Fleet News

Premium sales are suffering

THE lower-medium segment of the new car market is continuing to perform well across Europe – with latest analysis showing the segment is up 2.5% year-to-date. Its popularity is at the expense of the MPV segment, according to research produced by automotive business information company, Jato.

A spokesman said: ‘Astra and Focus continued to drive growth at the volume end of the segment, while the now-established 1-series and Audi A3 (up 25.1%) contributed to a 41.6% increase in volume for premium models.’

In its analysis of May’s market, Jato say SUVs were the second-fastest growing segment for the month, with sales rising 11.5% and the segments share of the total year-to-date marketing increasing slightly to 6.4%.

The Toyota RAV 4 headed the sector, followed by BMW’s X3 (up 115% year-to-date) and Hyundai’s new Tucson.

Sales of upper-medium cars decreased year-to-date but were up for the month of May, when compared to the same month the previous year.

The spokesman added: ‘Volume model sales rose 5.6% in May and 1.7% year-to-date but premium models were down 2.6% and 12% respectively. Volkswagen’s new Passat (up 11.8%) reclaimed the top spot at the volume end, leading the Peugeot 407. BMW 3-series (up 3.2%) was the premium top-seller, ahead of Audi A4 (up12%), Mercedes-Benz C-class and Saab 9-3.’

On brand performance, the company says: ‘BMW displaced Audi in the list of the top 10 brands in May, posting a 26.4% increase in registrations sales helped by strong demand for the 1-series and the new 3-series. Renault retained its place at the top of the table although with reduced margin, while Opel/Vauxhall came within a few hundred units of overhauling Volkswagen. ‘Outside the top 10, Kia (up 65.4%), Lancia (up 24.4%) and MINI (up 20.2%) all enjoyed good results

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