The upper class segment is the second-best performing class in the US in 2021, with sales up 26% in an overall market up 3%. This is a result of very strong second half of the year in which upper class sales were up 63% and 38% in Q3 and Q4 respectively, as automakers prioritized production of high-margin products in supply constrained circumstances. Upper class sedans and coupes now make up 0.3% of the US passenger car market, up from 0.2% in 2020.
Another reason for the strong performance of the class is the introduction of new and updated models. The traditional leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class is up 66% thanks to the new generation and improves its share of the class to 31.6%. This is the first time the S-Class has a share of the segment above 30%. Another great performance comes from the Porsche Taycan EV, more than doubling the deliveries from its first full year of sales and jumping into 2nd place with a share of the class of 20.8%. That puts the Taycan not only at more than double the volume of its traditionally powered sibling Porsche Panamera, but also ahead of the BMW 7-Series. Both of the latter beat the overall market but lose share in the upper class segment. The Lexus LS is up just 3% after it lost 68% of its volume in Q4 when it was outsold by all but one of the remaining players in this class. Only the Audi A8 had a slower fourth quarter with just 307 deliveries. The Genesis G90 is down 12% for the year, but finished on a high note with sales up 8% in Q4. The Taycan’s platform sibling Audi e-Tron GT was the #5 seller in the last quarter, indicating it’s a force to be reckoned with in 2022. And finally the Mercedes-Benz EQS has arrived, landing at #7 in Q4. It will be very interesting to see how the S-Class will hold up against its EV rival in the coming years.
The Cadillac CT6, Kia K900 and Jaguar XJ have reached the end of their life cycles.
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