European sales 2014 first half Premium midsized and compact SUV segment

volvo-XC60-premium-compact-SUV-sales-EuropePremium midsized SUV’s were just as popular in the first half of this year as they were in the same period last year. However, that doesn’t mean the ranking is stable as well. While the BMW X3 had the segment crown in 2012 and 2013, the Range Rover Evoque was the number one seller in the first quarter of 2014, leaving the X3 down in fourth position. But in the second quarter, the Audi Q5 was the best seller, while the Evoque was pushed down into fourth spot, behind the X3 again. Surprisingly, the X3 was back on top of the segment again in June, for the first time since September 2013.

The only consistent seller this year is the Volvo XC60, up a cool 34% on last year and second place in both the first and second quarter of the year. It is less than 650 sales behind the year-to-date leader Q5, giving the already six year old model, although recently updated, a shot at the segment crown by the end of the year. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Limousine segment


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If you thought the first quarter of 2014 was an impressive one for the limousine segment, the second quarter improves even further on that performance, with over 11.500 cars sold in those three months. Almost 5.000 of those, or 43%, are the recently renewed Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the supreme leader of the segment since forever. Well, with the exception of 2009 and 2012 that is, because the BMW 7-series took the crown in those years.

Even with this impressive performance, the S-Class isn’t anywhere near the levels the W220-generation managed around the new millennium, when that model topped 30.000 annual units three years in a row. Of course, the competition has grown significantly since, not only from new entrants in this segment, like the Porsche Panamera, but also from Luxury SUV’s, a segment that was virtually non-existent 15 years ago. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Premium large car segment

Mercedes-Benz-E_Class-BMW-5_series-premium-large-car-sales-EuropeSales of premium large cars are up 6% in the first six months of 2014, and we have a neck-to-neck race for the victory in the segment: While sales of the leading BMW 5-series remain flat, the chasing Mercedes-Benz E-Class has gained 10% to bring it within 300 units of the 5-series. In fact, the E-Class has outsold its rival every month since March, with the exception of June, when the 5-series beat it by a single unit: 9.117 vs 9.116.

Mercedes-Benz has called the update of its E-Class last year its most expensive midcycle facelift of any model ever, and it seems to be paying off. If the E manages to take over the segment crown by the end of this year, it will be the first time to do so since 2010 and only the third time in the last ten years, while the 5-series had never beat its main rival before 2005.

The Audi A6 remains almost flat as well, firmly in third place but at a distance of already more than 10.000 units behind its two rivals, which the previous generation managed to beat three years in a row, from 2005 to 2007. The current generation has only managed a single second place, in 2012, by a margin of just 700 sales.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Premium Midsize segment


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Big news in the Midsized premium segment, as the BMW 3-series suffers its first year-on-year loss since 2011, undoubtedly due to the name-change of its coupe and convertible models to 4-series, as combined sales of the two nameplates are still in positive territory. In fact, at +15% BMW as a brand outgrows the rest of the segment, which chalks up a plus of just 6%.
The Audi A4 and A5 are both down about 5%, but the A4 has taken back its second position from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class which leapfrogged it thanks to an excellent month of March. The C-Class had claimed the segment’s second spot in 2011 and 2012 after Audi had been ahead of the Benz for 9 years including two at the top spot (2005 and 2008), and sell-out pricing of its soon-to-be-replaced A4 has helped Audi get its mid-sizer back ahead of its rival after the first half.

However, with the new generations in showrooms across Europe, the C-Class already came within 300 units of the A4 in June, and has set its target to reclaim the segment’s second spot by the end of the year.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Premium Compact segment


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The European compact premium segment is up a shy 3% in the first half of 2014, but this is all thanks to new entrants and increased sales of the segment leader, Audi A3. Helped by the addition of the “Limousine” sedan version, the A3 has added almost a third to its sales of last year, while its three closest rivals all lose volume in double digits. As a result, it has fortified its leadership, last year the A3 had the BMW 1-series breathing down its neck after six months, but this year they are separated by more than 35.000 sales.

