Sales in the limousine segment in Europe are up 7% in the first three quarters of 2016, slightly slower than the overall market at +7,5%. In the first half, the segment had outgrown the market, but growth has slowed in Q3. Unsurprisingly, the German luxury brands control more than 90% of this segment, of course helped by their home country, which is the largest market for these vehicles in Europe. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class sees its share of the segment diminish from 44,7% in the first nine months of 2015 to 38,4% in the same period this year, keeping it ahead of the all-new BMW 7-Series. But there’s a catch: S-Class sales include those of the coupe and convertible models, which means that in pure sedan sales, the 7-Series may actually have reclaimed the lead of the segment. The Audi A8 is a distant third, unable to keep up with the brand power of the S-Class (“the best or nothing”), nor the freshness of the 7.
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
With the new generation Porsche Panamera still starting to reach full availability, the nameplate is down 50% on last year and managed just 500 sales in Q3. Next year the Panamera should be able to compete for the segment podium again, as it last did in 2014. The Jaguar XJ is up 11% for the year, but down 17% in Q3, while the Maserati Quattroporte is down 14% year-to-date. Bentley has had an excellent Q3 with its two models: the Flying Spur was up 31% (+3% YTD) and the ultra-luxury Mulsanne was up 28,3% (or +15 units) and is now up 12% for the year. That puts the latter in front of the VW Phaeton, of which production has ended and only 7 units were sold in Q3. The Rolls Royce Ghost is cannibalized by the Wraith coupe and Dawn convertible, while its larger sibling Phantom is surprisingly stable for a model that’s about to be replaced.
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