarter of 2016.

  Premium small car segment 2017-Q1 2016-Q1 Change
1 Mini 35.915 30.705 17%
2 Lancia Ypsilon 21.454 19.771 9%
3 Audi A1 21.126 26.074 -19%
4 DS3 7.980 12.238 -35%
5 Alfa Romeo MiTo 3.583 3.202 12%
  Segment total 90.058 91.990 -2%

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 CarSalesBase.com. 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.

Comments

  1. Losange says:

    Hi Bart,

    May I ask why you place the BMW 2-series AT/GT and MB B-Class in this segment? They should be in the midsized MPV segment imo. I know they’re more expensive than the average car in that segment, but it doesn’t make sense to me comparing them with e.g. A3 and V40 and not with e.g. C4 Picasso and Touran.

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

*