The premium large car segment in Europe has found the way back up again, with sales improving 4,4% in Q3, bringing the year-to-date score to -2%, from -5% in the first half of the year. The ongoing three-way battle between the Audi A6, BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class appears to be decided for 2015, with the A6 extending its lead in Q3, even if the 5-series gained 9,1% this quarter and sold just 300 units less than its rival. This also put the 5-er well ahead of the E-Class to consolidate its #2 spot that had been under fire in Q2.
For the A6, which hadn’t led the segment since 2007, it’s likely to be a short stint on top, as both of its main competitors are being completely renewed next year. Mercedes will go first, around the end of the second quarter, and BMW will follow shortly with the new 5-series. Audi won’t renew the A6 until a year later. [Read more…]