Europe's premium automakers are diversifying drivetrain and body style choices within their core midsize segment models in a bid to keep customers engaged when sales are stagnating.
The midsize premium sector remains crucial to the dominant German brands of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. But last year's sales of just under 600,000 in Europe aren't expected to increase much in the next six years as the squeeze from SUVs continues, according to the analyst firm LMC Automotive.
Only the new BMW 3 series, due to be shown this year, is expected to move the needle in 2019. But the increase that brings will be offset by the sales decline of the Audi A4 and Mercedes C class, said David Oakley, LMC's analyst for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.