Sales in the premium compact segment rose by 2% compared to 2014, a considerably lower growth rate than the 30% rate it experienced in 2015. However, this performance was better than seems at first. First, the growth rate last year was driven by introduction of the Audi A3 sedan and the new BMW 2-series, while so far this year there have not been any developments in the four-strong segment. As such, the growth rate pretty much equalled the 3% rate for the industry as a whole, a decent performance for a “stable” segment. Second, the premium compact was the only premium segment to grow in Q1 2016, with the other three segments shrinking between 10% and 20%. It would be interesting to see how consumers would have taken to the V40, had Volvo decided to introduce it in the US, though that probably won’t happen until the next generation debuts, possibly reverting back to its original sedan form.
Highlights for Q1 2016
- BMW 2-series was the standout performer this quarter, with sales rising by 58% compared to Q1 2015
- Audi A3 retains the segment lead despite sales shrinking by 3%, mainly because its closest competitor, Mercedes-Benz CLA, saw its sales shrink by 16% compared to Q1 2015
- Acura ILX continues to attract customers, with sales growing by 22% compared to Q1 2015, despite the model being based on the previous-generation Honda Civic
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off