Sales in the mid-sized segment fell by 1% compared to 2014. This means that this once-largest segment fell further behind the compact SUV segment, as families continue abandoning their trusted sedans for trendy, spacious and equally-affordable crossovers. Part of the reason for this tardy performance is that most of the segment leaders are getting on in age, while the cars that have come out in recent years failed to capture the buyers’ imagination. [Read more…]
Sales in the compact segment grew by 1% compared to 2014, a better performance than in either the minicar or subcompact segments, thought still behind the industry average of 5% growth. With the latest crop of compact cars being large enough to accommodate a whole family sales in this segment are less sensitive to gas prices – consumers are less likely to migrate to the segments above simply because they no longer need an economic car now that gas is super-cheap. For many people a compact car is all they need. [Read more…]
The subcompact segment shrank by 8% compared to 2014, a performance even worse than the minicar segment shrinking by 5%. While low gas prices contributed to this, just as they did for the smaller segment, it is probably the lack of new metal that really drove sales in the segment down. Honda Fit and Scion iA were the only new cars that came to market in 2015, and only the former has sold in meaningful quantities. In fact, with many of the segment stalwarts getting on in years, this may be one of the oldest segments. [Read more…]
2015 started off very well for the Minicar segment, with a 19% growth recorded in Q1, but as the year went on got progressively worse and worse, culminating in the segment shrinking by 30% in Q4. The main reason for this is the falling price of gas that encourages people to buy larger, less fuel-efficient cars – a theme that we’ll see in many other segments as well. This trend is so strong in the US market right now that it drags down even the newest, most attractive cars (Mini Cooper), or ones that started the year as star performers (Mitsubishi Mirage).
Hyundai finally released full pictures and details of its new eco-warrior, the Ioniq. Uniquely for a manufacturer, Hyundai plans for the Ioniq to offer a variety of different powertrains, all using the same body:
- A standard hybrid, to battle the Toyota Prius and its ilk
- A plug-in hybrid, to battle the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in and similar
- An electric version, which will compete with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt
1. Chrysler Pacifica
A huge return to form for Chrysler, not only in terms of styling but in terms of innovation: it’s the world’s first plug-in minivan. Looks good enough to lure some people away from their family SUVs.