The German luxury leaders were all down, but these three challengers were up and about.
Three smaller challengers to the perennial German luxury leaders all grew in a cooling luxury market in August, with Alfa Romeo, Infiniti and Volvo all posting meaningful increases over their 2017 results.
We’ll start with Volvo, which shifted 689 cars and held a 0.7 per cent market share, for 83.7 per cent growth over the same month last year. The XC40 was its best-seller with 266 registrations, followed by the XC60 (252) and XC90 (108).
The first of those was just three units off the segment-leading Mercedes-Benz GLA and owned 20.8 per cent of its segment, while the second trailed the third-placed Lexus NX by just 11 units. Neither car is in run out, and no crazy deals have been announced.
The XC90 (108) has its work cut out taking on the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, but it was just five sales behind the Audi Q7. In defence of the Audi, almost twice as many Q7s have found a home year-to-date. We digress.
Over at Alfa Romeo, it’s not the Stelvio driving sales but the Giulia sedan. Although the Giulietta hatch is down, the Giulia was marginally up on 2017 for August, and is 6.4 per cent better off year-to-date. The mid-sized Stelvio SUV (above) isn’t setting the world on fire with 40 units for the month – BMW moved 387 X3s, and Mercedes 557 GLC ‘wagons’ – but it’s a start.
Much like Alfa Romeo, the growth at Infiniti has come on the back of unfashionable mid-sized sedans. Having sold just 10 Q50s in August 2017, the company shifted 59 last month, on the back of a revised model line-up and sharper pricing. For reference, just 25 were sold in June and July combined.
Whether that number is sustainable remains to be seen, and the wider Infiniti range isn’t flying in the same way: the Q30 and QX30, Q60, QX70 and QX80 all fell by one or two sales compared to 2017.
Speaking with CarAdvice in July, Guy Street, Infiniti managing director, said he’s content with “steady growth and progression” for the brand.
“For us, we’re not trying to be all things to all people, we just want to be all things to some people,” he said.
“We have a real focus at the moment on working with the dealers that we have, to get them into a position where we can support them as much as possible – to help them sell just a little bit more as we go forward.”