The newly released BMW 2-series isn’t yet helping the brand from Munich, topping out at 1.726 sales in June, less than a tenth of June’s A3 sales. Perhaps the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class rival 2-series Active Tourer can help BMW catch up with Audi in this segment.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Large SUV segment

The large SUV segment in Europe is showing resilience across the board: after losing almost a quarter of its volume in 2013, with all models down except for one, this year so far the large SUV’s are back up 7% and the success is shared by all models but two.


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The Hyundai Santa Fe, the model that added the most market share from 2012 to 2013, now loses the most market share in the first half of 2014. This could still be a result of Hyundai’s strategic decision to restrict exports to Europe of the model, as it’s enjoying huge popularity in other markets like the USA and China, which have a much larger potential for SUV’s and crossovers.

As a result, the Santa Fe is dragging down the performance of the segment as a whole, because the other models combined actually show an increase of 17% on the first half of last year. … Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Midsized SUV segment


The success of small crossovers is not hurting sales of midsized models, as these types of vehicles enjoyed an increase of 10% in the first half of 2014, exactly the same growth rate of compact cars, the segment most buyers of these vehicles are expected to switch away from.


Photo credit: Auto-Motor-und-Sport

The new generation Nissan Qashqai, the traditional leader of the segment, has helped the model reduce its sales decline to just 3%, which will undoubtedly be turned into a sales increase by the next quarter, let alone by the end of the year. The Qashqai is on its way to a record year, breaking the 208.649 units it sold in 2011, the second of four consecutive years (and counting) above the 200.000 mark.

The Volkswagen Tiguan continues to impress and is enjoying its best first half ever, which means 2014 could be a record year for the already 7-year-old model.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Small SUV segment


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Small SUV’s and crossovers are still the hottest segment after the first six months of 2014, although the growth rate has slowed as two of the hottest new entrants started sales in the second quarter of last year.

No changes in the top-5 ranking since the first quarter means the Renault Captur is still firmly in the lead, but its superiority has shown some cracks. The Peugeot 2008 outsold its French competitor in May, before the Captur struck back with a record month of June, topping 20.000 units for the first time ever, which is almost double the model’s selling rate in the first two months of the year.

Similarly, the Dacia Duster was outsold by the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka for the second time this year in May, but the Duster has held on to its podium spot thanks to excellent performances in April and especially May, when it even outsold the 2008.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Large MPV segment


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The large MPV segment in Europe has returned from its artificially high growth rate of 35% in the first quarter of 2014, which was due to sell-out pricing of the outgoing models of the Ford S-Max and Galaxy. In the second quarter, large MPV sales were down almost 7%, leading to a first half increase of 9%.

The S-Max enjoyed only two quarters in the lead of the segment, the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, until the Volkswagen Sharan struck back in the second quarter of this year, its 6% increase was enough to give it the edge over the S-Max in the first half.

Similarly, the Sharan’s sibling Seat Alhambra was outsold by the Galaxy in the fourth quarter of last year and had that model breathing down its neck in the first quarter of this year. In the second quarter, the Alhambra took some distance, as Ford’s sell-out pricing was apparently reduced.… Continue Reading …

European sales 2014 first half Midsized MPV segment

European consumers bought slightly less midsized MPV’s in the first half of 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013.


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After grabbing the lead of the segment in the first quarter of this year, the Citroën C4 (Grand) Picasso has left the segment’s initiator Renault (Grand) Scenic in second place. The Picasso’s unconventional design has clearly struck a chord with young families and account managers, the biggest groups of buyers in this segment.

The facelifted Scenic did take advantage of an excellent month of June for the Renault brand across almost all models to cut into the Citroën’s lead by about 2.000 units, but such a sudden and inexplicable spike in sales is usually followed by a couple of weaker months to even out the balance. So I expect 2014 to be the second year ever that the Scenic is not the king of the midsized MPV segment. The first time this happened, in 2008, it was the previous generation (Grand) Picasso to do the trick.… Continue Reading …