US sales 2017-Q1 Mid-sized segment


Sales of Mid-sized cars in the US are in a similar tough spot as in Europe: down by 19.2% in Q1 of 2017 and dipping below half a million units at 472,692 sales. This is the worst drop among all mainstream segments and second to only the premium large car segment. As a result, the compact car segment has now become larger in volume than the midsized car segment, and if it keeps this position until the end of this year it would be the very first time ever that the midsized segment is not the largest mainstream car segment in the US. And with the large pickup truck segment also outselling the midsized cars in Q1, this segment has gone from perennial #1 until 2015 to out of the top-3 so far in 2017. The main culprit for this demise is obviously a shift towards compact crossovers, the largest segment since last year. This trend is clearly visible in the March and Q1 model rankings: if the Camry and Accord used to fight for the title of best selling non-pickup in America, now the Accord is out of the overall top-10 and the Camry is outsold by the Nissan Rogue, with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 right on its heels.

Highlights for Q1 2017:

  • Nissan_Altima-2016-US-car-sales-statisticsThe Toyota Camry is about to be replaced by an all-new generation and is down by 13.3%. Coincidentally, that’s the exact same percentage the Nissan Altima also is down by, as it holds on to the 2nd spot it held in Q1 last year, before having to relegate that to the Honda Accord later in the year. The Accord, also due for a redesign, dips just 9.4%, which means the top-3 all lose volume but increase their share of the segment as the other players are down by even more.
  • The biggest losers in the top-10 are the Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion, as all three lose more than 30% of their volume. In fact, the former two are closer to -40% as their redesigns just haven’t caught on with buyers. That has enabled the Subaru Outback to climb two places into fifth place and even fourth when combined with its non-offroad version Legacy, a very impressive performance for the relatively small brand.
  • Like the Golf, the VW Passat has rebounded from its diesel scandal woes and gains 30% on its abysmal score of last year, but it still lags far behind the Kia Optima, not something the German brand will be proud of. Then again, the Passat is still far ahead of the Mazda6, the car that now only outsells models that are about to be or already have been axed (200, CC, Venza, Crosstour) or about to be replaced with a new generation (Regal).

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

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. Stephen Higley says:

    I don’t understand why the Malibu’s sales are in a freefall. The latest remodel seems to be attractive and addressed the tight back seat issue. What am I missing here?

    • Bart Demandt says:

      Hi Stephen,
      one of the reasons may be that GM has significantly reduced its sales to daily rental fleets, and the Malibu has been one of the major beneficiaries of fleet sales for decades, so it must have an effect on it volume. GM doesn’t specify its fleet sales percentage per model, but they claim that across the line-up they’ve increased their retail volume more than any other brand last year.

  2. Man, these numbers are shocking. Every model is decreasing dramatically.

  3. The SUV-wave is rolling. 😉

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