European sales 2016 first half Premium Compact segment

Compact_Premium_Car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q2-Audi_A3-Mercedes_Benz_A_Class-BMW_1_series The premium compact car segment grows faster than the overall market in the first half of 2016 at +10% vs. +8,8% and especially compared to the mainstream compact car segment at +6%. The German brands increase their dominance of the segment with over 83% share, and are competing fiercer than ever to attract younger, mostly first-time luxury buyers so they can try and keep them faithful to their brand when they move up the ladder. The model-ranking leader Audi A3 loses 3% of its volume as the competition heats up, but BMW becomes the biggest brand ahead of Mercedes-Benz.  The 1-series hatchback, 2-series MPV, Coupe and Convertible and the i3 electric car add up to a combined 145.000 sales, compared to 144.000 sales for the A-Class hatchback, B-Class MPV and CLA sedan and station wagon. Despite having the A3 hatchback, sedan and convertible at the top of the ranking, Audi is a distant third with “just” 104.500 sales in the first half.

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 Mercedes-Benz A-Class gains an impressive 21% of volume while the BMW 1-series adds just 4%, but the big winner of the segment is the BMW 2-series Active/Gran Tourer, the brand’s first front-wheel drive model and its first MPV, now also available as a 7-seater. The 2-series gains 56% on its volume of last year and outsells its main rival Mercedes-Benz B-Class by a large margin. As usual, a Volvo is best of the rest, with the V40 hatchback in 6th place, down 4% as the model is starting to age, although Volvo’s are known to keep their sales very stable during their life cycle. The Mercedes-Benz CLA gains 16% thanks to an excellent performance in Q1, while the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is surprisingly stable for an Italian model of its age. A minor facelift should keep the model fresh until the brand decides on whether it will develop a next generation, perhaps on the rear-wheel drive platform of the larger Giulia sedan.

The BMW 2-series coupe & convertible improve nicely, adding almost 50% to their sales of last year and the DS4 gains 16% after its facelift. We welcome the Infiniti Q30 to the ranking at #12, already ahead of the Lexus CT. The Q30 is based on the A-Class and uses the engines and gearbox of that model. Its design is totally different though, and that’s what should set the model apart from the rest of the segment. Infiniti’s small dealer body and low brand recognition (which the Q30 is supposed to fix), will keep a cap on its potential as much as not being German does.

Also check out the premium compact car segment in the US, where the Audi A3 sedan holds on to the lead as well, but the BMW 2-series is the big winner.

Premium compact car segment 2016 H1 2015 H1 Change
1 Audi A3 / S3 / RS3 104.512 107.873 -3%
2 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 73.171 60.636 21%
3 BMW 1-series 66.215 63.753 4%
4 BMW 2-series Active/Gran Tourer 55.235 35.410 56%
5 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 39.399 43.421 -9%
6 Volvo V40 37.116 38.820 -4%
7 Mercedes-Benz CLA 31.579 27.328 16%
8 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 24.016 23.284 3%
9 BMW 2-series Coupe & Convertible 18.538 12.528 48%
10 DS4 10.545 9.121 16%
11 BMW i3 5.059 4.923 3%
12 Infiniti Q30 4.475 7 New
13 Lexus CT 4.154 4.737 -12%
14 Lancia Delta 1 218 -100%
Segment total 474.015 432.059 10%

Premium small car segment


One segment smaller, sales of premium small cars improve just 2% in the first half of 2016 as only one of the four models in the segment gains volume. The Audi A1 improves its sales of last year by 15% but is unable to challenge the Mini hardtop for segment leadership. However, bear in mind Mini sales include those of the 3-door, 5-door, convertible and Clubman station wagon, despite the latter being a much larger car which should be classified in the compact segment. Unfortunately, our source doesn’t yet specify sales of the Clubman separately. The DS3 loses 8% despite its facelift, while the Alfa Romeo MiTo is down 9% as it is getting a bit long in the tooth now.



Premium small car segment 2016 H1 2015 H1 Change
1 Mini 70.019 71.211 -2%
2 Audi A1 53.146 46.400 15%
3 DS3 23.210 25.170 -8%
4 Alfa Romeo MiTo 6.603 7.274 -9%
Segment total 152.978 150.055 2%


Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2016 and monthly sales from 2012 to 2016, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.

Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.

  1. I don’t understand it. A3 is so dull compering to A-Class or BMW 1.

    The same with A1 comparing to DS3 or Mini.

    Dull and ugly.

  2. In the premium segments no one can beat the germans!That is and that will be to the end of the planet Earth!

    1. And i can’t understand what is the premium in the BMW i3.I think that the word “premium” is not valid for the EV’s segment!Except for the Tesla Model S!And yes no one can beat germans in the premium segment in EU in the States the picture is different!

    2. Yes, I can’t see how any maker could get them out off the podium. Germans dominate the situation as they wish.

  3. I wonder how much of this Germans premium are sold in Germany itself. I think 50% of them.

    It’s a pity that big limousines like Omega, Scorpio, Safrane, 607, C6, Lancias are lost for ever because they were NOT premium.

    1. Maybe 50% in total, but aren’t bought by customers, because of high percentages of corporate sales in Germany. Another car website that analyses sales figures has reported these percentages e.g. 92% Passat, 77% Golf and 67% Polo. So the majority of German cars ‘sold’ in Germany are bought by companies, not private sales.

      Personally I don’t believe in cars/brands being ‘premium’. It’s a marketing tool to earn more money per vehicle by getting into people’s heads. Of course there are brands which focus on the top end of the market like Dacia is doing the same at the bottom of the market, but most of the time you pay more for exactly the same or less considering e.g. the Golf/Leon/Octavia vs A3. In my country the Octavia and Leon are better equipped than the more expensive A3/Golf.

  4. Premium is a marketing trick!And the germans play this game very well!PSA group with DS brand has a wrong strategy.They don’t have a SUV,because the SUV segment is probably the only segment where the newcomers will be easy accepted.I think that in the future only Renault with future Alpine brand has a chances against some german brands!And i think that the most easiest to attack premium segment is the SUV premium segment!Also Jaguar,Land Rover,Tesla,Lexus,Genesis and Cadillac have a great chances for success but only on the US and maybe on the chinese markets like Buick for example!But the fact that the german market is the largest one in the EU for the premium segment i don’t think that the other manufacturers have a lot of chances against them!

    1. DS has an SUV called DS 6, but they don’t offer it in Europe. They’re going to bring an SUV based on the new Peugeot 3008 to Europe.

    2. You have plenty of premium brands that are increasing their sales in enormous numbers.
      And that tendency will continue while they expand their ranges.

      In Europe the german premium brands dominate because there’s a lot of nationalism when picking cars in Europe and the german market is the biggest. Plus, premium manufacturers from other countries have been through difficult times and are only recently recovering and Lexus doesn’t sell diesel models nor station wagons in Europe so they have less sales.

      You can already see a big increase in sales for Volvo with the XC90, which is competitive in sales with the offers from the german brands. Also with Jaguar thanks to the XE and F-Pace. Land Rover simply dominates any german premium brand in the SUV segment as well. And Alfa has plenty of growth potential in Italy. Many of these brands will carve their own sales numbers in Europe because their home markets will prefer them to the german brands.
      A lot of europeans are now aware that giving too much money/power to Germany is bad.

      1. Yep you are right!It will be very interesting to see the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio in the premium SUV segment.And the italian market have a good growth rate much better compared to the german market!
        Losange thanks for the info i think that the DS brand will be much more successful in the SUV segment!

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