US sales 2017 first half: Subcompact segment

Subcompact segment lost more than 20%, and only Toyota-branded cars gained any sales 

Sales in the subcompact segment in the United States continued falling in the second quarter of 2017, dropping by 250,395 units for the first half of the year. This represents a fall of 20.8% compared to the first half of 2016, the second fastest rate of decline from among the mainstream segments, behind only the minicar segment. Part of the reason is that a lot of the cars in the segment are either about to be replaced (Chevrolet SonicFord FiestaHyundai Accent and Kia Rio) or are in the second half of their life-cycle (Nissan VersaToyota Yaris), but really it’s the gradual migration to crossovers that’s the more likely reason of this trend – the subcompact SUV segment grew by 10.6% percent over the same period, and sold more than 200,000 units in half a year for the first time ever.

Highlights for first half of 2017:

  • The three segment leaders, Nissan VersaKia Soul and Hyundai Accent all saw their sales fall by double digits in the first half of the year, with the Kia looking like in 2017 it will lose the segment leadership it has held since 2011
  • Relative to such a performance, the 4% sales loss experienced by Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta looks like a relative success, especially for the nine-year-old Ford
  • The only model to record substantive growth this period, Toyota iA, suggests that Toyota was right in ditching the underperforming Scion brand, seeing as Scion’s old model seems to be doing better under the Toyota banner
  • The two worst performances in the segment came from the hybrid Toyota Prius C (sales down 39%), and the soon-to-be-replaced Kia Rio (sales down 57%)

Note: “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison; 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

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he'd moved to the US. In college he promised himself he's buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman...
You can find all his articles Here.


  1. Frank East says:

    Now that the blog seems to have stopped giving monthly sales figures of this segment. I was glad to find this article with the graph. My particular interest is the Versa NOTE, which I have owned since 2014 and like very much. It’s too bad that Nissan doesn’t give the NOTE/sedan breakdown in Versa sales. If you know just what % of the Versa sales are NOTES, please let me know. Many thanks. Keep up the good work.

  2. Scott Brown says:

    I like the presentation of the data. It’s too bad that Nissan chooses to not break out the sales totals for versa note and That Ford also chooses to not break out the total unit sales figures for Fiesta ST.

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!