Sales of large luxury saloons are still growing despite the impending arrival of a number of prestigious SUVs, which threaten to steal market share from their more conventional counterparts.
In the first half of 2017, luxury saloon sales grew year on year by 13% worldwide to almost 166,000 units, according to automotive market analyst Jato. That’s only a small part of global car sales, of course, but luxury saloons represent important profit drivers for car makers.
The current Jaguar XJ is in ninth place in the segment, selling 5200 units in the first six months, up 1.4%, but far from the top three: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, (37,500 units sold), BMW 7 Series (29,400) and Cadillac XTS (28,200).
China is the largest market for luxury saloons, with 71,300 sold, an increase of 58% over the first six months of 2016. Given China’s strict emissions laws, Jaguar’s choice to go electric should help its sales in this region. The US is the second biggest market, with 42,600 cars sold, and third is South Korea, with 13,800 units.
Despite the steady growth of luxury saloons, a host of lavish SUVs pose a threat. The Bentley Bentayga, Maserati Levante and new Porsche Cayenne are already here, and models such as the BMW X7, Audi Q8, Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan will add to the competition. With non-premium saloons losing out to SUVs, it’s likely the luxury segment will follow suit.