Sales of limousines in Europe stabilized in the second quarter of 2019, after declining in 2018 and Q1. In Q2 sales were stable at just above 12.000 units, bringing the first half figure to just under 22.700 sales, down 9% on last year. We have one newcomer and just two nameplates at the bottom of the top-10 that improve their sales year-over-year, with the rest all in red, of which all but one with double digits. The dominant segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class loses a significant chunk of its share of the segment with a decline of 32% in the second quarter, bringing the year-to-date number to a loss of a quarter of its sales, with a 5,8 percentage points loss of share to 26,8% of the segment. In the second quarter, the top-3 was upside down from the first half ranking, with the Porsche Panamera as the top seller with sales stable on last year, after a 50% loss in Q1, bringing the year-to-date figure to -26%. The BMW 7-series also outsold the S-Class in Q2 as it reduces its loss of the first quarter with an 8,5% improvement in Q2 thanks to the facelift. Keep in mind that S-Class sales include the Coupe and Convertible versions, which BMW splits out under the name 8-Series and most other brands don’t offer in this segment.
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 launch of the BMW 8-series helps the brand to outsell Mercedes-Benz in this class for the first time since 2012. The 8-Series by itself already outsells the Audi A8, knocking that model down from 3rd place in Q1 to 5th place after the first half. Behind this all-German top-5 controling 95,9% of the segment, there’s a wide gap to the rest of the segment, with the Jaguar XJ as best of the rest, even though production for this model has already ended in preparation for an all-electric next generation due in 2020. The Lexus LS is the big loser of the segment with sales down by two thirds in the first half, while being outsold in Q2 by the Maserati Quattroporte. The Bentley Mulsanne and Aston Martin Rapide improve their sales on last year, even though they remain niche players at fewer than 100 sales in the first half of 2019. Outside the top-10, the Rolls Royce Ghost is in the last phase of the current generation’s lifecycle while the top-of-the-line Phantom is down 68% as it was brand new last year. The new generation Bentley Flying Spur has just launched and should help the nameplate recover in the second half of the year.
In product news, Bentley will renew the Flying Spur as mentioned above, and BMW will launch a Gran Coupe version of the 8-Series.
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