The premium compact car segment in Europe remains the place to be for premium automakers, as the segment grew another 24% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year, totaling over 550.000 units in 9 months, or over 700.000 units when combined with the premium small car segment. New introductions and model changes of the big players make this a very dynamic segment.
The need to look twice to distinguish the new generation from the old generation, hasn’t hurt sales of Audi A3 at all, which has helped it steal the top spot from BMW 1-series. The small Beemer has also been redesigned, but the designers were to obsessed with ensuring it would be a good car, they forgot to make it look any better than the previous model.
Mercedes-Benz has finally got the memo that a premium compact car is bought by accountants, consultants and law firm apprentices instead of elderly people, which caused a 180° U-turn from the MPV-like old A-Class to the sporty hatchback new generation. As a result, the Stuttgart-based brand has finally caught up with its rivals out of München and Ingolstadt in this segment as well. Those in need of a higher seating position will be served by B-Class, while the hip and trendy are now welcome at Mercedes-Benz as well for a mini CLS, called CLA. [Read more…]