US car sales analysis Q4 2017 – Premium Mid-sized segment

Segment declines slowly as Audi A5, Infiniti Q60 and Alfa Romeo Giulia shine

US-sales-premium_midsized_car-segmentSales in the US premium mid-sized segment fell by 7.9% to 116,607 in the fourth quarter of 2017, combining with the double-digit sales decline from Q3’17 to drag total sales in 2017 down by 3.1% to 446,534. Still, this made it the best (OK, least bad) performing from among non-SUV premium segments, thanks in large part to new metal hitting the market (Audi A5, Infiniti Q60Alfa Romeo Giulia) and other, still fresh models seeing strong sales growth (Audi A4Jaguar XE). With the new BMW 3-Series around the corner, and a new Lexus IS and Volvo S60 not far off, the prospects are pretty good for this segment, despite the onslaught from premium SUVs.


  • BMW remains the clear segment leader when looking at combined sales of the 3-Series and 4-series, despite the 3-series’ 16% decline in sales driving the duo to combined 7% decline in sales compared despite the 4-series seeing sales rise by 11%
  • Mercedes-Benz C-class remains in second place, well adrift of the BMW, but also well clear of the chasing pack, as it kept it sales stable between 2016 and 2017
  • For the first time in many years Audi finishes on the podium, with the A4/A5 duo grabbing third off the Infiniti Q50/Q60 duo, with both the A5 and Q60 enjoying growth of over 150%, and the A5 homing in on the Lexus IS in the standings

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

  • With the Infiniti cars some way ahead the facelifted Acura TLX beat out the Lexus IS/RC duo for second spot among the Japanese premium brands, with Lexus clearly struggling for market relevance after losing 30% of sales
  • The seventh-placed Lincoln MKZ lost 10% of sales despite a facelift, though that is nothing compared to the Cadillac ATS, which lost almost 40% of sales since last year and fell behind even the soon-to-be-replaced Volvo 60-series
  • In fact, the Cadillac may yet end up being outsold in 2018 by the two other recent entrants into the segment, Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia, with the Brit just about staying ahead of the Italian in the standings due to the latter’s slow start in Q1’17 (the Giulia outsold the XE in each subsequent quarter)

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