Following a steady first half of the year sales in the Premium Compact segment fell by a substantial 19.5 percent in the second half of 2016, resulting in a 10.0 percent fall in sales over the course of the year. Nonetheless, this rate of annual decline was still lower than that for the Premium Large and Premium Mid-sized segments (14.2 and 15.3 percent, respectively), reflecting the fact that all Premium segments were affected by consumers’ migration to the Premium SUV segments, all of which recorded positive growth sales. In fact, it’s interesting to note the symmetry of how the two sets of segment diverged: in 2015 both recorded around 1 million sales, but the non-SUV Premium segments then lost around 130,000 sales (13.0 percent) in 2016, while the SUV Premium segments gained around 120,000 sales (rise of 11.9 percent), results in a net fall in all Premium segments of only 1 percent.
But, back to the Premium Compact segment – its outlook for the near future is rather bleak, as none of the four models that currently make up the segment likely to receive any substantial upgrades in 2017, though Acura would do well to replace the ILX which has fallen from segment leader in 2013 to last spot in 2016.
Highlights for 2016
- Sales for the top two models in the segment, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA, fell by a very similar amounts in 2016: 12 percent for the former, 13 percent for the latter; it is worth noting, though, that while Audi at the same time enjoyed a resurgence in the sales of the A3’s crossover sibling, the Q3 (sales up 66 percent), sales of the CLA’s crossover cousin, the GLA, actually fell by 4 percent
- BMW 2-series is the only model in the segment whose sales increased in 2016 (up by 19 percent), allowing it to overtake the aging Acura ILX (sales down 21 percent) to take third place in the ranking; it may be stretching the analysis a bit, but one of the reasons the 2-series (a) is not ranked higher (b) did not lose sales like the other cars in the segment, could be that its limited, 2-door functionality it is bought less by families with children, which means its less likely to be affected by booming sales of the BMW X1 crossover
- However, even the ILX’s performance is not nearly as bad as that of Lexus CT, which lost almost 40 percent of sales compared to this time last year (the CT is actually considered part of the Alternative Power segment, and is presented here for comparison purposes)
Note: “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison, but excluded from segment total figures.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