The Minicar segment in the United States has been hurt badly by the low gasoline prices in 2016, with sales down 11.0%, the worst fall from all the segments. However, the situation improved markedly for the segment in Q4, when it was the only segment to substantial growth (5.6 percent), driven mainly by substantial sales growth for models: Chevrolet Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage.
Highlights for 2016:
- After three quarters of stable sales, the new generation of the Chevrolet Spark finally registered some substantial growth in the fourth quarter (56.2percent), allowing the model to consolidate its segment lead over the Mini Cooper range (Hardtop 2-door, 4-door and the Convertible), which lost an astounding 29% in sales following the introduction (and immediate climb to the top of Mini’s sales chart) of the compact-sized Clubman
- Another model to enjoy a great end of the year was the facelifted Mitsubishi Mirage, whose sales grew by 26.3 percent in Q4, contributing to a solid 3.3 percent growth overall in 2016.
- Things looked up a bit in the fourth quarter for both Smart ForTwo and Fiat 500, with both models registering positive, albeit single-digit growth in Q4. Overall, though, this was not enough to make up for sales declines throughout the year: the ForTwo was down overall 17.0 percent in 2016, while the 500 lost a staggering 37.9 percent – a miserable performance for a car that’s the foundation of the Fiat range in the US, and for which there is no replacement in sight.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off