Car sales in the limousine segment in Europe are up a whopping 44% in the first quarter of 2014 after a 19% decline for the full year 2013. And although 7 out of 13 nameplates in the segment show an increase of sales, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class takes almost 85% of the segment growth just by itself, thanks to the new generation introduced last year.
The S-Class is the clear leader of the segment, selling more than double of the second placed Audi A8. The A8 has leapfrogged both the Porsche Panamera and the BMW 7-series as it was only in fourth position by the end of 2013. The update of the A8 has helped the model to a 21% increase of sales.
The Plug-in hybrid version of the Panamera is likely to have helped the Porsche increase its sales by 27% compared to the same period last year, helping it stay on the segment podium as 7-series sales are down 17%.
These German four scoop up almost 85% of the segment, leaving only a few crumbs for other brands. Best of the rest is still the Jaguar XJ, increasing its lead over the aging Volkswagen Phaeton. The Bentley Flying Spur rebounds thanks to its 2013 update, and the Maserati Quattroporte is taking full advantage of the model changeover and the addition of its first ever diesel engine.
The Lexus LS is already down an estimated 50% after tripling in 2013, enjoying a short-lived revival after its update. The Rolls Royce Ghost is likely suffering from cannibalization by its two-door sibling Wraith which is classified in the exotic car segment.
Bentley Flying Spur
Lexus LS (est.)
Rolls Royce Ghost
Aston Martin Rapide
Rolls Royce Phantom
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