The premium large car segment has lost some ground in the third quarter, as year-to-date sales are down by 1.500 units after being ahead by 12.000 units after the first half of 2014. The third quarter loss is almost entirely due to the slowdown of the two leaders of the segment Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-series.
The ranking has fluctuated this quarter with the 5-series down to third place in July before rebounding to the top spot in August, when the E-Class was down in third place. But an excellent month of September secured the top spot of the segment for the Benz year-to-date. With the Audi A6 outselling the 5-series for the quarter, the E-Class looks set to hold on to it until the end of the year. The model last finished on top of the ranking in 2009 and 2010 before the 5-series took over. It’s been even longer for the A6, as the Audi last topped the premium large car segment in 2007 and it doesn’t look like the current generation will repeat that excellent performance of its predecessor.
Similar to the midsized premium car segment, Volvo is best of the rest after the German Big 3, and the V70 is actually the biggest gainer of the top-6, improving its share of the segment to 10,9%. Behind the V70, the Jaguar XF continues its impressive form, holding on to its 2% loss on its record year of 2013. Bear in mind that the XF was introduced in 2008 and has only been slightly updated since.
The Tesla Model S is much fresher, being introduced just last year, but after its impressively successful introduction, the Model S seems to lose momentum already. This may be due to the fact that only a few European countries offer subsidies and tax reductions on EVs, with Norway and The Netherlands leading the way. Others , like Spain and Belgium, have no incentives to jumpstart sales of electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Model S has dropped to 9th place in the third quarter and needs to keep up the pace if it wants to hold on to its 7th spot by the end of the year.
In the third quarter, the Mercedes-Benz CLS and its two main rivals BMW 6-series and Audi A7 were within 30 sales of each other, which means especially the CLS is taking a hit on last year’s sales.
The Maserati Ghibli shows no signs of slowing down, topping 1.000 sales for the third consecutive month and firmly in 10th position where it will finish the year. In July, the Ghibli even outsold the Model S, which had a terrible two summer months.
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