E-segment

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E-segment (or executive cars) is defined by European Commission[1] as the fifth segment in European market car classification. It approximately corresponds to Full-size car and Mid-size luxury car segment in North America, or Executive car in British English terminology.

These cars are usually denoted for their length (equal to or above 5,000 mm) and luxury interior styling. Body types are very diverse in this segment, this includes sedans, wagons and hatchbacks. Being large, they are also often used as taxis in certain countries.

Several carmakers, especially mainstream manufacturers whose best selling models have traditionally been superminis and smaller family cars, have withdrawn from the E-segment since the 1990s. The first notable example was Ford, who discontinued the Scorpio in 1998 without launching a direct replacement, although this decision came around the same time that Ford purchased Volvo, who had been long established in this sector, and at the time Ford also owned Jaguar. The decision to axe the Scorpio without a successor came due to falling sales as well as the rising popularity of MPVs, SUVs and well-equipped large family cars. The earlier Granada, on the other hand, had been a strong seller for Ford, regularly featuring among the top 10 selling cars in Britain during the 1970s and early 1980s.

General Motors axed its Omega (badged as a Vauxhall in the British market) in 2003 without replacing it. The original Omega had been European Car of the Year for 1987. However, in 2007, Vauxhall started selling in the United Kingdom the VXR8, which fills spiritually the void of the Monaro VXR and of the Omega, the former in performance and the latter in the segment.

Škoda Superb in its first and second generation took advantage from the lengthened wheelbase of Volkswagen Passat, the same way as the Audi A6 still uses, with next other features which were not possible in the original Passat to order/configure. Unfortunatelly, the third generation lost those advantages of extra features and now it is just regular Large family car with only partially longer wheelbase in comparison to original Volkswagen Passat.

Rover, when still under the ownership of BMW in the late 1990s, replaced its 800 Series and 600 Series saloons with the Rover 75, which was designed to compete at the upper end of the D-segment. Peugeot took a similar step in 2010 when replacing the 407 and long-running but unpopular 607 with a single model, the 508.

Renault discontinued the unsuccessful flagship Vel Satis in 2009 without replacing it in Europe, its chances of sales success probably not being helped by its unconventional styling, as well as the lack of a premium badge.

European market[edit]

The current E-segment offering in Europe is limited to only 15 models. The segment has a 2.8% market share in Europe, with models like the BMW 5-series, Mercedes E-Class, and Audi A6 accounting for the bulk of sales in the segment.

The Volvo S80 and Jaguar XF also sell appreciably.

The Citroen C6 has not been a great seller for PSA Group, while Tesla successfully launched their Tesla Model S electric car.

FCA Group has attempted to re-badge the Chrysler 300 as the Lancia Thema in Europe, with limited success. This was different for the luxury brand Maserati, which re-entered the segment with the new Maserati Ghibli, best performer in 2014.

Current E-segment cars[edit]

Station wagons[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "REGULATION (EEC) No 4064/89 - MERGER PROCEDURE" (PDF). Office for Official Publications of the European Communities L-2985 Luxembourg.