Sales in the limousine segment in Europe improved sharply in the second half of 2017 to pull the full-year figure up 13% after a 5% gain in the first half. Nearly 46.000 limousines were sold last year, 0,3% of the total European car market. Despite this impressive gain, only 2 models in the segment top-5 improve on last year, as the segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class is stable with a 200-unit loss thanks to a 30% gain in the fourth quarter when the facelifted version became fully available. The S-Class lost 4,6 percentage points of share in 2017, but that’s still much better than its closest rival BMW 7-series which was only in its second full year of sales but already lost 13% of its volume and 7,6 percentage points of share as the new generation’s design apparently doesn’t have a long shelf life. On the other hand, this is the third-best year for the model since 2006, and don’t forget the S-Class also includes sales of the coupe and convertible versions. Big winner of the segment is the Porsche Panamera with sales up more than threefold thanks to the new generation. The Panamera outsold the 7-Series in both the third and fourth quarters, helped by the S e-Hybrid version, but was unable to topple the BMW for 2nd place in the segment. The Sport Turismo version should help the Porsche move ahead of its rival in 2018, but it remains to be seen if that’s also enough to grab the #2 spot then, as the new generation Audi A8 is also in showrooms and looking to move up a few notches.
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 A8 already doubled its Q4 sales and already took the segment #2 spot in November. Its full-year figure was up 10% but was still far behind the top-3 which held over 80% of the segment. The Jaguar XJ is starting to age and it shows with a 19% for the year and a 43% loss in Q4, the latter similar to the Bentley Flying Spur, although that model still finished the year in the black, moving past the Maserati Quattroporte. The Italian limo lost 18% for the full year after a 24% gain in the last quarter. The Bentley Mulsanne uberlimo also lost 18% of its volume while the Rolls Royce Ghost lost 8%. The Aston Martin Rapide made a small comeback with sales up 15% to move back ahead of the Rolls Royce Phantom which will be replaced in 2018.
The only other news for 2018 will be the radically new Lexus LS, of which we have no exact sales figures, but which should be around the same figure as the Phantom in 2017.
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