Car Segments Demystified | learning
Car segments are integral to the Industry. Without this, it is rather difficult to imagine what the scene would be. If you spend time reading car stuff, you certainly have come across terms like A-segment or B-segment or C-segment and so on. The car industry, for the sake of better understanding of competition and its own product offerings, has identified and categorized cars into different segments. Government regulation, safety regulation, car-related taxation systems around the world are some other reasons that demand car segments to be defined.
The Americans, as usual, have their own version and prefer to use definitive terms like micro car, compact car, mid size luxury car and so on. On the other hand, the Europeans prefer to denote segments by alphabets. Hence A, B, C, D segments and so on.
Now here’s insider information. In the past 12 years or so that I have been writing about cars, more often than not, one comes across a member of the fraternity – car journo or someone from the advertising or PR agency that works on a car account, in rare cases, even someone working with an automotive brand, who has little or absolutely no idea of what the car segments are about. The only exposure to these terms is through a presentation that has been well rehearsed and therefore there is a familiarization to the segment in reference. Talk to them about any other segment and the facial expressions change.
That brings me to a question, if this is the case with people in the know, then what be it for the consumer who is out there to buy a car? How much do they understand of the car segments canvas? Having said this, whether or not, or how much these industry segmentations reflect in consumers purchase decision is a completely different issue and I refuse to get dragged into that debate at this point in time.
Here is an attempt to demystify the world of car segments – we are no Gods and if you disagree with anything in the chart below – good, talk to us and we will present our case.
|Sub compact car||A-segment mini-cars||Ford Ka, VW Up|
|B-segment small cars||Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Kia Rio|
|Compact cars||C-segment medium cars||Ford Focus, VW Golf|
|Mid-size car||D-segment large cars||Ford Mondeo, Hyundai Sonata|
|Entry level luxury car||Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series|
|Full size car||E-segment executive cars||Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala|
|Mid-size luxury car||Lexus GS, BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF|
|Full size luxury car||F-segment luxury cars||Audi A8, Cadillac XTS, Lexus LS|
|Sports cars||S-segment sports coupes||Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911, Ferrari 458 Italia|
|Grand tourer||Jaguar XK, Maserati Gran Turismo|
|Super car||Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo|
|Convertible||BMW 6-Series, Mercedes CLK|
|Roadster||Audi TT, Mazda MX-5, Porsche Boxster|
|Mini SUV||J-segment sports utility cars||Suzuki Jimny, Jeep Wrangler|
|Compact SUV||Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape|
|Mid size SUV||VW Touareg, Chevrolet Tahoe, Jeep Grand Cherokee|
|Full size SUV||Toyota Land Cruiser, Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade,|
For the sake of simplicity, multi purpose vehicles and pick up trucks have been kept out of the chart above.
I hope this information will clear some clouds and come in handy.