Sales of limousines in Europe were up 29% in 2014 and another 10% in Q1 of 2015, thanks to the introduction of the very successful class leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But with that model reaching its second anniversary, its sales are plateauing at just over 9.000 units in the first half of the year, almost flat with the same period in 2014. And that’s the best result in the top-6, with the challengers of the almighty S-Class all losing more ground on last year: the Audi A8 remains in second place with sales down just 4%, but the Porsche Panamera is kicked off the podium with a margin of just 2 sales by the soon-to-be-replaced BMW 7-series. The Panamera loses 30% of its volume, while the 7-series is down 18%. The new generation 7-series is due by the end of the year and has already been revealed, so the Panamera may steal its position back for the full-year ranking as the BMW will suffer from the model changeover, but I’m confident the new generation 7-series will finish on top of the ranking next year. [Read more…]
Last year, the Limousine segment in Europe got a boost from the arrival of the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which pushed total segment sales up 29% when compared to 2013. This year, the S-Class is no longer brand new, which means its explosive growth rate has subdued a bit to 10%, while the segment as a whole has actually lost 6% of its volume in the first quarter.
As a result, the S-Class improves its share of the segment from 38,5% in Q1 of 2014 and 42,8% at the end of 2014 to a whopping 45%, meaning almost 1 in every 2 limousines sold in Europe was made by Mercedes-Benz.
The facelifted Audi A8 also improves its share of the segment thanks to sales up 3%, less than half of the S-Class, but almost double the sales of its nearest two competitors: the 7-series and Panamera. The BMW 7-series is down 15% as the all-new generation is due by the end of 2015, which will feature a lot of groundbreaking technology as expected from a car in this class. This should help the 7-series back on top of the segment in 2016, for the first time since 2012. [Read more…]
Lincoln surprised the motoring world today by showing off the new Continental. The first surprise is that, after years of producing bland-to-ugly cars (the MKT has forever seared itself into my retinas…) the concept is genuinely good looking, even if those with good memories will probably remain cool, seeing as the gorgeous 2002 Continental Concept paved the way for some unremarkable production cars.
But the bigger surprise comes as you realize how Lincoln arrived at the new concept’s design, splicing design elements from other cars in a manner that Dr Frankenstein would be proud of.
Sales in the limousine segment in Europe were still sizzling hot in 2014, thanks to a few all-new or redesigned models, and that model offence will continue this year and next as the traditional leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets some increased competition from its closest rivals.
In 2014, the S-Class more than doubled its sales, and as a result, it has accounted for over 95% of the overall segment’s growth, meaning the other 12 models have seen their sales increase with less than 400 sales combined, or less than 2%. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz takes almost 43% share of the segment. But that’s not even a record, as its predecessor from two generations ago (the W220) grabbed almost 50% segment share in 2001 with over 30.000 sales vs. “only” 17.638 in 2014. [Read more…]