Sales of premium midsized cars in Europe increased slightly faster than the overall market in 2016, at +7%. This is also significantly better than the growth of the mainstream midsized segment, which saw virtually stable sales. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class manages to hold on to the segment lead despite improving just 2% while a surging Audi A4 adds almost a third to its volume thanks to the new generation. However, keep in mind that the C-Class figures include sales of the Coupe and Convertible version as well, so in pure sedan and station wagon deliveries, the A4 is likely to be ahead. The BMW 3-series also has stable volume and is knocked down to the bottom spot of the podium, even though it surprisingly outsold the much fresher A4 in the last quarter. If we combine brand sales of the German Big 3, we see that BMW is the segment leader with 212.544 sales of its 3-Series and 4-Series, just ahead of Audi with its A4 and A5 at 206.341, while Mercedes-Benz is a distant third, as it misses a 4-door coupe version to compete with the 4-Series Gran Coupe and A5 Sportback.
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
Best of the rest is still Volvo, with stable sales of its S60 and V60, even though the duo is starting to show its age and despite growing competition from other non-German brands. Even more impressive is the stability of the Audi A5 sales figures, down just 3% while the next generation has already been revealed and has hit showrooms in Q1 of 2017. This is similar to the A4 which also had an impressively smooth transition between the old and the new model. Perhaps it helps that Audi’s styling is so evolutionary that you need to look twice to see the difference. The Jaguar XE is up almost 50% on its introduction year, but more worryingly is its 29% loss in Q4, when it was outsold by the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Giulia finishes 2016 in 8th place and aims to gain another position in 2017. At the bottom of the ranking we see double digit losses for the DS5 (down 45% in Q4), Volkswagen CC and the two Japanese sedans.
The CC will be replaced by the Arteon in 2017, and as I already mentioned the A5 has just arrived in showrooms. Other news in 2017 will be facelifts of the C-Class and Lexus IS, but the big news won’t arrive until 2018: the next generation 3-Series.
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