ACCORDING to any industry talking head the SUV is killing the sedan and particularly in premium circles.
But just like how Miley Cyrus thundered down from the ceiling, the new BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class have come in like wrecking balls, while this month the new Porsche Panamera has clasped on for some carnage, too.
Four-door rivals have been left in sales smithereens, with June year-to-date drops for the Infiniti Q70 (by 62.1 per cent), Jaguar XF (51.9 per cent) and Audi A6 (27.1 per cent); and in the Panamera class the Audi A8 (by 64.7 per cent), Jaguar XJ (57.7 per cent), Maserati Quattroporte (55.0 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz S-Class (47.7 per cent) have sunk.
Combined, the heavily marketed 5 Series and E-Class have nabbed 1902 sales within a $70,000-plus large car segment tallying 2645 sales over the first half of 2017.
In the $100,000-plus upper large car class, Panamera sales have near-doubled – from 36 in mid-2016 to 65 by mid-this year – while now hounding the quickly declining BMW 7 Series (97 sales) and S-Class (80 units).
Not coincidentally, however, every sedan-losing brand has found desperate salvation in the burgeoning premium SUV segment.
Jaguar is focusing on its F-Pace, which nabbed 783 sales in the first half of this year; while XE, XF, XJ and F-Type managed 684 units between them.
Maserati has found 257 homes for its new Levante between January and June; while Ghibli (down 41.2 per cent), GranTurismo/GranCabrio (falling 45.7 per cent) and Quattroporte delivered only 160 combined sales.
So, do brands with fancy new SUV models care if the sedan is dead? At least for some German marques it’s a case of long live the sedan.