European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Premium Compact segment


Compact_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2014-Audi_A3The premium compact car segment continues to accelerate in 2015, with sales up 18,5% in Q3 to pull the year-to-date score up to +12%, mostly thanks to new model introductions, as the top-4 all show single-digit declines. Almost one-in-four models sold in the segment have an Audi A3 badge, in a similar fashion that its corporate sibling Volkswagen Golf controls the mainstream compact segment. However, bear in mind that the advantage of more than 50.000 units the A3 holds over its nearest rival is somewhat misleading as Audi sells both the three-door, five-door Sportback, sedan and convertible under the same badge. If you combine the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback with the CLA sedan and wagon (shooting brake), they would add up to 135.872 units, less than 20.000 behind the A3.


BMW-2-series-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeWithout combining related models, the BMW 1-series consolidates its second place ahead of the A-Class thanks to the recent facelift, and the BMW 2-series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer close in on their main rival Mercedes-Benz B-Class year to date, as the 2-series outsold the B-Class by almost 7.500 units in Q3. The Volvo V40 remains as steady as we’ve come to expect from a Volvo, while the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is also stable, which is less expected from an Alfa Romeo. It is outsold by the BMW 2-series coupe & convertible in Q3, but its 8th place of the segment is not in danger this year. The BMW i3 has taken distance from the Lexus CT200h to consolidate its 11th place. We haven’t yet seen the first registrations of the all-new Infiniti Q30 yet, so we’ll have to wait another quarter to find out how well this crucial model will be accepted in Europe.

2015 January – September compact premium car sales Europe

Premium compact car segment Jan-Sep 2015 Jan-Sep 2014 Change
1. Audi A3 / S3 / RS3 153.002 153.999 -1%
2. BMW 1-series 96.793 101.189 -4%
3. Mercedes-Benz A-Class 90.133 92.805 -3%
4. Mercedes-Benz B-Class 62.618 67.696 -8%
5. BMW 2-series Active/Gran Tourer 62.096 2.788 2127%
6. Volvo V40 56.985 56.643 1%
7. Mercedes-Benz CLA 45.739 28.875 58%
8. Alfa Romeo Giulietta 31.826 31.434 1%
9. BMW 2-series Coupe & Convertible 21.361 10.545 103%
10. DS4 12.956 15.970 -19%
11. BMW i3 7.788 6.893 13%
12. Lexus CT 7.100 7.660 -7%
13. Lancia/Chrysler Delta 262 3.301 -92%
Segment total 648.659 579.915 12%

Also check out the 2015-H1 premium compact car segment in the United States.

Small premium segment


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In the premium small car segment, the Mini rules the roost with already over 100.000 sales and almost half of the segment sales all for itself. That 100.000 sales threshold is a frustrating one for the Audi A1, as the smallest Audi has spent 4 years within just a few thousand sales of it, but has never been able to cross it. And it seems to happen again this year, as the A1 may be up 1,7% in Q3, it still lags its 2014 score by 6% year-to-date.


At least it does better than the DS3, which is down 22% in Q3 and -19% for the year so far, despite having been slightly facelifted. PSA is expected to follow Audi and Mini in their decision to offer a five-door version of their smallest cars, when the new generation DS3 is launched. That should help the little Frenchman, but until that time, it won’t be able to even come close to the Brit and the German. Alfa Romeo MiTo sales are surprisingly flat at just -2% in Q3 after sinking 22% in the first half. However, no replacement is planned, so don’t get your hopes up too much for the Italian brand.

2015 January – September small premium car sales Europe

Premium small car segment Jan-Sep 2015 Jan-Sep 2014 Change
1. Mini 104.475 64.446 62%
2. Audi A1 68.990 73.483 -6%
3. DS3 35.306 43.426 -19%
4. Alfa Romeo MiTo 10.814 12.976 -17%
Segment total 219.585 194.331 13%


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. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.

  1. Another nice article Bart. Don’t take it personally, but I can’t understand why the B-Class and 2-series AT/GT aren’t present in the Midsized MPV segment. Is that just because they’re BMW and MB and in that way ‘premium’? As a matter of fact, they’re very comparable with cars like the C4 Picasso and Zafira Tourer. Similarly I don’t understand why the 2-series Coupe and Convertible are in this list, because I read that you have a section for coupes and convertibles. I know there is a lack of competitors, but than my advice would be to leave them out.

    ‘Premium’ is pure marketing and nothing more. Of course there are brands that focus on the top end of the market, but most of the time mainstream brands offer the same or more for less money. The acceptance of ‘premium’ brands being different has a psychological background (cognitive dissonance theory to be exact). We think ‘premium’ brands are better (e.g. quality, luxury), but that’s primarily in our heads:

    “Okay, this car is more expensive so it will be better than…..”
    “That’s a BMW so of course it’s more expensive than a similar Peugeot”
    “Although it has the same platform/engines/interior materials, the Audi A3 outranks the Golf/Leon/Octavia”

    But that’s my humble opinion.

  2. Don’t worry, Losange. I don’t take things like these personally. I’d be more offended about the fact that you might think I’m some sort of know-it-all whose point-of-view is the hard truth (-;
    I understand your point about the classification of the B-Class and 2-Series AT/GT and will work on combining them in both segments, so they can be compared with both the MPVs and the compact premium cars.

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