European sales 2016 first half Premium Midsized segment


Sales of premium midsized cars improve 8% in the first half of 2016, almost in line with the overall market at +8,8%, thanks to a strong second quarter when sales advanced 12,6%. The German brands equally dominate this segment as they do with the compact segment, as over 85% of cars sold in this class has a German badge, but at least that figure is falling (last year it was almost 88%) thanks to increased competition from brands like Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class holds on to its lead in the first half, despite being outsold by the new generation Audi A4 in Q2. What’s more, the figures for the C-Class include those of the Coupe and Convertible versions of the model, while Audi and BMW have decided to differentiate the names of their sporty offerings. As a result, BMW is actually the biggest seller in this segment, with over 113.000 sales of its 3-series sedan, Touring station wagon and GT hatchback and its 4-series coupe, convertible and GC 4-door coupe, vs. 110.000 sales for Audi with its A4 sedan and Avant station wagon of the new generation and the A5 coupe, convertible and Sportsback 4-door coupe still of the previous generation. But again, in Q2 Audi was the big winner, and that will only increase with full availability of the A4 Avant and the introduction of the new generation A5 in the second half of the year.

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

Midsized_Premium_car-sales-Europe-2016-Alfa_Romeo_Giulia-Jaguar_XEVolvo is as usual best of the rest and – also as usual – has very stable sales during the life cycle of its models, with the S60/V60 down just 1% despite being 6 years old already. The Jaguar XE appears to have slowed down in Q2 with just 3% share of the segment, compared to 4,7% in Q1, but that was because first quarter sales of the model were artificially boosted by strong March volume in the UK. It will be interesting to see how sales of the long awaited Alfa Romeo Giulia, launched in the second quarter, will compare to those of the XE. Both are absolutely good competitors in this segment and the most worthy alternatives to the Germans in more than a decade, but both brands have lost so much of their customers from their years of abandoning the segment, that it will be very difficult for them to return to former glory, especially for Alfa Romeo which sold almost 100.000 units a year of the 156 in the last few years of the ’90s. At least the XE and Giulia have no problem beating the Japanese entries Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50, which remain niche players in Europe.

Also check out the premium midsized car segment in the US, which is in a big recession as sales plummet 20% and all existing models lose volume, with just two in single digits, all others lose double digits.

Premium midsized car segment 2016 H1 2015 H1 Change
1 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 88.339 90.723 -3%
2 Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 85.171 65.865 29%
3 BMW 3-series 76.204 73.565 4%
4 BMW 4-series 37.161 39.165 -5%
5 Volvo S60/V60 26.507 26.797 -1%
6 Audi A5 / S5 / RS5 24.777 25.001 -1%
7 Jaguar XE 14.084 2.456 473%
8 DS5 5.903 6.132 -4%
9 Volkswagen CC 3.793 6.197 -39%
10 Lexus IS 3.397 4.076 -17%
11 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1.637 0 New
12 Infiniti Q50 1.383 1.587 -13%
13 Lexus RC 1.002 299 235%
Segment total 369.358 341.863 8%


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. Wow absolutely impressive results for the Jag.But will be almost impossible to beat the first three(maybe four) models of the list!And i don’t think that the Alfa 156 is a premium car.Cheap materials bad quality nothing more than Peugeot 406 and Renault Laguna even worse!

    1. No DS is not premium – they don’t have models in midsized segment and upper classes. Chineese “blink-blink”design, the build quality just like in Citroens. DS3, DS4, DS5 are just another body versions of C3, C4 and C4 Picasso. Even interior is DS4 is exactly the same like in Citroen C4. French “premium” = cheap. No one seriously looks at DS as a premium brand, sales of these cars is extremally poor worldwide – even in China…
      VW CC is much more premium than DS – could have V6 engine, 4×4, active suspension. No one of these elements is possible in DS. Even multilink rear suspension is impossible in DS – so poor car… DS is premium only in french cars fanatics eyes.

      1. In this respect, Audi and Porsche aren’t ‘premium’, because they share the same manipulation software and faulty diesel engines as VW, Seat and Skoda. Ouch…

        Again, ‘premium’ is marketing. Companies control people’s minds by framing their thoughts of how to interpret ‘premium’ products. You think of a car being ‘premium’, because it has for example a V6 engine, but BMW and Porsche deliver three and four cylinder cars respectively. So-called top brands, which focus on the upper side of the market, have levelled their product range by filling every niche.

        All companies use the term ‘premium’. From Alfa Romeo to BMW and from VW to DS. The sole purpose is to make more money per vehicle. And it works, people rate cars as ‘premium’, because the companies and not to mention car media make people believe they own a ‘premium’ car. But at the end of the day an Audi A1 e.g. is a more expensive Polo/Fabia/Ibiza.

    1. DS5 in premium midsize? Come on… better looking body than C4 Picasso doesnt make it premium. Technically it’s a compact class…

      1. DS5 is premium like all DS’s models!And what means technically?DS3 is in the compact class!

      2. DS is premium, because it was designed that way + build with super quality + marketing. Premium is state of mind 🙂 Premium means less models and big price to let you differentiate from another people. While CC is just another body version of Passat. Even materials are not impressive. And it doesn’t even claim that it is premium 🙂

        Technology “doesn’t matter” because almost all premium cars have origins in cheaper brands. Especially VAG. You could easily say that A3 is a change Octavia.

        But yes, DS5 should be in compact class.

  2. Except the VW Passat, the three premium german makers, sells their Group D cars double than another maker. This is impressive, they were able to polarize the segment in only few models and now (and I think for the next future too) nobody is a serious contender for them.

    1. The questions is that if has other manufacturers like Jag they will take a part of the market and the income to the germans will be diminished.More rivalry means loss of the market share!

      1. I agree. It’s up to Renault-Nissan, PSA Group, FCA and Ford to really interfere with decent products. On the other hand, European sales figures are very artificial. Non-German brands (e.g. Infiniti, Lexus) have a hard time to compete even though their products are of equal quality or better. Let’s not forget the German market is by far the most important one for these cars. Besides, BMW and Mercedes offer a lot of models (sedan, stationwagons, sports cars, coupes, convertibles, hybrids) so Jaguar is no competition for them with only two petrol and two diesel XE sedans.

  3. Jaguar, Volvo and Alfa will provide competition but at most they’ll get 30% of the premium market.

    1. I my opinion that Alfa Romeo will retain 25-30 % of the European Premium market 3 years after they introduce 4 models: Giulia ,Stelvio, Giulietta and a station wagon(essential in Europe).

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