After discussing the what’s hot and what’s not in Detroit this year, let’s also bump heads on the prototypes and concept cars. Of course, these are all in different stages of market readiness, with the RDX and Insight virtually production ready, the Enverge and Xmotion merely hint at what could be, and the Q Inspiration and LF-1 Limitless [Read more…]
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa Romeo has finally launched the long-awaited successor to the 159. The brand that has languished and seen plummeting sales over the last fifteen years aims to revive the glory of its heydays with the all-new Giulia. As of now, Alfa Romeo launched the Giulia Quadrifoglio only, the top-of-the-range version capable of some mind-blowing numbers: it features the 510 hp six-cylinder 2.9 turbo petrol engine developed by Ferrari engineers with a top speed of 307 km/h and capable of an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, a peak torque of 600 Nm, while it should brake from 100 km/h back to 0 in less than 32 metres. Alfa Romeo claims best in class emission levels, with 198 g/km of CO2, while its dry weight is just 1,524 kg. Sales of the Giulia Quadrifoglio will start during the last quarter of 2015, with prices starting at about 79,000 Euro in Italy.
Sales of premium midsized SUVs are up 6% or more than 12.000 units on the first three quarters of 2013, thanks to the introduction of two all-new models from Porsche and BMW.
The Audi Q5 holds on to the first place it claimed in the second quarter, but the recently refreshed Volvo XC60 continues to stay close, even outselling its German rival in September. I don’t think the XC60 will be able to pull a rabbit out of its had and finish in the segment’s first place for the first time ever, but reclaiming the second place it already held in 2009 and 2010 would be almost just as impressive considering the increased competition since.
The Range Rover Evoque led the segment in the first quarter of the year, but has fallen behind since, being outsold by the recently updated BMW X3 in the second and third quarter, although it remains firmly in third place. 2014 is going to be the third year in a row where the Evoque finishes on the third step of the podium of the premium compact SUV segment.
Sales of midsized premium cars stay on track to finish 2014 above the 600.000 unit mark after dipping below that level for the first time since more than a decade. In fact, the midsized premium segment peaked in 2002 at over a million units and has lost 40% of its volume as the midsized car segment has slumped as a whole.
The traditional leader of the segment, the BMW 3-series, is also the biggest loser of the segment at -15% as its coupe and convertible models have been renamed 4-series. This has created room for the new generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class to step up and outsell its competitor from Munich in September for the first time since February 2012. Year-to-date, the C-Class has come within 200 units of the Audi A4 and by the end of the year it will undoubtedly have taken back the second place of the segment the A4 took from it last year. [Read more…]
Premium 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. [Read more…]
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. [Read more…]
Sales of premium midsized SUVs in Europe have continued their steady decline in the first three months of 2014, down another 6% after sales already declined 3% over the full year 2013. Major changes in the ranking, as the top 4 is completely shuffled.
The Range Rover Evoque has surprisingly moved up from third place in 2013 to take the segment lead in the first quarter of 2014, despite completely flat sales, down just 3 units on the same period last year.
A 40% increase in sales thanks to a model update has helped the Volvo XC60 propel itself from a distant fourth place straight into the number two spot, less than 300 units from the pole position.
As a result, the Audi Q5 is pushed down one spot, as the model suffers from a 9% decline in sales. But that is not as bad the BMW X3, the instigator of the segment and the leader of the segment in 2012 by a large margin and also in 2013, is down 19% and has fallen to fourth position. [Read more…]
Sales of premium midsized cars in Europe continue their steady decline, down another 6% after sales already were down 7% over the full year 2013. No change at the top, the BMW 3-series is still “king of the hill”, not only outselling every premium midsized competitor, but plainly outselling every midsized competitor, including the mainstream midsized models. And the 3-series even manages to increase its sales, albeit marginally, despite the fact that the coupe and convertible models are no longer counted within its nameplate. The BMW 4-series are now counted separately as the 4-series and add an extra 10.000 units to BMW’s midsized tally which used to be counted as 3-series sales.
Bear in mind that Mercedes-Benz C-class sales include the coupe and convertible as well and that Audi A5 sales are made up of the coupe, convertible and sportsback versions combined. That makes BMW’s performance even more impressive, considering the 4-series is already breathing down the neck of the A5, while the 4-series Gran Coupe four-door is not yet on sale. [Read more…]
The premium midsized car segment in Europe is declining much slower than its non-premium counterpart, down just 6% in 2013, compared to -22% for the “regular midsize cars” . In fact, at 585.842 units, the premium segment has actually grown larger than the non-premium midsize segment at 563.410 units.
Perennial leader, the BMW 3-series is the only model in the top 6 to increase sales, topping out above 200.000 units for the first time since 2009. This is likely thanks to the introduction of the 3-series Touring station wagon, and the 3-series GT has added a handful of sales as well.
The 4-series coupe has been available since September, yet still outsold the Lexus IS, despite the Japanese model being the biggest winner of the segment, gaining 177% on 2012 thanks to the new generation with the more aggressive styling. [Read more…]
The premium midsized SUV segment in Europe as a whole is relatively stable: down 3%, which is slightly more than the downward trend of the total market. No changes in the lead (yet), but the top three have moved closer towards each other, as the BMW X3 is down 15%. It will be facelifted this year in order to stabilize the decline in sales. Because of the X3’s downfall, the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque have the segment leadership within arm’s reach. Both sell slightly more in 2013 compared to the year before.
Just off the podium is the Volvo XC60, which has been facelifted halfway through the year, and as a result sales were up every month since July, and full year sales are virtually flat. [Read more…]