European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Premium Large segment

Audi_A6_Avant-european_car_sales-2015-premium_large_car_segmentThe premium large car segment in Europe has found the way back up again, with sales improving 4,4% in Q3, bringing the year-to-date score to -2%, from -5% in the first half of the year. The ongoing three-way battle between the Audi A6, BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class appears to be decided for 2015, with the A6 extending its lead in Q3, even if the 5-series gained 9,1% this quarter and sold just 300 units less than its rival. This also put the 5-er well ahead of the E-Class to consolidate its #2 spot that had been under fire in Q2.

For the A6, which hadn’t led the segment since 2007, it’s likely to be a short stint on top, as both of its main competitors are being completely renewed next year. Mercedes will go first, around the end of the second quarter, and BMW will follow shortly with the new 5-series. Audi won’t renew the A6 until a year later.


In fourth place, the Volvo V70 remains one of the most stable models in the segment, with sales up 5% despite being one of the older models with its 8 years, and 2 facelifts. The jaguar XF is just as old, but the second generation is already in showrooms as you read this, so its 15% loss of volume in the first three quarters isn’t very surprising. The Tesla Model S seems to have found its sales rhythm at just over 1.000 units a month, which is pretty impressive for an all-electric car in this price range.

Mercedes_Benz_CLS_Shooting_Brake-european_car_sales-2015-premium_large_car_segmentAs the German Big-3 are preparing to renew their core large sedans in the coming years, their trendy and stylish alternatives enjoy increased interest from European shoppers. The Mercedes-Benz CLS is up 92% in Q3 and 37% for the year so far, while the Audi A7 is up 37,5% for the quarter and 32% year-to-date. As the 5-series still scored well in the past three months, the BMW 6-series is a bit less extravagant, with sales up 9,2% in Q3, but still down 7% in the first nine months.

Infiniti_Q70-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe Maserati Ghibli plateaus at around 1.100 units this quarter, while the Infiniti Q70 shows an impressive relative growth, but still won’t scar any of the incumbents. Even the consistently unsuccessful Lexus GS remains untouchable for its Japanese rival. Let alone for the Hyundai Genesis, which will have a tough sell in the German-dominated continent, even when the Genesis brand will be spun off from its parent to become a stand-alone, full-fledged luxury brand.

2015 January – September premium large car sales Europe

Premium large car segment Jan-Sep 2015 Jan-Sep 2014 Change
1. Audi A6 / S6 / RS6 / Allroad 71.991 64.649 11%
2. BMW 5-series 68.313 75.398 -9%
3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class 65.679 78.477 -16%
4. Volvo V70 / XC70 34.506 32.981 5%
5. Jaguar XF 13.717 16.049 -15%
6. Tesla Model S 10.158 6.785 50%
7. Mercedes-Benz CLS 10.038 7.330 37%
8. Audi A7 / S7 / RS7 8.146 6.193 32%
9. BMW 6-series 5.784 6.245 -7%
10. Maserati Ghibli 3.707 3.359 10%
11. Volvo S80 1.774 2.267 -22%
12. Lexus GS 1.148 1.729 -34%
13. Infiniti Q70 407 91 347%
14. Hyundai Genesis 191 119 61%
15. Lancia Thema / Chrysler 300C 29 388 -93%
Segment total 295.588 302.060 -2%


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

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. Of course, the German domination is logical with German speaking countries (surprisingly Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and German oriented countries like Belgium and The Netherlands in Europe, but I think most American people will find it very strange that cars like the Genesis, GS and even the Q70 aren’t succesfull. They’re not significantly more expensive and offer good quality. Naturally, availability is key and a brand like Infiniti doesn’t have enough European dealerships, but besides this, non-German cars deserve a lot better. Unfortunately, conservatism determines the luxury segments.

  2. The Japanese and Korean brands’ lacks of success does not surprise me anymore, but what does is the relative success of the really old Volvo V70/XC70. Clearly Volvo’s image and clean-and-simple design resonate with European buyers

  3. Hi Krzysztof,

    Volvo’s long term success doesn’t surprise me to be honest. It has always been a brand between the mainstream brands on one side and ‘top end’ brands (‘premium’ for gullible ones) on the other side. They offer good and luxurious cars for decent prices. I can imagine a lot of people consider the V70/XC70 when they are interested in cars such as an Audi A6 or for example a (fully loaded) Skoda Superb Estate. In my opinion Volvo doesn’t need to ‘exaggerate’ their cars like the Germans do.

    I understand what you mean with “clean-and-simple design”, but for me Volvo’s are recognizable and every generation looks different. The S90 and V90 are typical Volvo’s and at the same time I would never confuse them with the outgoing S80 and V70. This is what I dislike about modern BMW’s, Audi’s and MB’s; the design stands still.

  4. Same for me, big surprise the V70 results, maybe in north Europe is still the best compromise or maybe the dealerships prices are far more convenient and affordable now, also for the coming out of the S90 and V90. Moreover is an ultra reliable platform so i think XC70 is one of the most reliable cars out of there, especially with the D5. Other things, well….curios to see that the “granny” E class is still doing its job very well, the new coming generation will boost it up at the top for sure. And finally i’m very very curios of how market will react to the new XF (and Fpace). Let’s see! A little note has to be spent also for the Model S, nice car for real. In my country there aren’t the conditions for the “boom” of this beauty sedan yet, and this is the reason why sells struggles in all South Europe. For what i Know, in scandinavian and central Europe, Tesla is doing very well. All depends on the “fast recharge” columns

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