Premium compact car sales are up 10% in the first half of 2015 with Audi pushed down as the segment’s third best selling brand despite having the top-selling model with the A3. The A3 is up 2% and consolidates its first place with the BMW 1-series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class both showing slight declines. However, the BMW 2-series is a runaway success, with almost 50.000 sales in the past 6 months. The bulk of these will be the 2-series Active Tourer MPV with the rear-wheel drive coupe and convertible taking minor volumes, but altogether the Active Tourer hasn’t yet outsold the Mercedes-Benz B-Class as the best selling premium minivan. The arrival of the 7-seater 2-series Gran Tourer should help the model claim that title by the end of the year.
However, Mercedes-Benz remains the best selling brand of compact premium cars thanks to having three models compete in the class. The Shooting Brake version helps the Mercedes-Benz CLA improve its sales 44% to move past the Alfa Romeo Giulietta for 7th place in the segment. Too bad we can’t see how the CLA does in direct comparison to the A3 Limousine (sedan). BMW still has plans to bring a 2-series Gran Coupe to rival these two models and close this obvious and gaping hole in its line-up. [\sarcasm mode] The only brand that can even remotely keep up with the Germans, who command a combined 82,4% share of the segment, is Volvo, whose V40 hatchback keeps improving even 3 years after its introduction.
The BMW i3 now consistently outsells the Lexus CT, even though the German extended range EV is held back by production constraints. The Infiniti Q30 hatchback has already been revealed and will start deliveries in the next few months, so should make an appearance in the ranking by Q3.
If the Mini managed to barely scrape past the Audi A1 for the full-year 2014 score, in 2015 it’s a clean sweep for the British hatchback in the Premium Small car segment. With sales up 89% to over 71.000 units in 6 months, the Mini is only slightly off target to improve on its record sales of close to 145.000 sales in 2007. It’s the only model to increase sales on last year and now commands a 47,5% share of the segment in the first half, well ahead of the A1, which recovers from a 21% dip in Q1 when the facelifted version wasn’t yet available. The small Audi shows a slight increase in Q2 compared to last year, to narrow its year-to-date loss to -9%.
The DS3 is down 17% despite also having been facelifted recently, and the Alfa Romeo MiTo is suffering a slow demise into oblivion with sales down another 22% to an average of 1.200 sales a month. Surprisingly, spy shots of a camouflaged MiTo facelift surfaced on the internet last week, which would indicate Alfa Romeo is planning to keep the MiTo alive for another few years. This wasn’t mentioned in the brand’s 5-year turnaround plan, no subcompact entry was mentioned in that at all.
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