Sales 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. [Read more…]