The Bentayga Bentayga has gotten plenty of flack ever since it came out, and pretty deservedly in my opinion. First, there is the shape with its long front overhang, which largely determined by hard points inherited from its platform twin, the Audi Q7, and which lacks the gloriously long hood that gives the Mulsanne and even the Continental GT their recognizable look. But Bentley did itself no favors with the detailing either – the oft-maligned cock-eyed front, the gauche fake air outlets in the front fenders, or the overdrawn “power curve” over the rear wheels that was cribbed from the Continental GT and forced onto a slab-sided SUV surface. But my biggest disappointment was always the rear, which is the worst thing for a luxury car – anonymous. The blame here lies mostly with the rear lights, which on top of being rather bland also remind of those of a mainstream non-premium car…
Sales in the Large segment fell by 6.4 percent in 2016, which puts it in the middle of the pack as far as mainstream segments are concerned – better than the Minicar and Mid-sized segments, but worse than the Subcompact, Compact and Minivan segments. With 443,317 sales, it remains the second smallest mainstream segment after the Minicar segment, though the Subcompact and Minivan segments remain within reach of around 100,000 units. However, with little new metal on the horizon it remains unlikely that sales in the segment will rise anytime soon, as models such as Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus are nearing their “sell by” date with no replacements due anytime soon. [Read more…]
The drop in sales of large sedans in the US accelerated to -13% in Q3 of 2016, pulling the segment into the red year-to-date with a 3% loss. That means the large car segment is heading in the same direction as the mid-sized segment, but oppositely of the subcompact and compact segments, which are starting to recover from their losses earlier in the year. Only three out of the ten models in this segment increased their volume on last year and did so with double digit growth, while the other seven all showed double digit losses. The segment leader Chevrolet Impala drops to third place in Q3 and is under serious threat of losing its top spot by the end of the year as Chevrolet is cutting down on fleet sales and has ended production of the rental-only previous generation Impala “Limited” in May. [Read more…]
Sales in the Large segment fell by 9 percent in the second quarter of 2016, compared to Q2 2015, but sales in the segment are still up 2 percent over the first half year, making Large cars one of only two mainstream segments to have grown over the period. This impressive performance can really be attributed to the success of the new Nissan Maxima, as well as the increasing popularity of aging Chrysler 300. [Read more…]
Sales in the large segment fell by 12% compared to 2014, the worse performance of all mainstream segments, worse even than the 8% fall in sales registered by the subcompact and minivan segments. As a result, large cars fell further behind those two segments and is now the second smallest mainstream segment, ahead of only minicars, and selling only a fifth as well as the only slightly smaller mid-sized cars. [Read more…]
The Large mainstream segment continued shrinking in Q3 2015, with sales down 11% compared to the same period in 2014. Although it was spared the ignominy of being the mainstream segment that shrank the most in Q3 by the subcompact segments -14% growth rate, customers are clearly abandoning Large cars for Mid-sized ones as the lines between the two become ever more blurred in terms of size and equipment. [Read more…]
The non-premium Large segment in the US is one that has pretty much been abandoned by mainstream manufacturers in Europe, where it once comprised of cars like the Citroën XM/C6, Ford Scorpio, Opel Omega or Renault 25/Vel Satis. In the US, on the other hand, carmakers continue offering cars that are usually based on larger versions of the FWD platforms that underpin their mid-sized sedans, though a few models are actually a unique RWD design (Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger, Chevrolet SS). The cars are usually bought by older customers who appreciate larger, easier-to-access interiors, but don’t need the higher price and sporty pretensions that usually come with cars in the Premium Large segment.
Not all is well with the segment, though, as sales fell 18% compared to the same period in 2014, the largest fall from among all the segments. With sales totaling little over 230,000 in H1 2015, the Large segment is now less than a fifth the size of the Mid-sized segment. Chevrolet Impala remains the market leader, offering a nice mix of style and substance that was deemed so successful that it served as inspiration for the incoming Malibu younger brother. However, with sales falling by 26% it may not remain top dog for much longer – less than 10,000 units behind is the Dodge Charger, the only model whose sales grew year-on-year, as consumers clearly liked the aggressive 2015 facelift and the halo effect of the 700HP+ (!) Hellcat model. In fact, the Charger not only outsold its Chrysler 300 cousin (#5) by over 2-to-1, it actually outsold the smaller Dodge Dart over the first half of 2015, giving you a sense of how popular the car is.