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
Volvo 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
Audi A4 / S4 / RS4
Audi A5 / S5 / RS5
Alfa Romeo Giulia
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