European sales 2016 Q1 Premium Midsized segment

Midsized_Premium_car-segment-European-sales-2016_Q1-Mercedes_Benz_C_Class-BMW_3_series-Audi_A4The premium midsized car segment continues to grow steadily in Q1 of 2016, but slower than the overall market, at +3%. That’s a big difference with the US, where the segment has shrunk a worrying 20% this quarter. The ranking is pretty stable, with no changes in the top-4, even though last year’s leader, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the biggest loser of the top-8, at -10%. Even the relatively old BMW 3-series manages to grow sales, while the freshly renewed Audi A4 is the biggest gainer of the top players at +12%, which should increase further as the year progresses, and I see the A4 threatening the C-Class for segment leadership by the end of the year. The only two times the nameplate has led the segment this millennium were 2005 and 2008, but this year and next are the only shot it has, as BMW is expected to launch the new generation 3-series at the end of 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

Jaguar_XE-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeThe BMW 4-series coupe, convertible and gran coupe lose 5% but stay well ahead of the Audi A5, which is due to be replaced by the new generation, getting a similar treatment as the A4, meaning a few sharper lines but nothing earthshaking in the exterior design. Despite its imminent replacement, the A5 remains impressively stable, like the A4 did last year as well. This helps it grab the #5 spot from the Volvo S60/V60, down 8%. In 7th place we welcome a newcomer, the Jaguar XE, which is the same position it held in 2015, and the gap to the Volvo is too large to expect the Jag to enter the top-6 anytime soon. Maybe if the British brand would consider making a station wagon, as the XE sedan does outsell the Volvo S60 by a better than 3-to-1 ratio. The DS5 recovers with sales up 14% after its facelift, moving past the Volkswagen CC, which doesn’t seem to have a future within the VW brand. At the bottom of the ranking we see the Lexus RC starting to gain traction after the mainstream models became available, as the Japanese coupe started sales with the top-of-the-line RC F version. Later this year, we can finally welcome the eagerly awaited Alfa Romeo Giulia to the segment, but don’t expect that to shake up the entire segment.

Also check out the premium midsized car segment in the US, which is in a big recession with sales down 20% and where the Infiniti Q50 is a top-3 player.

Premium midsized car segment 2016 Q1 2015 Q1 Change
1 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 42.103 46.716 -10%
2 BMW 3-series 38.301 37.635 2%
3 Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 36.578 32.538 12%
4 BMW 4-series 17.684 18.543 -5%
5 Audi A5 / S5 / RS5 12.682 12.338 3%
6 Volvo S60/V60 12.412 13.432 -8%
7 Jaguar XE 8.184 4 New
8 DS5 3.062 2.675 14%
9 Volkswagen CC 1.776 3.317 -46%
10 Lexus IS 1.762 2.029 -13%
11 Infiniti Q50 611 595 3%
12 Lexus RC 504 172 193%
Segment total 175.659 169.994 3%