Small And Midsize Luxury Car Sales In America – December 2015 And 2015 Year End


2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan brown

There are, in most cases, two reasons U.S. sales of many high-profile luxury cars posted severe year-over-year sales declines in calendar year 2015.

Consider the Mercedes-Benz E-Class as a prime example. U.S. sales of the E-Class tumbled by a quarter in 2015, falling by nearly 17,000 units to a sub-50K total since 2009, when U.S. auto sales were falling fast in the midst of a recession. 

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model – 2015 Year End
U.S. Car Sales Rankings By Model – 2015 Year End

Reason #1 for the decline: the current E-Class has aged; consumers typically turn in large numbers to more recently redesigned models than to older models. 

Reason #2: Legions of potential E-Class buyers aren’t potential E-Class buyers after all. At Mercedes-Benz, as the M-Class transitioned into the GLE-Class, combined sales of this alleged E-Class “equivalent” jumped 14% to 53,213 units in 2015. Not since 2008 has the M-Class even come close – and it didn’t, not quite – to catching the E-Class. But the tide has turned.

Why do we pay such attention to the E-Class? It’s a hugely popular luxury car, even now; Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed a new E-Class; and the E-Class is emblematic of a trend across the sector.

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USA luxury car sales chart 2015 calendar year
Click Chart To Expand

There were dramatic exceptions to the trend in 2015, of course. At the lower end, the Audi A3 is more popular than ever. Mercedes-Benz’s own new C-Class surged in 2015. Lower-volume nameplates like the Infiniti Q70, Lexus GS, and Volvo S80 managed measurable increases in 2015, as well.

But the E-Class, like America’s top-selling premium brand car from BMW, the 3-Series, is simply not selling nearly as well now as it once did. In the case of the E-Class, an all-new model may not change that fact in a market that’s increasingly less interested in conventional sedans.

You can click any model name in the tables below to find historical monthly and yearly U.S. auto sales data. You can also select a make and model at GCBC’s Sales Stats page. These tables are now sortable, so you can rank luxury brand cars any which way you like. Suggestions on how GCBC should break down segments can be passed on through the Contact page.

Click Column Headers To Sort • December 2016 • January 2016 • November 2015December 2014

Small/Entry 
Luxury Car
December
2015
December
2014
%
Change
2015
2014
%
Change
1960
1730 13.3% 18,531 17,854 3.8%
3508
3834 -8.5% 47,080 19,127 146%
17 -100% 35 6287 -99.4%
3252
2690 20.9% 35,984 22,250 61.7%
3426
3599 -4.8% 31,831 38,679 -17.7%
1000
1292 -22.6% 12,934 16,620 -22.2%
2143
724 196% 13,020 7345 77.3%
5262
13,339 -60.6% 94,527 100,970 -6.2%
5601
5859 -4.4% 46,082 41,442 11.2%
1422
1013 40.4% 11,024 6092 81.0%
3451
2465 40.0% 26,873 29,890 -10.1%
31
1184 -97.4% 8605 15,590 -44.8%
4678
3855 21.3% 43,874 36,899 18.9%
290
658 -55.9% 3949 7740 -49.0%
1464
1608 -9.0% 14,657 17,673 -17.1%
5028
5939 -15.3% 46,430 51,358 -9.6%
1711
1042 64.2% 14,784 1922 669%
97
326 -70.2% 1906 776 146%
7023
8224 -14.6% 86,080 75,065 14.7%
1912
2664 -28.2% 29,643 27,365 8.3%
66 -100%
1486
1866 -20.4% 16,706 20,457 -18.3%
104
287
296
357 -17.1% 4362 4990 -12.6%
202
2769
Total
55,347
64,285 -13.9% 611,973 566,457 8.0%

Midsize Luxury Car
December
2015
December
2014
%
Change
2015
2014
%
Change
159
233 -31.8% 2195 3413 -35.7%
76 -100% 88 10,616 -99.2%
2456
2945 -16.6% 22,850 23,941 -4.6%
841
524 60.5% 7721 8133 -5.1%
2985
5517 -45.9% 44,162 52,704 -16.2%
2441
2652 -8.0% 19,485 31,115 -37.4%
3070
2276 34.9% 23,112 24,335 -5.0%
201
343 -41.4% 2332 3415 -31.7%
786
656 19.8% 8449 5034 67.8%
559
772 -27.6% 5933 5880 0.9%
162
93 74.2% 2524 1330 89.8%
7856
7782 1.0% 64,969 72,508 -10.4%
3423
2745 24.7% 23,117 22,198 4.1%
471
927 -49.2% 6877 8160 -15.7%
3207
2636 21.7% 30,901 34,009 -9.1%
581
575 1.0% 6152 6981 -11.9%
4999
5119 -2.3% 49,736 66,401 -25.1%
1 -100% 4 8 -50.0%
176
79 123% 1887 1753 7.6%
432
470 -8.1% 5118 5093 0.5%
Total
34,805
36,421 -4.4% 327,612 387,027 -15.3%

Source: Automakers & ANDC
* vehicle also displayed in another GCBC segment breakdown
^ BMW USA, previously combined sales figures of the 3-Series and 4-Series but recently began splitting the pair. 2-Series figures continue to take old 1-Series sales into account.
^ A4 includes Allroad, without which A4 sales were down 1% to 3172 in December; down 15% to 29,013 in 2015.
GCBC isn’t here to break down segments, an impossible task for any group, but to display sales data for the sake of comparison. The more ways sales data can be displayed, the better. This explains why you’ll see the Acura ILX here but also with mainstream cars like the Buick Verano, too, and the Audi A5 is also displayed with coupes and convertibles… because readers have wanted it both ways. Hyundai USA, not GoodCarBadCar, chooses to combine sales figures for the Genesis sedan and Genesis Coupe, forcing us to include the Genesis with volume-brand cars on pricing grounds before we even get to the “brand status” issue. The K900, Equus, and XTS are here not because of their size but because of their price points, their lack of direct comparability with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. You can always find the sales results for EVERY vehicle and form your own competitive sets by using the All Vehicle Rankings posts.

RECOMMENDED READING
Small & Midsize Luxury Car Sales In America – December & 2016 Year End
Small & Midsize Luxury Car Sales In America – January 2016
Small & Midsize Luxury Car Sales In America – November 2015 YTD
Small & Midsize Luxury Car Sales In America – December 2014 & Year End
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America – December 2015
U.S. Auto Sales Brand Rankings – December 2015 & Year End
Large Luxury Car Sales In America – December 2015 & Year End