US sales Q3 2017: Subcompact SUV segment

Honda HR-V outsells the Jeep Renegade for the first time in Q3’17

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After seeing its growth dip into the single digits in the second quarter of the year, the subcompact SUV segment rebounded in style in the third quarter – with sales 15% higher than in Q3’16 it was the second-fastest growing segment over the past quarter (second only to premium compact SUVs). With 12% growth YTD, highest among the non-premium SUV segments, the subcompact SUV segment registered 320,899 sales in the first three quarters, not far off the 376,213 registered in the subcompact segment, which suggests that the two could be neck-and-neck in 2018. With the new Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic coming to market soon, and the new Toyota C-HR still building up its sales, the segment’s healthy growth is likely to continue in the near future.

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Mitsubishi presents ambitious plan for growth, neglects Europe

Mitsubishi_Eclipse_CrossMitsubishi Motors has presented an ambitious growth plan for the next three years, called “Drive for Growth”. According to this plan, the brand will invest more than 600 billion Yen (€ 4,5 billion / US$ 5.3 billion), of which R&D spending will increase by 50% to € 1 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) to develop six all-new models (including the recently launched Eclipse Cross crossover for the US and Europe, and the Xpander MPV for Indonesia) and significantly update five existing models. As a result of this product offensive, worldwide sales should increase by 40% to 1,3 million units in 2020 and the company expects to return to profitability with a profit margin of 6% by the 2019 fiscal year. This is the first business plan by Mitsubishi since Nissan took a controlling 34% share in its struggling rival in 2016. According to Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko “this is an ambitious program to maximize our strengths in growing product segments, especially four-wheel drive, and to pursue growth in markets where our brand has strong potential, particularly the ASEAN region.”… Continue Reading …

US sales Q3 2017: Minivan segment

Toyota Sienna reclaims second spot as the segment’s double-digit sales decline continues

US-sales-minivan-segment-2016-Honda_Odyssey-Toyota_Sienna-Kia_Sedona-Nissan_Quest-Dodge_Grand_CaravanThe US Minivan segment continued its steady double-digit sales decline in the third quarter of 2017, losing 13% of sales in Q3 and ending the period on 382,294 sales YTD. Interestingly, that puts it ahead of the subcompact segment so far this year, and if it finishes ahead it’ll be the first time since 2010 that the minivan segment was ahead. Still, despite the momentum of the new Chrysler Pacifica, the segment is a long way from its hay day, when over 1 million cars were sold each year.

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US sales Q3 2017: Large segment

Decline in the large segment slows as segment leaders enjoy a good Q3
US large segmentSales in the large car segment in the US fell by 6% in the third quarter, to a total of 291,456 units so far this year. The segments performance in the third quarter was not as bad as in the first two quarters of the year, when sales fell by 18%, and in fact was the second-best (least bad?) performance from among the mainstream segments, just behind the 2% sales fall of the compact segment. However, the prospects for the segment are still grim, among rumors circulating that Ford may abandon the market altogether and not replace the Taurus.… Continue Reading …

US sales Q3 2017: Mid-sized segment

Every mid-sized model bar the Subaru Outback has lost sales in 2017 so far

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Sales of Mid-sized cars in the US fell by 10% in the third quarter of 2017: still in the double-digits, but less severe than the declines in the first and second quarters. This relative upturn is mostly due to the entry of the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord into the market – it helps because customers are excited about the new model, but primarily because dealers want to empty their forecourts from the old model, and are offering bigger-than-before discounts. Still, with recent new models underperforming relative to their previous generations (Chevy MalibuHyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima), it remains to be seen if the new, bolder Toyota and Honda have what it takes to lure customers back into a segment that has become very unsexy over the past few years.

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US sales Q3 2017: Compact segment

Compact segment continues its slow declineUS-sales-compact_car-segment-2016-Chevrolet_Cruze-Honda_Civic-Nissan_Sentra-Hyundai_Elantra-Mazda3

The compact segment continued its slow decline, with sales falling by 2% in the third quarter of 2017. So far this year sales have declined by 3.4% to 1,709,103, which may not be great, but it has allowed the segment to open a commanding lead of almost 200,000 units compared to the mid-sized segment, with which it was pretty much even this time last year. While there aren’t any new models that will hit the market in the next half a year, the segment may yet bounce up as the period after that promises a lot of new metal: Ford Focus and VW Jetta are about to be replaced, while a new Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla are likely to be not far behind. In the meantime, there is a lot of excitement about the alternative power cars of compact size, with the new electric Chevrolet Bolt and the PHEV Toyota Prius Prime in particular starting to make a meaningful dent in the sales figures.

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Polestar 1 revealed, but is enough to anchor the new brand? [w/ poll]

After one of those annoying slow-revealing image launch campaigns, today we saw the final reveal of the new Polestar 1, the first car from Volvo’s new brand dedicated to electric cars. However, despite its stunning looks and an exciting combination of existing technology and bespoke components, the model’s launch has me questioning whether the brand is off to the best possible start with the 1.

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US sales Q3 2017: Subcompact segment

All models in the Subcompact segment lose sales except for Toyota iA (néeScion)

Sales in the subcompact segment in the United States continued falling in the third quarter of 2017, dropping from just under half a million in 2016 to 376,213 in the first three quarters of 2017, which is less than the number of minivans sold over the same period. The decline has been pretty consistent so far this year, with the rate of decline ranging between 15% and 25% over the three quarters, and suggests customers are eschewing this segment in favor of subcompact SUVs. It will be interesting whether the new Ford FiestaHyundai Accent and Kia Rio will be able to turn this around once they hit the market, but given the disappointing performance of the new Honda Fit the signs are not very promising.

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US sales Q3 2017: Minicar segment

The collapse of the Minicar segment continues

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After briefly returning to growth in the first quarter of 2017, the minicar segment in the United States fell back into the red in the second quarter of this year, and firmly remained there in the third quarter, even if the 36% fall in sales in Q3 was slightly less bad than the 47% drop recorded in Q2. All in all, sales in the minicar segment were only 63,023 over the first three quarters of 2017, down from 90,095 in 2016, which is roughly how many Toyota RAV4s are sold in a month and a half!

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US sales: September 2017, models

After discussing the US auto brand sales ranking for September, let’s zoom in on the models ranking.

Top 10

Toyota RAV4

For the fifth time in the past nine months there’s no sedan in the Top 5, as behind the traditional three pick up trucks we find two crossovers. The Ford F-series improves more than 21% to top 80,000 sales for the second time this year, and for only the third September ever. It’s also the third-best month in the last decade for the pick up truck, after December 2016 and December 2015. The Chevy Silverado improves by a similar figure to its best September in a decade, while the Ram Pickup stays behind with a small loss. After two consecutive months of new volume records, the Toyota RAV4 takes a breather to make this month its second-best ever after August. It’s also the third straight month of 40,000+ sales for the nameplate, a figure it had never reached before. This keeps it ahead of its rival Nissan Rogue, which sets its third-best ever month, after December 2016 and last March. Keep in mind these figures now include sales of the Rogue Sport, a.k.a. Qashqai in Europe, which Nissan unfortunately does not split, despite it really being two different models. That leaves Honda as the first brand whose best seller is still a sedan, as the Civic outsells the CR-V thanks to a gain of almost 26% for the former vs. a loss of almost 3% for the latter despite a new generation. In the struggling mid-sized sedan segment, the Toyota Camry remains on top with its second consecutive month of double digit gains, while the all-new Honda Accord still needs to gain momentum in customer deliveries.

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