The midsized car segment continues to lose share in the US car market in 2020. Sales were down 22% in an overall market down 14%. As a result the share of midsized cars drops by 1 percentage point to 10.2%, and in absolute numbers, the 1.5 million sales make this the lowest year of this millennium and long before it.
Not a single existing nameplate in the segment top-10 manages to sell more in 2020 than in 2019, and only two in the entire segment, bar the newcomers. The traditional leader Toyota Camry outperforms the segment and even slightly does better than the overall market with a 13% decline, which makes it the best performing model in the top-6, together with the Tesla Model 3. The Camry was actually up 14% in Q4, while the Honda Accord lost nearly 14% the last quarter, leading to a 25% decline for the year. The Nissan Altima started the year in 2nd place, before dropping behind the Accord after Q2, and has finished the year only barely on the segment podium, just 238 sales ahead of the Tesla Model 3. The Ford Fusion is down 33% as it nears the end of its life cycle, with the Chevrolet Malibu down 22%.
The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Fusion in Q4 thanks to the new generation, and the South-Korean sedan is down just 12% for the year. Its sister model Kia Optima has been replaced by the Kia K5 this year, with the K5 also outselling the Fusion in Q4. Kia’s sports sedan Stinger outperforms the market as well at -9%. Volkswagen seems like the big winner in the class this year, with the Passat up 63% but that’s compared to a disastrous 2019 for the model, as sales are still at a level of just over half of 2018 and just over a third of 2017. The Volkswagen Arteon is up 47%, but that’s compared to its introduction year. The Mazda6 is down 25% to a record low for the nameplate.
Luxury midsized cars increase their share of the class from 26.8% to 27.2%. The leader of the luxury midsized segment is obviously the Model 3, with sales down 13%, although these figures remain estimates since Tesla doesn’t break down regional sales figures. Behind it, the Lexus ES outsells the BMW 3-Series to hold on to its #2 spot. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is hit full frontal, with sales down 47%, but stays ahead of the Acura TLX. The Audi A5 outsells its sister model Audi A4, which is down 31%. The A4 was even outsold by the Volvo 60-Series in Q4. The Infiniti Q5 drops behind the Volvo but stays ahead of the Lexus IS, despite the latter jumping to 5th place among luxury players in Q4, after the TLX. This is thanks to the new generation IS. The Lincoln MKZ is nearing the end of its life cycle, but ourperforms the BMW 4-Series, down by almost half. The Genesis G70 can’t turn its excellent press reviews into sales, down 21% and just ahdead of the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Cadillac CT4 lands at #27 overall.
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