European sales 2017-Q1 Exotic and Sports Car segments

Exotic_car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Aston_Martin_DB11-Ferrari_488-Bentley_Continental_GTSales of exotic cars in Europe have exploded in the first quarter of 2017, with a growth of 45% to over 2.100 units. And after years of domination by the Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari 458 Italia, we have a new segment leader, straight out of the box. With almost a quarter of total segment sales, the all-new Aston Martin DB11 has stormed to the top of the ranking, ahead of the Ferrari 488 which maintains its second place thanks to a sales growth of 35%, while the former segment leader Continental GT is kicked down to third place with stable sales. Never before has an Aston Martin topped the exotic car segment in Europe, but the DB11 is an obvious hit with affluent buyers. It has turned the two-horse race at the top of the ranking into a three-way, as the top-3 dominates the segment with 68,3% of total sales as the #3 sells more than triple the volume of its closest rival.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Passenger Van segment

Passenger-van-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Volkswagen_T6-Mercedes_Benz_V_Class-Fiat_DucatoSales of large passenger vans in Europe continue their double digit growth thanks to ongoing success of existing models and a rejuvenation of a number of players. The three top sellers all grow slower than the segment and lose share but remain dominant with a combined 54,6% share (down from 68,6%). The Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan add just 3% to their sales of last year but still sell more than twice the volume of their closest rival. Even when combining the Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer with its luxury derivative V-Class, Volkswagen maintains a comfortable lead. The Fiat Ducato in third place still depends on campervan conversions for most of its sales. However, the Ducato would be off the podium if we combined sales of the Renault quadruplets Trafic, Vivaro, Talento and all-new NV300.

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New Fiat Argo may replace Punto globally

Today first pictures emerged of the new Fiat Argo, a model designed by Fiat’s Brazil division and intended to replace models based on the 12-year-old Punto in the Latin America market. However, it’s the prospect of the model being sold globally that is truly intriguing.

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US sales: April 2017, models

After discussing the US auto brand sales ranking for April, let’s take a closer look at the models ranking. In a big upset among the market-leading large pickups, RAM Pickup outsold its rival Chevrolet Silverado for the second month in a row and only the third time in three years. If the large Chevy continues underperforming like this, its FCA rival may overtake it in the YTD sales before long – I don’t have the data to prove it, but I don’t think the Dodge Ram/RAM Pickup has ever outsold the Silverado in a full year. Behind the pickups there is a new car sales leader – the new Honda CR-V – which outsold both the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue, with the Nissan ranking particularly poorly in #9 – it’s lowest position in half a year, and in danger of losing its #4 YTD spot to the Honda in May. Still, it’s clear the CR-V’s and RAV4’s success is at least partly due to customers shunning the brands’ compact and mid-sized cars continues, all of which lost sales once again in April, and are down 2 or 3 spots in the rankings so far this year.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Premium Large SUV segment

Large_Premium_SUV-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-BMW_X5-Volvo_XC90-Range_Rover_SportSales growth of premium large SUVs in Europe continues to outpace the overall market, although at a lower rate than in the previous years. In the first quarter of 2017, the segment grew 9% to almost 80.000 sales in a total market up 7,8%. Only one model managed to op 10.000 sales this quarter, the BMW X5 thanks to sales up 10%. That means the X5 consolidates its leadership as the #2 Volvo XC90 sees stable sales compared to last year. Unlike its smaller sibling XC60, the XC90 is unable to grab the top spot in its segment, although Volvo points out to supply issues as a result of high global demand for the model. Range Rover is one of the big winners of the segment this year, with its models the two fastest growing nameplates in the segment, and the Range Rover Sport jumps up to third place at the expense of the much fresher Audi Q7 and the regular Range Rover climbs to 6th place.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Premium Midsized and Compact SUV segments

Midsized_Premium_SUV-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Mercedes_Benz_GLC-Volvo_XC60-Range_Rover_EvoqueSales of midsized premium SUVs remain in booming growth mode in the first quarter of 2017, with an increase of 27% to 142.000 sales. The overall market is up just 7,8% in the same period. All but one remaining nameplate in the segment grow their volume, but the biggest gainer also takes the top spot for the first time ever. The Mercedes-Benz GLC has quickly helped to forget its unsuccessful predecessor GLK and has stormed the ranking to levels never achieved by the brand in this segment. But there’s a sidenote to its achievement, as we only have combined sales figures which include the GLC Coupe version, whereas BMW splits out these versions into the X3 and X4. Without the GLC Coupe included, the Volvo XC60 would still be in the segment lead. Nonetheless, a #2 spot for the already 9-year old model whose successor has already been revealed is very impressive whichever way you look at it. With the new generation in showrooms within the next few months, Volvo should be able to keep challenging for the lead the rest of this year.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Limousine segment

Limousine-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Mercedes_Benz_S_Class-BMW_7_series-Porsche_PanameraThe limousine segment in Europe was up 6% to 11.600 sales in the first quarter of 2017, compared to an overall market up 7,8%. Segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class holds on to its top spot, but loses 9% of its volume and is now under serious threat of the new generation BMW 7-series. Considering the S-Class figures also include sales of the coupe and convertible versions, BMW most likely outsells its rival in pure sedan sales. On the bottom step of the podium we have a change of guard, as the Audi A8 loses a quarter of its volume as it’s due for a redesign, which promises to be the most advanced car of its class, just like its two rivals when they get updated. The A8 loses its position to the second generation Porsche Panamera, which triples the volume of its predecessor in the same period last year.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Premium Large segment

Large_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2017_Q1-Mercedes_Benz_E_Class-BMW_5_series-Audi_A6Sales of premium large cars in Europe are back in positive territory and even outgrowing the overall market at +11% to 106.600 units, after a 13% loss in Q4 of 2016. And individual models within this segment have very different fortunes, with all nameplates either growing or declining with double digits. The 2016 segment leader Mercedes-Benz E-Class extends its lead to almost 10.000 units thanks to sales up 48% over the all-new BMW 5-series, up 11% as deliveries of the new generation still need to gain traction. That leaves the leader of Q1 2016 in third place, as the Audi A6 loses 13% of its volume of the same period last year. Keep in mind, the E-Class includes coupe and convertible versions, which the other two models don’t have, and these two-door versions have just been launched so could be responsible for most of the growth, together with the still very fresh station wagon.

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European sales 2017-Q1 Premium Midsized segment

Midsized_Premium_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Mercedes_Benz_C_Class-Audi_A4-BMW_3_seriesThe premium midsized car segment in Europe increased slightly faster than the overall market in the first quarter of 2017, at +9%. This is also significantly better than the growth of the mainstream midsized segment, which was down by 12%. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class extends its lead of the segment with an increase of 17%, but keep in mind this includes the coupe and convertible versions, which are split off into different nameplates at its direct rivals. The BMW 3-series is only in third place of the ranking, but BMW is still the best selling brand in this class thanks to the additional volume of the 4-Series coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe, with Audi a very close second with its A4 and A5, leaving Mercedes-Benz in third place. Audi is growing fast this quarter, as both the A4 and A5 have been renewed and grow faster than the overall segment.

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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.

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