The drop in sales of large sedans in the US accelerated to -13% in Q3 of 2016, pulling the segment into the red year-to-date with a 3% loss. That means the large car segment is heading in the same direction as the mid-sized segment, but oppositely of the subcompact and compact segments, which are starting to recover from their losses earlier in the year. Only three out of the ten models in this segment increased their volume on last year and did so with double digit growth, while the other seven all showed double digit losses. The segment leader Chevrolet Impala drops to third place in Q3 and is under serious threat of losing its top spot by the end of the year as Chevrolet is cutting down on fleet sales and has ended production of the rental-only previous generation Impala “Limited” in May.
Highlights for Q1-Q3 2016:
- With a 36% loss for the Impala in Q3 vs a 16% increase for the Dodge Charger, the latter has closed in to the segment top spot by less than 100 units, a deficit it’s more than likely to close by next month.
- In Q3, the Impala was also outsold by the new generation Nissan Maxima, the fastest growing model in the segment at +51% in Q3, which allowed the Maxima to take 3rd place year-to-date from the Chrysler 300. After growing by 26% in the second quarter, the 300 lost 11% in the third quarter
- The Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon both lost 24% of their volume in Q3, but the latter still managed to leapfrog the Ford for fifth place in the segment, and that’s even including Police Interceptor sedan sales, which account for almost 30% of Taurus sales in the US.
- The Buick LaCrosse is due for a redesign and it shows in its sales: with a 50% loss it’s the worst performing model of the segment in Q3, as well as year-to-date at -39%. At least it doesn’t have to fear being overtaken by the two South-Korean models, as they barely hit even four-digit quarterly figures. The Hyundai Azera is the best performer of the duo at +22% for the quarter and leapfrogging its sister model Kia Cadenza (-37%), although both are still down with double digits for the year so far.
- Sales of the Chevrolet SS ended, as the model dropped to just 5 (yes, five) sales in September.
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