The Subcompact segment shrank by 14% in Q3, a further acceleration of the decline in the first half of the year, compared to the market growing by 6% over the same period. As with the Minicar segment, a lot of this has to do with low gas prices that see people turning away from cars whose main selling point in the US is good gas milage.
In Q3 the Kia Soul managed to reverse its sales decline from the first half of the year, growing by a robust 10% and putting some space between it and the 2nd-placed Nissan Versa whose sales barely increased by 1%. Still, with barely 3,000 units between them it is entirely possible the small Nissan overhauls the Kia in the final three months of the year to take the segment leadership.
The big surprise of Q3 is the dismal performance of the Honda Fit, whose sales fell by 52% compared to the same period in 2014, bringing its gains for the year down to 11%. While after the first half of the year it looked likely that the Honda might jump over the Fiesta, Sonic and Accent and claim 3rd place, now it seems very unlikely unless Honda turns things around in the last quarter. Instead, it’s the Fiesta that leapt into 3rd place over the soon-to-be-replaced Chevy Sonic and Hyundai’s aging Accent.