European sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Midsize segment

Volkswagen_Passat-Ford_Mondeo-european_car_sales-2015-midsized_car_segmentThe European midsized car segment keeps outpacing the market in 2015, growing at almost twice the rate of the rest of the car market, but keep in mind this is a segment that has been declining for a long time already. Unsurprisingly, the Volkswagen Passat tightens its stranglehold of the segment by increasing its share to 35,8%, meaning more than one in three midsized cars sold in Europe bear the VW logo. This is the highest segment share of any model in the European mainstream segments.

In Q3, the all-new Ford Mondeo is still way underperforming on its expectations, as it’s still being outsold by the 7-year old Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. So far this year, the only month the Mondeo outsold the Insignia was July, by a mere 214 units. It probably doesn’t help that it took Ford more than two years to launch the model in Europe and that it looks a lot like the outgoing model, especially from the rear 3/4, although the Passat proves that that doesn’t have to translate into slower sales.


The Peugeot 508 has lost the fourth position it held in the beginning of the year to the Skoda Superb, despite the latter also still losing a bit of ground on Q3 of last year as the model changeover took place in the past few months. The Toyota Avensis is boosted by a facelift and its popularity in Scandinavia to take over the title of best selling Asian midsized model from the Mazda6.

Renault_Talisman-Laguna-european_car_sales-2015-midsized_car_segmentMeanwhile the renewed Subaru Legacy and Outback are the fastest growing midsized models, even surpassing the Renault Laguna, which must be quite a disgrace for the French. Consider this: Renault is on its way to claim the #3 brand position in its home continent, where it sells 60% of its worldwide volume and is aiming for the #2 spot, but its midsized model, the largest sedan (and station wagon) they offer, is being outsold by the model from a tiny manufacturer that produces less than 1 million cars a year, and for whom Europe is just an afterthought with less than 4% of its sales here. And picture this: in 2011, the Laguna outsold the entire Subaru brand by more than 10.000 units, with a 5-to-1 ratio against the Legacy/Outback, and in 2002 the previous generation Laguna by itself outsold the entire Subaru brand in Europe by a 7-to-1 margin. The Talisman can’t come soon enough, as the segment is in dire need of a counterweight against the Passat, but considering the Talisman won’t be available in the UK and the Germans are unlikely to buy a French sedan as one of our readers pointed out, I’m afraid a top-3 position is going to have to be hard-fought. Also considering Renault has internal competition in that price range as well now, with the Kadjar crossover.

Subaru is launching the Levorg wagon in Europe in Q4, which slots in between the Impreza compact sedan and the midsized Legacy/Outback, and I’m inclined to classify it in the compact segment. Any thoughts from my readers on that?


2015 January – September midsized car sales Europe

Midsized segment Jan-Sep 2015 Jan-Sep 2014 Change
1. Volkswagen Passat 164.411 118.751 38%
2. Opel/Vauxhall Insignia 68.984 72.138 -4%
3. Ford Mondeo 60.569 37.947 60%
4. Skoda Superb 34.063 35.406 -4%
5. Peugeot 508 33.740 32.300 4%
6. Toyota Avensis 24.074 22.142 9%
7. Mazda6 23.999 24.838 -3%
8. Hyundai i40 19.090 19.771 -3%
9. Citroën C5 10.398 14.398 -28%
10. Subaru Legacy / Outback 8.180 4.819 70%
11. Renault Laguna 7.119 12.768 -44%
12. Kia Optima 2.293 2.574 -11%
13. Honda Accord 1.827 2.574 -29%
14. MG6 490 400 23%
15. Opel/Vauxhall Ampera 215 708 -70%
16. Renault Latitude 78 332 -82%
17. Suzuki Kizashi 38 207 -97%
18. Seat Exeo 7 227 -99%
19. Chevrolet Malibu 4 327 -77%
Segment total 459.579 402.627 14%


Also check out the 2015-H1 mid-sized car segment in the United States.

Also check out the ranking of the premium midsized segment, where the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has taken the lead from the BMW 3-series.

