Sales of midsized cars have rebounded hard in 2015 from over a decade of losses to add over 100.000 units of volume in 2015, an increase of 20% to 619.474 sales. That’s still just over a third of the almost 1,8 million non-premium midsized cars sold in 2001. Two renewed models carry all of the segment increase: the Volkswagen Passat and the Ford Mondeo. The Passat adds almost half to its 2014 volume to take 36,5% share of the segment. It is the only model in the segment above 200.000 sales, and even the only model above 100.000 sales for that matter. Its closest competitor Opel/Vauxhall Insignia drops 4%, which is not too bad considering there are now two fresher competitors around. The biggest winner of the segment is the Mondeo, but that’s not so hard if you consider how deep it had fallen while customers were waiting for the new generation to arrive, 2 years late. Even then, it took the Ford until December to finally outsell the Insignia, and I’m afraid the very evolutionary styling compared to the outgoing model is to blame for that. The Mondeo just too much like the old one in my opinion, especially 3/4 from the rear.
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 renewed Skoda Superb loses its magnificent third place from last year, but is still up 9% to just over 50.000 sales which makes 2015 the second best ever year in terms of volume for the Superb, after the 56.000 sales in 2011. It stays ahead of the facelifted Peugeot 508, which recovers slightly from its worst year ever but is still down half compared to that same 2011. The Toyota Avensis has also been facelifted but benefits more with sales rebounding 15% for the year and 33,5% in the fourth quarter and passes the Mazda6 to become the best selling Asian model in the segment. Its second facelift can’t hide the fact that it’s one of the oldest models in the segment and Toyota still hasn’t decided whether they’re going to develop a next generation of the Europe-only model.
The Citroën C5 is the biggest loser in the top-10, down a quarter to just 13.500 sales and that’s not even as hard as the model is hit in China: down 36% to 21.700 sales, so it’s no wonder Citroën is looking to replace the sedan and station wagon with a crossover. The Renault Laguna is being replaced by another sedan and station wagon called the Talisman, which has made its appearance in the top-15 on dealer registrations before customer deliveries start early 2016. Meanwhile, the Laguna is kicked out of the top-10 by the new generation Subaru Outback, breaking the 10.000 sales mark for the first time in four years.
Subaru has also launched the Levorg, a station wagon with dimensions between the compact and midsized segments (almost as long as a Passat but narrower than a Golf), but will be classified as a midsize by us because it basically replaces the regular Legacy wagon and is priced to compete with these models. The Levorg sold almost as well as the Outback in Q4, so it should be able to outsell the Kia Optima which is totally ignored by European car buyers, as opposed to Americans, who buy twice as many of this model than they do of the Passat.
No big launches are planned in 2016, but the Renault Talisman should be able to enter the top-5 in its first year of sales.
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