Sales of limousines and upper class vehicles in Europe were down 13% to just over 9,000 units in the first quarter of 2020, half the decline of the overall market but their share is stable at 0.3% of the total European car market.
And the big news is a change at the top of the ranking, where the traditional leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class is toppled not by just one, but by two BMW’s. The S-Class sees its sales decline by 50% as an all-new generation is planned to arrive later this year. In contrast, the BMW 8-Series manages to add 55% to its sales thanks to the addition of the Gran Coupe four-door version, claiming the top spot of the class, followed by its sibling BMW 7-Series which is down 18%. As a result, BMW’s share of the segment jumps from 34.3% to a commanding 43.4% while Mercedes-Benz loses 13.2 percentage points of share. Behind the S-Class, newcomer Porsche Taycan lands in 4th place with 13.2% share, not a bad start for the all-electric sports sedan, which beats its stablemates Audi A8 (-32%) and Porsche Panamera (-43%). The Bentley Flying Spur has also been renewed and scores 109 deliveries compared to last year’s six, but its upper-upper class sibling Mulsanne is down 64% as it’s been revealed that it won’t be replaced after this generation. As a result, VW Group’s share of the upper class segment goes from 30.6% in Q1 of 2019 to 36.3%, second after BMW but way ahead of Daimler’s 18.2%.
Jaguar will replace the XJ with an all-electric version later this year, and the current version is in runout mode with sales cut in half. That’s still a better performance than the Maserati Quattroporte, down 54%, and the Lexus LS, down 72%. The Rolls Royce Ghost is down by 7 sales or almost a quarter, while the Phantom is down 2 sales or 13%. The Aston Martin Rapide also loses more than half of its already low sales tally.
Audi A8 / S8
Bentley Flying Spur
Rolls Royce Ghost
Aston Martin Rapide
Rolls Royce Phantom
Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
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