After two years of growth, sales of limousines in Europe are back down again, by 6% to nearly 43.500 sales, or 0,3% of the overall market. The dominant segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class rebounds after three straight years of lost share to return to above 33% share with over 14.000 sales. This is still a long way from the nearly 43% share the model held in 2014 and 2015 but nonetheless a strong performance between rivals that are newer and fresher in a segment where innovation and product excellence are key. The recent updates of the S-Class have helped as the interior is now up-to-date again, but the changes in exterior design have been limited to prevent owners of the pre-facelift version from feeling like they’re being driven in an “ old” car. One sidenote we always need to make here is that S-Class sales include the Coupe and Convertible versions, which the others don’t offer for their limousines.
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 a loss of 17% the BMW 7-series is the biggest loser of the top-4 players and barely holds on to its #2 spot as it will be updated in 2019. The Porsche Panamera closed the gap to the 7-Series to fewer than 100 sales, helped by the new Gran Turismo version, although overall sales of the Panamera dropped by 10%. The new, third generation Audi A8 seems to have already peaked at below 6.000 sales as it is already down by 2% in 2018.
The new generation Lexus LS sees its sales up by more than sixfold to the highest annual figure since 2008 but remains a niche player at just 1,5% share of the segment. At least the LS now outsells the Maserati Quattroporte and Bentley Flying Spur, the latter of which sees its sales almost halve on the year before.
Besides the aforementioned update of the 7-Series, Audi will launch the S8 version of their latest generation A8 and Jaguar will present the new XJ which will become the first all-electric limousine. Market launch may not be until 2020, though.
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