After two years of growth, sales of limousines in Europe are back down again, by 6% to nearly 43.500 sales, or 0,3% of the overall market. The dominant segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class rebounds after three straight years of lost share to return to above 33% share with over 14.000 sales. This is still a long way from the nearly 43% share the model held in 2014 and 2015 but nonetheless a strong performance between rivals that are newer and fresher in a segment where innovation and product excellence are key. The recent updates of the S-Class have helped as the interior is now up-to-date again, but the changes in exterior design have been limited to prevent owners of the pre-facelift version from feeling like they’re being driven in an “ old” car. One sidenote we always need to make here is that S-Class sales include the Coupe and Convertible versions, which the others don’t offer for their limousines.
You have to feel for the Kia ProCeed – it does not have an easy life, trying to be the “hip” version of the competently mainstream Kia Ceed (née C’eed). Originally a three-door “coupé” in the vain of the Renault Megane Coupé, it had to suffer the ignominy of having its name spelled Pro_Cee’d (decidedly uncool). For the third generation, [Read more…]
Segment declines in the second quarter as sales of new Lexus LS soar
Sales in the US Premium Limousine segment rose by 5.3% to 29,927 in the first half of 2018, as the first quarter sales growth of 15.0% gave way to a 2.7% sales decline in the second quarter, not that far off from the 8.2% sales decline the segment registered in 2017. With many of the new models starting to run out of steam [Read more…]
Porsche Panamera and Lexus LS sales soar, but Mercedes-Benz S-class remains the king of the hill
Sales in the US Premium Limousine segment rose by 15.0% to 14,793 in the first quarter of 2018, a strong recovery after sales fell by 8.2% in 2017. With many new models still building sales (BMW 7-series, Cadillac CT6, Genesis G90, Porsche Panamera), the new Lexus LS already on sale and the new Audi A8 about to hit the market, [Read more…]
Sales in the limousine segment in Europe improved sharply in the second half of 2017 to pull the full-year figure up 13% after a 5% gain in the first half. Nearly 46.000 limousines were sold last year, 0,3% of the total European car market. Despite this impressive gain, only 2 models in the segment top-5 improve on last year, as the segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class is stable with a 200-unit loss thanks to a 30% gain in the fourth quarter when the facelifted version became fully available. The S-Class lost 4,6 percentage points of share in 2017, but that’s still much better than its closest rival BMW 7-series which was only in its second full year of sales but already lost 13% of its volume and 7,6 percentage points of share as the new generation’s design apparently doesn’t have a long shelf life. On the other hand, this is the third-best year for the model since 2006, and don’t forget the S-Class also includes sales of the coupe and convertible versions. Big winner of the segment is the Porsche Panamera with sales up more than threefold thanks to the new generation. The Panamera outsold the 7-Series in both the third and fourth quarters, helped by the S e-Hybrid version, but was unable to topple the BMW for 2nd place in the segment. The Sport Turismo version should help the Porsche move ahead of its rival in 2018, but it remains to be seen if that’s also enough to grab the #2 spot then, as the new generation Audi A8 is also in showrooms and looking to move up a few notches.
Sales of PHEV cars grow faster than any other segment, as new models like Prius Prime and Pacifica PHEV shine
Having analyzed sales of hybrid green cars in 2017, let’s look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEV for short. Sales of PHEV vehicles rose by 10.7% to 24,525 in the fourth quarter of 2017, while overall sales in 2017 rose by 31.7% to 85,111. Such a prodigious growth rate makes this the fastest-growing of all types of vehicles, beating out electric [Read more…]
Cadillac CT6, Porsche Panamera soar, new BMW 7-series falters as segment shrinks
Sales in the US limousine segment fell by 15.3% to 16,363 in the fourth quarter of 2017, while overall sales in 2017 fell by 8.2% to 59,308. Although the loss in sales was not very large, and the segments still managed to maintain sales above the depths to which it plunged at the height of the recession in 2009, the performance suggests that the [Read more…]
The limousine segment in Europe has been re-energized in the third quarter of 2017 with a 21% increase in sales after small single digit improvements in the first half of the year. Almost all of the growth in the segment can be attributed to a single model, as only two other nameplates improve while 5 out of the 8 losers are down with double digits. The big winner is the Porsche Panamera with sales up almost six-fold on the previous generation last year, helped additionally by the launch of the Panamera S e-Hybrid in June, which accounted for 60% of the model’s sales since. That’s significantly higher than the brand’s own expectations of 10% to 15%. Part of the explanation for its success lies in tax benefits that some countries hand out to buyers of plug in vehicles. For example, the hybrid’s share of Panamera sales in Belgium was above 90%, and 70% in France. Balancing it out, about 25% of its sales in its largest market Germany are partly electrified. As a result, the Panamera was the best seller in July and in 2nd place of the segment in the third quarter ahead of the BMW 7-series but still behind the traditional leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Keep in mind that S-Class sales also include the Coupe and Convertible versions, so in pure sedan sales the 7-Series is on top of the ranking.
Sales fall in the third quarter despite a bevy of fresh models
After inching up slowly in the first two quarters of the year, sales in the Limousine segment in the US fell by 16% in the third quarter, the worst performance from among all Premium segments, car and SUV. That said, total sales so far this year (42,929) are only 3.6% down on this time last year, which is a better performance than both the Premium Compact and Premium Mid-sized segments. Moreover, with many new models still building sales (BMW 7-series, Cadillac CT6, Genesis G90, Porsche Panamera) and two new models about to go on sales in the third quarter (Audi A8 and Lexus LS) the prospect for the segment looks bright in the next year.
Sales in the limousine segment in Europe increased 4% in Q2 of 2017, and as a result the segment is up 5% in the first half, to 23.337 sales. However, 4 models out of the top-5 and 7 out of the top-10 show double digit declines in the second quarter as only one model more than makes up for all of their losses. Segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class sees its share of the segment thaw from a dominant 45% in the first half of 2015 to 38,7% in the first half of 2016 to “just” 32,8% now. Its segment leadership still cannot be touched, although we have to mention that its figures include sales of the coupe and convertible versions, so in terms of pure sedan sales, the BMW 7-series could be either very close or even ahead. Worryingly, the 7-Series is already down 19% in Q2 despite being still in its second year of sales. The main culprit of its early demise may the the new generation Porsche Panamera, which sold a healthy 2.670 copies in the second quarter, less than 500 sales behind the 7-Series. In fact, the Panamera was the segment leader in June, holding 31,2% of the segment that month and selling 200 more copies than both the Mercedes and the BMW. And this is before Porsche has launched the Sport Turismo version, a kind of shooting brake/station wagon version which should boost its popularity further.