US car sales analysis Q1 2018 – Premium Mid-sized segment

Segment bounces back, carried by strong performances of Tesla Model 3, Acura TLX and Audi A5


Sales in the US Premium Mid-sized segment rose by 6.1% to 105,382 in the first quarter of 2018, a recovery from the 3.1% sales decline the segment experienced in 2017. However, while new models like Kia Stinger and Audi A5 can still see decent sales growth, further growth in the segment may be limited as there is only one other major new

 model that is sure to come to market in 2018, the new Volvo S60, with the new BMW 3-Series more likely to enter sometime early in 2019.


  • Mercedes-Benz C-class experienced a collapse in sales of over a third, allowing the 3-Series to retake the model-for-model segment lead despite the BMW’s 7% sales decline, and allowing Infiniti Q50 (sales up 12%) to close within a few thousand units (it should be noted that the combined sales of BMW 3- and 4-series put it in undisputed first place)
  • The un-fancied Acura TLX did well to see its sales rise by 26%, allowing it to jump over Audi A4 and BMW 4-series, both of which lost sales
  • The new Tesla Model 3 is finally overcoming production woes, putting it fifth in the segment, a remarkable performance for an electric car

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

  • Other good performances in the segment include Audi A5, whose Sportback version is clearly stealing sales from the dowdier A4 sister, and the new Kia Stinger, which did well to outsell cars like the about-to-be-replaced Volvo 60 seriesAlfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE
  • By comparison, the market was less kind to the aforementioned Jaguar, as well as Lexus RC and Audi A4 Allroad, all of which lost half or more of their sales

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