The premium large car segment in Europe has shrunk by 5% in the first quarter of 2016, as customers are waiting for new versions of two of the top-3 players in this segment. So I expect this segment to show a healthy increase by the time of the year, with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW 5-Series on top of the sales charts, thank to their new generations. That means sales of the outgoing versions of those cars are down, leaving the Audi A6 to consolidate its position as the leader of the segment, a title it claimed last year when it was freshly updated. The new E-Class will arrive in showrooms in the second quarter, and has been fully revealed. Its design is not very surprising, as it’s hard to distinguish from the C-Class and S-Class but for its size. Then again, this strategy seems to work for Audi, and the majority of our readers also think the new one is better than the old one, when polled last January. BMW hasn’t yet revealed much of its new 5-Series, but this also promises to be a frontrunner in new technology.
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 Volvo V70/XC70 is traditionally very stable with sales up 5% despite its age and the fact that the brand is about to launch the all-new S90 sedan to replace the venerable S80, but also a very stylish new station wagon version of that car, the V90. That will be a bit larger and more expensive than the V70, but I’m pretty sure it’ll steal some potential buyers away. The Jaguar XF has just been renewed and enjoyed five straight months of slight increases from October until February, but lost a big chunk of volume in March, traditionally its biggest selling month of the year.
The Tesla Model S suffers a bit from the upcoming facelift with a new nose and updated mechanics, but holds on to its #6 position. The Audi A7 leapfrogs the Mercedes-Benz CLS, which is down by a third but stays ahead of the BMW 6-series. The Maserati Ghibli is stable.
Also check out the premium large car segment in the US, where the Lexus ES is still the commanding leader and the Hyundai Genesis is in a surprising third place ahead of the E-Class. Unheard of in Europe!
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