Sales of limousines in Europe were up 10% in the first half of 2016, which is faster than the overall market at +8,8%. The segment showed particular strong sales in Q2, when sales grew 13,5%, boosted by the new generation BMW 7-series. Despite deliveries of the latest version of Munich’s largest sedan picking up traction, it still trailed the king of the segment Mercedes-Benz S-Class by 600 units in that second quarter. However, keep in mind that Mercedes includes sales of its S-Class Coupe and Convertible in these figures, and unfortunately we don’t have a breakdown per body style. That means we’ll have to make assumptions of the share of non-sedans the brand sells, but I’m pretty sure it’s been a tight race between the S-Class sedan and the 7-Series sedan in Q2. The Audi A8 is now a distant third with sales down 13% on last year, when it had just been facelifted.
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
In fourth place we find the Porsche Panamera, down almost by half its volume of last year as the new generation is making its way into showrooms as we speak. The new Panamera looks a lot sleeker than the somewhat awkwardly proportioned first generation, but I doubt it arrives in time to threaten the A8 for its podium position by year-end, so that’ll have to wait until next year. Jaguar XJ sales appear to have peaked in a brilliant first quarter with sales up 53%, as Q2 sales were already down again by 3%, giving the British limo a still respectable 25% increase in the half but a less than hopeful outlook for the near future. The Maserati Quattroporte seems relatively stable, especially in the second quarter, but loses share as the segment is growing. Production of the Volkswagen Phaeton has finally ended and the model was outsold by the Bentley Mulsanne and the Rolls Royce Ghost in the second quarter.
Lexus is working on a new generation of its LS limousine, which is expected to feature its trademark aggressive design which has proven especially popular with Chinese buyers, the biggest target audience for this segment. It remains to be seen if this helps the model break out of obscurity in the very conservative (in this segment at least) European market.
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