Sales of premium large cars in Europe have rebounded in the first three months of 2014, up 8% after a similar decline over the full year 2013. The top six ranking is stable, although the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is now challenging the BMW 5-series for the lead. Thanks to a 25% increase of sales, the E-Class has slashed its lifelong competitor’s lead from 7.654 units during the same period last year to less than 1.900 units. In fact, the Benz even managed to outsell the 5-series in March.
Meanwhile, the gap to the Audi A6 in third position has grown to almost 6.000 sales, as the A6 saw sales slightly decline. The 2005 to 2007 segment leader is falling further behind its main rivals as the latest generation A6 doesn’t vibe with European consumers as the previous version did.
The Volvo V70 in fourth place rebounds from a decline in 2013 to a 20% sales increase, thanks to a minor update in the third quarter of 2013, of which also the aging S80 is taking profit. The Jaguar XF has also been updated last year, but is already down 4% again this year.
The all-electric Tesla Model S is responsible for almost half of the segment’s growth, and is amazingly selling an average of 1.000 units per month. It is the sales leader in Norway, not just of this segment, but overall, ahead of the Volkswagen Golf and Nissan Leaf, thanks to government stimulation of electric vehicles. The Model S is the best selling American car in this segment for decades.
Looking at the German Big 3’s four-door coupes, the Mercedes-Benz CLS manages to hold on to its lead over the Audi A7 and the BMW 6-series, despite showing the biggest decline of the three. The A7 and 6-series are very close to each other in sales, don’t forget the BMW’s sales include the 2-door and convertible versions as well, although these sell at just a fraction of the Gran Coupe.
The Maserati Ghibli continues to impress, already in the segment top 10, selling an average of more than 350 units a month, taking the brand into uncharted territory.
Tesla Model S
Lancia Thema/Chrysler 300C
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