Normally when you think of Ford Fusion (or Mondeo, as it’s known in Europe) taking design inspiration from another car, your thoughts immediately go to the Aston Martin-esque front grille. And rightly so – Ford’s decision to unashamedly adopt a family grille whose shape is much like that of the British sports car maker has received a lot of press, especially given that Ford used to own Aston Martin. However, this is not the only case of the Blue Oval taking design inspiration from cars produced by a brand it used to own.
Sales of premium midsized cars improve 8% in the first half of 2016, almost in line with the overall market at +8,8%, thanks to a strong second quarter when sales advanced 12,6%. The German brands equally dominate this segment as they do with the compact segment, as over 85% of cars sold in this class has a German badge, but at least that figure is falling (last year it was almost 88%) thanks to increased competition from brands like Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class holds on to its lead in the first half, despite being outsold by the new generation Audi A4 in Q2. What’s more, the figures for the C-Class include those of the Coupe and Convertible versions of the model, while Audi and BMW have decided to differentiate the names of their sporty offerings. As a result, BMW is actually the biggest seller in this segment, with over 113.000 sales of its 3-series sedan, Touring station wagon and GT hatchback and its 4-series coupe, convertible and GC 4-door coupe, vs. 110.000 sales for Audi with its A4 sedan and Avant station wagon of the new generation and the A5 coupe, convertible and Sportsback 4-door coupe still of the previous generation. But again, in Q2 Audi was the big winner, and that will only increase with full availability of the A4 Avant and the introduction of the new generation A5 in the second half of the year.
Sales in the Premium Mid-sized segment fell by 20 percent in the second quarter, exactly the same rate of decline as in Q1 2016. Once again, this is the worst performance from among all the Premium segments, and the second-worst performance from among all segments – only Alternative Power did worse, with sales falling by 21 percent. While things may yet pick up a bit now that the new Audi A4 and Jaguar XE are on sale, 2016 is turning out to be a bad year for the segment. [Read more…]
The premium midsized car segment continues to grow steadily in Q1 of 2016, but slower than the overall market, at +3%. That’s a big difference with the US, where the segment has shrunk a worrying 20% this quarter. The ranking is pretty stable, with no changes in the top-4, even though last year’s leader, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the biggest loser of the top-8, at -10%. Even the relatively old BMW 3-series manages to grow sales, while the freshly renewed Audi A4 is the biggest gainer of the top players at +12%, which should increase further as the year progresses, and I see the A4 threatening the C-Class for segment leadership by the end of the year. The only two times the nameplate has led the segment this millennium were 2005 and 2008, but this year and next are the only shot it has, as BMW is expected to launch the new generation 3-series at the end of 2017.[Read more…]
The premium midsized car segment grows slower than the overall market at 6% to 662.738 vehicles in 2015, which is the best score since 2011 but a long way from the 1 million sales in 2002. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has scored its second victory of the segment after leading the segment in 2011 by a margin of less than 10.000 units above the #3. This time, the former “Baby-Benz” leads the BMW 3-series by 30.000 sales and the soon-to-be-replaced Audi A4 by almost 50.000 sales. And in 2015 year we can actually compare these 3 models directly, as this year the C-Class Coupe will be launched and its sales will be combined with those of the sedan and the station wagon, while BMW and Audi have separated their coupe versions into stand-alone models with the 4-series and A5.
The premium midsized car segment is up 8% in the first three quarters of 2015, boosted by updated models and a new entrant to the segment. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been the best selling premium midsized car all year and isn’t likely to hand over that title by the end of the year. In fact, it has only strengthened its lead over the BMW 3-series, which was outsold by the Audi A4 in Q3, even though the Audi was in the middle of a model changeover to the new generation. The gap between the two is about 6.600 units, so I don’t think the A4 can close that gap in the next three months. But for 2016, the 3-series is in serious trouble.
Sales of premium midsized cars are up 6% in the first half of 2015, which is slower than the 8% growth of the overall market, and much slower than the mainstream midsized segment. Like in Q1, the new generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class controls the segment with sales up 45% compared to the outgoing model last year. BMW loses ground, with the 3-series down 21% and the 4-series no longer able to make up for that loss, despite that model’s 60% growth. In third place, the Audi A4 is surprisingly stable, especially considering its successor has already been revealed. Perhaps the fact that it looks exactly the same as the outgoing model helps buyers convince to snatch a great deal on the old one. It now comes fully loaded and with a nice discount on top, while 90% of the population won’t notice the difference between the old and the new model. [Read more…]
We’ve been able to find more detailed European car sales data for several models, which have now been added to the car sales search tool in the top right corner of this website. This is data you might not find anywhere else on the internet, so make sure you check it out if you’re interested!
Historical data has been added for the following models:
- Alpina B3 and D3, the sporty models based on the BMW 3-series. We even have separate data for the gasoline and diesel versions.
- Aston Martin Virage, only produced in 2011 and 2012 for a production total of just over 1.000 units, almost half of which were registered in Europe
- Aston Martin Cygnet, the minicar based on the Toyota IQ, produced for just 3 years, between 2011 and 2013.
- McLaren MP4-12C and its replacement McLaren 650S, the British Ferrari 458-challengers. Sales are still just a fraction of their Italian rival.
- DR CityCross, a rebadged Chinese Chery Riich X1, assembled and sold in Italy by DR Motor of Massimo Di Risio.
- Mahindra XUV500, the Indian large SUV which is sold in just a handful of European countries.
And we’ve added a few new models to our database that have been around for a while, but weren’t yet available in our search tool: [Read more…]
While the mainstream midsized car segment has just returned to positive territory, the midsized premium segment maintains its upward curve and even accelerates its growth, from 5% in 2014 to 7% in Q1 of this year.
This growth can be fully attributed to the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which increases by 45% to take the top spot of the segment for the first time since 2011. The C-Class now holds a 27,5% share of the segment, which is still less dominant than its direct competitor, the BMW 3-series, in Q1 of last year, when that model held over 30% share.
The 3-series is down a rough 21%, and that’s not only because the coupe and convertible models have been renamed BMW 4-series, because combined 3-series and 4-series sales are still down on the first quarter of last year. The increased competition from Mercedes-Benz seems a more likely explanation, and BMW won’t be able to lose focus, with the all-new Audi A4 also finally arriving in showrooms in the next couple of months. A minor facelift of the 3-series won’t be enough to keep the model ahead. [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.