US car sales analysis Q1 2018 – Limousine segment

Porsche Panamera and Lexus LS sales soar, but Mercedes-Benz S-class remains the king of the hill

US limousine segment

Sales in the US Premium Limousine segment rose by 15.0% to 14,793 in the first quarter of 2018, a strong recovery after sales fell by 8.2% in 2017. With many new models still building sales (BMW 7-seriesCadillac CT6Genesis G90, Porsche Panamera), the new Lexus LS already on sale and the new Audi A8 about to hit the market, it will be interesting whether the segment can mount a bit of a climb-back in 2018.


  • The facelifted Mercedes-Benz S-class has reasserted its dominance of the segment, opening a sizable gap to the pursuing pack
  • Cadillac CT6 emerged as the closest competitor to the S-class, staying ahead of the soaring Porsche Panamera (sales up more than threefold) and the BMW 7-series, which in only its second year on the market is already showing signs of exhaustion

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

  • Rather, it’s the new, sporty Lexus LS that may be the model to watch out for – the quarterly figures are misleading because the model only went on sale in the middle of February, and the LS actually outsold all but the S-class in March
  • The rest of the models in the segment experienced mild declines, with the exception of the about-to-be-replaced Audi A8, whose sales shrunk by half compared to Q1’18

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts earlier – access previous years using slider on bottom