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:
- The 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