Sales of limousines in Europe were up 5% in 2016, compared to an overall market up 6,2%, but were stable in Q4. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been so dominant in this segment that it holds on to its lead despite a 10% loss in volume while its nearest rival more than doubles up. The all-new BMW 7-series outsold the S-Class in Q4 and looks set to take control of the segment in 2017, the last time it did so was in 2012. Keep in mind it may already have done so in 2016 when comparing pure limousine sales, as the S-Class figures also include sales of the coupe and convertible models, which BMW doesn’t offer. The Audi A8 stays in third place with sales down 20% for the year as it’s starting to show its age. The A8 lost more than a third of its volume in Q4, when it was outsold by the all-new Porsche Panamera, which is aiming for that #3 spot in 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
The Panamera was down 25% for the year, as the changeover to the new generation hasn’t gone very smoothly, but sales were up 86% in the fourth quarter, when it sold almost half of its full-year volume. In fifth place the Jaguar XJ shows a nice improvement of 14%, helped by a 27% increase in the last quarter, while the Maserati Quattroporte loses 16% for the year and was down 27% in Q4. As a result, the Bentley Flying Spur has closed in on its Italian rival, helped by a 41% increase in Q4. Its sibling Bentley Mulsanne is the leader of the ultra-expensive models thanks to its facelift in 2016, moving it ahead of the Rolls Royce Ghost, down 23%. In its last full year of sales, the Rolls Royce Phantom manages a 28% increase in volume. After being stable in the first three quarters, it showed a 147% boost in Q4, just before production ended. As a result, the Phantom outsold the Aston Martin Rapide for the first time since the latter was launched.
In 2017, Porsche will continue to roll out additional versions of the Panamera, including the fastest ever: the Turbo S e-Hybrid. Mercedes-Benz will facelift the S-Class to better compete against the 7-Series, and we’ll see all-new generations of the A8 and Lexus LS.
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