US car sales analysis 2019 Q2 – Premium Mid-sized segment

Segment ekes out meager growth due almost entirely to the sales success of the Tesla Model 3

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Sales in the US Premium Mid-sized segment rose by 4.3% to 230,168 in the first half of 2019, a considerably lower growth rate than the 18.3% the segment registered in 2018. What’s more, much like in 2018, this growth rate was pretty much single-handedly driven by the new Tesla Model 3, with the vast majority of other models experiencing (often severe) sales declines. On this form it is far from clear whether the EV sales hit will single-handedly be able to prevent the segment from sliding into decline in 2019.

Note: different models from the same carmaker are combined for ease of comparison, but are also presented as “breakdown” for comparison; “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison; 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 new Tesla Model 3 became the undisputed segment champion in 2019, selling more than two times as many units as the second model in the segment
  • Speaking of, the second-placed Mercedes-Benz C-class, and the third-placed BMW 3-Series both experienced relatively modest sales decline so far in 2019; in the case of the BMW, it’s a matter of averaging a 40% sales decline in the first quarter and a 23% sales increase courtesy of the new model going on sale in the second quarter
  • Further down the outlook was much gloomier, with a whole slew of models that lost more than 20% of sales, culminating in the pre-facelift Audi A4 losing a third of its sales, and Infiniti Q60 seeing its sales fall by almost half
  • Among the sales losers, the “least bad” models were the Lincoln MKZ (sales down 7%) and Jaguar XE (sales down 10%)
  • Two existing models registered positive growth: the new Volvo 60 series saw its sales rise by almost 40%, while the aging Lexus RC bounced back from the bottom to see its sales rise by 21%
  • The new Genesis G70 did well to sell almost 1,000 units per month, putting the model just behind its (larger and cheaper) Kia Stinger cousin

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