The limousine segment in Europe grew 6% in Q1 of 2016, boosted by the new generation BMW 7-Series, which almost triples its volume over the same period last year, while suffering from supply shortages on the Plug-In Hybrid 740e version. That version has apparently already been sold out for the rest of the year. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class manages to hold on to its #1 position for now, but bear in mind its figures include the still very fresh Coupe version, and we don’t know how many as sales are not split. That means that BMW could lead in pure sedan sales of the 7-Series vs. the S-Class. The S-Class convertible has also just arrived at dealerships, so total sales of all versions will probably stay in front for the rest of the year, but I’d love to know the sales distribution of its body styles before declaring it the winner of the limousine segment.
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 Audi A8 is kicked down into third place with sales down 8%, while the Porsche Panamera loses almost 40% of its volume of last year and is almost outsold by the Jaguar XJ. A new generation of the Panamera is coming up, including a shooting brake version. It should be interesting to follow how such an out-of-the-box model will be accepted in this very conservative segment in terms of design.
The 53% surge of the Jaguar brings it back to 2014 levels, recovering from from the losses last year before its minor facelift. The Maserati Quattroporte is taking a 21% loss as customers start anticipating the arrival of the Levante SUV in the second quarter, while the Bentley Flying Spur is stable. Production of the Volkswagen Phaeton (did you know this was still being sold?) finally ended in March, but even those 101 units sold in the first quarter are an amazing performance for a model that even VW itself has given up on and may have forgotten all about. The Transparent factory in Dresden will continue its function as a museum until Volkswagen has figured out what to do with it. Perhaps the new all-electric Phaeton will be assembled there again in the future.
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