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. Hi Bart.

    The Levorg should be classified as a compact, imo. It’s basically a Impreza wagon.

    And the fact that the Avensis, a twice re heated 7yo piece of white bread toast outsells the Mazda6 just boggles the mind. Why can’t Mazda connect with the car buying public? I just don’t get it.

    1. Hi Tuga,
      thanks for your input, I was thinking along the same lines, and will classify the Levorg as a compact car.
      About the Mazda6, that’s a problem the brand has worldwide. In the US and China, the 6 just can’t seem to keep up with others in the segment, despite its qualities and sharp design. In the 1980s and ’90s, the brand was a big player in this segment with the bland 626, so what’s gone wrong? I guess it seems like shoppers in this segment prefer a more conservative design, but that would contradict the success of the Renault Laguna II in 2002-2003. Perhaps Japanese midsized cars have lost some of their advantages as the Europeans have improved their quality.
      And for the relative success of the Avensis: like I said, for some kind of reason it’s very popular in Scandinavia, where Toyota is traditionally relatively strong.

  2. Hello Bart,

    Renault built its last Laguna on May 28th 2015.
    After this date are basically only stock left on dealerships. It is then not very surprising it gets very low in the rankings, even overtaken by exotic brands such as Subaru.

    Hope the Talisman will work well, at least in France and some other Euro countries to convince Renault to build a RHD version, along the Espace V.

    Except that, the Passat domination keeps stunning me…

  3. Hi Bart,

    I’d put the Levorg in the midsize segment, since in Germany at least it’s being marketed as successor to the Legacy which won’t be available anymore, as far as I know.

    1. Hi Daniel,
      thanks for your input. You’re right that the regular Legacy is no longer available in most European countries, and the Outback will take care of the midsized segment, in a similar way that the Volvo XC70 has replaced the V70 in the US.
      However, I think Tuga also has a point when he says the Levorg is simply an Impreza station wagon.

  4. Looking at these figures, psychological effects of consumer behaviour can’t be underestimated. The Passat outsells his brother Superb roughly five times and the new Skoda already declines. Technically these cars are the same, but the Superb offers much more value for money (e.g. more space and equipment). At the end of the day, Skoda offers the same or more for less money. For some reason though, most people ‘prefer’ the Passat. To me this looks like habit behaviour of European consumers. They’ve always bought the Passat in great amounts and will keep on doing so again and again and again…

    This is one reason why Mazda has trouble selling the 6 in Europe. Consumers simply don’t consider it enough to buy it or even test drive it. In addition, VW is the number one brand on the business market so most companies don’t have any choice. That’s why for me the sales of the Passat are (partly) artificial.

    As for the Laguna, besides being (optically) too small for this segment, the design didn’t work out. As a result, the Talisman looks more ordinary and quite large. I hope Renault will be succesfull again. They deserve it, because for the last 10-12 years Renaults are very good cars. In this way, the Laguna III was misjudged. Probably due to the former mentioned arguments and the Laguna II. Renault couldn’t counteract another psychological phenomenon: people relate new products too much to their unrelated (!) predecessors. What’s in a name?

    1. Impressive analysis, Losange.
      I’m also aware of the fact that many corporate customers are limited to VW-brand or VW-Group products and don’t really have a free choice, and that new-car private buyers are scarce in this segment in Europe, limiting the potential pool of customers for cars like the Mazda6.
      I also agree with your view on the Laguna: they screwed up big-time with the reliability of the Laguna II, alienating all those frustrated customers, who vowed never to buy a Renault again. Even the facelifted Laguna II had improved massively in reliability and the Laguna III may have possibly been one of the best cars of the segment, but nobody would touch it because of the disgraced name. Of course, the awkward styling didn’t help either…..

  5. Agree with the laguna mk3 comments. Very good car even for renault, just the fact the facelifted version should have been the original version. Sad to see laguna did bad sales and shame to see same thing happen to the fantastic mazda6. Should be nice if laguna made a awd “laguna suv coupe”, but its just a dream 😀

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