After booming growth rates in the last couple of quarters, the Subcompact SUV segment takes a brief moment of pauze, although its 12.1% growth rate to 93,249 sales is still much better than any of the other mainstream segments with the exception of the Full-sized SUV segment. The reason for the slower growth pace is the lack of new models to the segment lately, but that will pick up later this year as Hyundai and Kia are expected to launch their small crossovers Kona and Stonic, Toyota will launch the C-HR and Ford will bring an updated version of its EcoSport to the US, while Volkswagen will be traditionally late to the party with the T-Roc which isn’t expected Stateside before 2019.
In the meantime, the segment is shifting between winners and losers, with the entire top-4 consolidating thanks to double digit increases, with the #4 growing the fastest and the #1 the slowest, while the bottom 3 are all losing by double digits and therefore falling further behind.
Highlights for Q1 2017:
- The segment leader since last year Jeep Renegade continues to improve but its closest 3 rivals all outgrew it in the first quarter. It still has a commanding lead of over 5,000 sales to the #2, though.
- The 2015 segment leader Buick Encore has recently been facelifted and reclaimed the #2 position after dropping to 4th for the full year 2016. It can feel both the Honda HR-V and the Chevrolet Trax breathing down its neck. The HR-V was one of the fastest growing models last year, jumping to 2nd place and it continues its steady improvement in 2017. The Trax was also facelifted and adds more than a third to its volume this year.
- The segment trailblazer in the US, and sales leader until 2013, Nissan Juke is falling behind quickly as the model is aging fast. However, with no replacement on the horizon, the Juke will have to sit this one out for a bit longer. There have been rumors of the South American Nissan Kicks making it to the US market, but those haven’t been confirmed yet.
- After a promising 2016, the Mazda CX-3 catches the Mazda virus of underperformance and loses almost a quarter of its volume on the first quarter of last year, when it was still in start-up mode. Then again, it still outperforms the Fiat 500X which loses half of its already low volume and is a total embarrassment for the Italian brand. The model that’s selling pretty well in Europe and was supposed to put Fiat on the map in the US has turned out to be an utter wallflower that sells at less than 8% of the volume of the segment leader with which it shares its platform and technology and which is built alongside it in Italy.
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