After rising sharply in 2014 thanks to the new generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the limousine segment takes a small correction in 2015 with sales down 6% to 38.807 sales. The segment leading S-Class follows that trend and keeps its share of the segment at almost 43%, selling almost as much as its three closest competitors combined. But that is about to change in 2016, as BMW has just launched the latest generation of its 7-series, which promises to be loaded with even more tech and features than the S-Class. The BMW already outsold the Audi A8 by a large margin in Q4 as the outgoing model was in sell-out mode and the first few units of the new model were registered. Mercedes-Benz has always been one of the strongest players in this segment, coming up on top 15 years in the last 17, with the BMW 7-series taking the crown twice (2009 and 2012), both times by margins of less than 1.000 sales. But 2016 may be the third time the 7 tops the S, although deliveries of BMW’s plug-in hybrid version won’t start until late in the year, an ever more important version even in the limousine segment as business owners and board members want to show their consciousness about the environment without having to sacrifice (rear-seat) comfort. Thanks to its 2014 facelift, Audi holds on to its impressive second place for the second time in a row and the fourth time ever as the A8 did as well in 2007 and 2008.
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
The Porsche Panamera is kicked off the segment podium in the last quarter of the year, as it loses a quarter of its volume as it’s now the oldest model in the top-5. Spy shots of a Shooting Brake version have turned up on the internet early February, and the addition of this body-style is likely to coincide with either an update to the current model or an all-new generation. In the meantime Jaguar has updated its XJ, which barely stays ahead of the Volkswagen Phaeton, even though almost nobody knows that car is still sold new. Well, it is despite having been pulled from the US market a few years ago and dwindling sales in Europe. China is the main market for the biggest and most luxurious VW sedan, but with the economy slowing down there, Volkswagen may pull the plug on the Phaeton sometime soon.
The Maserati Quattroporte stabilizes at just over 800 units, so it’s not going to reach the volumes of its predecessor which sold almost double that figure in 2007. The British ultra luxury sedans show nice improvements with the exception of the Bentley Flying Spur, down 11% and the Rolls Royce Phantom, down 8%. The Rolls Royce Ghost, Bentley Mulsanne and Aston Martin Rapide are all up with double digits.
Audi A8 / S8
Bentley Flying Spur
Rolls Royce Ghost
Aston Martin Rapide
Lexus LS (est.)
Rolls Royce Phantom
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2014 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.
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