Sales of premium large cars in Europe are down 1% in the first half of 2016, as they recovered in Q2 from a 5% dip in the first quarter. With “just” a 77% share of the segment, the Germans are less dominant in large cars than they are in any premium car segment (this excludes SUVs where their dominance is even less). The battle for the segment lead has intensified, with the Audi A6 holding on to its top position, but only just. It was outsold in Q2 by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class by a margin of 3.000 units and is more than likely to have to relegate its position by the next quarter to the new generation E-Class. The E-Class is already the biggest winner in the segment top-10 with an increase of 13% in the first half, thanks to a 27,5% improvement in Q2 when deliveries of the new generation started. It’s unlikely to face any strong competition for the rest of the year, until BMW answers with the next generation 5-series by early 2017.
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
Halfway between the top-3 and the rest of the field we find Volvo again in fourth place with an 8% increase for the V70/XC70, even though production of that model has already ended in May to make room for the new Volvo S90/V90, which started sales in Q2. After an abysmal first quarter, the facelifted Jaguar XF strikes back in Q2 with sales up 15%, but it’s still down 7% for the first half. The Tesla Model S loses 16% as its update isn’t yet fully available and customers might be waiting for the Model X as well. Audi also leads its German rivals in the subsegment of the sporty versions of their large sedans, with the soon-to-be renewed A7 ahead of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, which loses more than a third of its volume while the BMW 6-Series stays even further behind. The Maserati Ghibli remains remarkably stable for an Italian car in this segment, while the Lexus GS is already slowing down again in Q2 with sales up 4,5% after a 55% increase in Q1. Compared to the first half of 2014, the GS is still down 11%.
We welcome the abovementioned Volvo S90/V90 to the segment with a still very shy 248 sales in their first few months, a figure that will undoubtedly grow in coming months as the new 90-series is widely expected to improve on the performance of its predecessor. A V90XC version will be launched next year to replace the XC70.
Also check out the premium large car segment in the US, where the Lexus ES is still the commanding leader and the A6 is just in 6th place behind the Hyundai Genesis and Cadillac XTS.
Premium large car segment
Audi A6 / S6 / RS6 / Allroad
Volvo V70 / XC70
Tesla Model S
Audi A7 / S7 / RS7
Lancia Thema / Chrysler 300C
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