Sales of premium large cars are up 6% in the first six months of 2014, and we have a neck-to-neck race for the victory in the segment: While sales of the leading BMW 5-series remain flat, the chasing Mercedes-Benz E-Class has gained 10% to bring it within 300 units of the 5-series. In fact, the E-Class has outsold its rival every month since March, with the exception of June, when the 5-series beat it by a single unit: 9.117 vs 9.116.
Mercedes-Benz has called the update of its E-Class last year its most expensive midcycle facelift of any model ever, and it seems to be paying off. If the E manages to take over the segment crown by the end of this year, it will be the first time to do so since 2010 and only the third time in the last ten years, while the 5-series had never beat its main rival before 2005.
The Audi A6 remains almost flat as well, firmly in third place but at a distance of already more than 10.000 units behind its two rivals, which the previous generation managed to beat three years in a row, from 2005 to 2007. The current generation has only managed a single second place, in 2012, by a margin of just 700 sales.
Behind the traditional top-3, the Volvo V70 is making an impressive run for such an old design, which has received only minor exterior updates last year. Still, an increase of 18% leaves its far off the sales figures the previous model managed in the early 2000’s, when it sold between 70.000 and 90.000 units annually.
The Jaguar XF remains flat in fifth place, down just 2% on its record year of 2013. Considering the XF’s had a better second quarter than last year, it may set a new annual sales record for the second year running.
The Tesla Model S has slowed down a bit, selling about 2.400 of its full-electric sports sedans in the second quarter, while it racked up 3.000 sales of it in the first quarter. This has enabled the Mercedes-Benz CLS to reclaim the sixth position, despite sales down 30% on last year.
The Maserati Ghibli continues its impressive performance, improving on its already brilliant first quarter and selling more than 400 monthly units for the first time in June. The Italian sports sedan is firmly in tenth place and has no intentions to give up that position.
PREMIUM LARGE CAR
Tesla Model S
Lancia Thema/Chrysler 300C
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2013 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.
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