Sales of premium large cars in Europe are back in positive territory and even outgrowing the overall market at +11% to 106.600 units, after a 13% loss in Q4 of 2016. And individual models within this segment have very different fortunes, with all nameplates either growing or declining with double digits. The 2016 segment leader Mercedes-Benz E-Class extends its lead to almost 10.000 units thanks to sales up 48% over the all-new BMW 5-series, up 11% as deliveries of the new generation still need to gain traction. That leaves the leader of Q1 2016 in third place, as the Audi A6 loses 13% of its volume of the same period last year. Keep in mind, the E-Class includes coupe and convertible versions, which the other two models don’t have, and these two-door versions have just been launched so could be responsible for most of the growth, together with the still very fresh station wagon.
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
Volvo has had a successful launch of the new S90 and V90 with sales up 12% on the volume of their predecessors in the same period last year and closer than ever to the top-3. Volvo clearly is on the right track with its design and model policy and is positioning itself to try and break the German domination in the luxury segments. The Jaguar XF is also up 12% in contrast to the US where its second generation just has been unable to catch on. The Tesla Model S consolidates its 6th place with a gain of 26%, distancing the second group of Germans, the more sporty models of the Big 3, which are all down hard. The Mercedes-Benz CLS the least of the three, but the Audi A7 and BMW 6-series decline more than 20%. Even worse hit is the Maserati Ghibli at -31%, as the Levante SUV is stealing all the thunder in the Italian brand’s showrooms.
Later this year Jaguar will already update the XF again after criticism of its interior quality, and it will combine this with the introduction of the second generation XF Sportbrake. BMW will rename the next generation 5-Series Gran Turismo to 6-Series Gran Turismo, but there’s not a lot of other news to be expected.
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