European sales 2013 Premium Midsize segment

bmw-3-series-audi-a4-mercedes-c-class-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The 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.

With the addition of the 4-series convertible and 4-series Gran Coupe, the model is likely to challenge the Audi A5, which has a similar line-up of coupe, convertible and sportback. Apparently, the regular 3-series and A4 are so successful that the brands need to make a four-door version of the coupe version of the four-door, for those who still want a premium midsized car, but don’t want one that can be found in every street of the continent.

In the meantime, Mercedes-Benz has been doing that in the premium compact segment, with the A-Class, B-Class and CLA, but not (yet) in the midsize segment. The new generation C-Class is due this year, and it should help the model to take the second place in the segment back from the Audi A4, which will be renewed in the second half of the year.

The Volvo S60 and V60 have managed to remain relatively stable at -10%, mostly thanks to the V60 Plug-In diesel hybrid. The V60 station wagon does better than the segment, at -2%, but the S60 sedan loses 31% on 2012. As a result, the Volvo 60-series has a station wagon ratio of 80%.

In 2014, the Infiniti Q50 should be able to move closer to its competitors in the segment chart, as its new design and an optional Mercedes-Benz diesel engine with excellent fuel economy should be able to put it on quite a few shopping lists this year.

2013 2012 Change
1. BMW 3-series 201.026 175.022 15%
2. Audi A4/S4/RS4 128.270 141.875 -10%
3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 120.285 159.190 -24%
4. Volvo S60/V60 53.772 59.464 -10%
5. Audi A5/S5/RS5 51.343 63.927 -20%
6. VW CC 18.118 23.209 -22%
7. BMW 4-series 6.687 0 new
8. Lexus IS 6.341 2.288 177%
9. Infiniti Q50 324 197 64%
10. Alfa Romeo 159 274 4.102 -93%
11. Alpina B3/D3 196 97 102%
Segment total 586.636 629.371 -7%


  • Audi A5 sales include 10.362 coupe versions, down from 15.384 units in 2012, and 8.720 convertible versions, down from 10.500 units in 2012.
  • BMW 3-series sales include 4.761 coupe versions, down from 10.352 units in 2012, and 5.561 convertible versions, down from 9.464 units in 2012.
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class sales include 13.838 coupe versions, down from 23.088 units in 2012.

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