Sales in the mid-sized segment fell by 3% compared to Q1 2015, pushing this once-largest segment further behind compact SUV cars as families’ wheels of choice. That said, it did better than the smaller mainstream segments, again showing how cheap gas is pushing consumers to buy larger cars. The good times are likely to continue rolling for the segment, too, as sales of the new-for-2016 Chevy Malibu and Kia Optima come fully on-stream, while brings the facelifted Ford Fusion to market.
Highlights for Q1 2016:
- Not much change at the front, with Toyota Camry maintaining a sizable lead over the second-placed Nissan Altima, although the latest facelift is helping the latter gain ground, with the difference in sales down to a little over 2,000 units in March’16, the smallest it’s been in over a year
- Honda Accord overtook Ford Fusion to take third spot on the back of a 12% sales growth, but it’s off to a slow start this year if it wants to retake second spot in the segment, just as it did in 2015
- With an almost 40% sales growth compared to Q1 2015, the rejuvenated Hyundai Sonata and new Chevy Malibu put clear air between themselves and the seventh-placed Subaru Outback, with the Sonata almost outselling the Fusion in March
- The switch to the new model has hurt Kia Optima sales (down 18%), but it’s nothing compared to the 63% collapse in sales the soon-to-be-discontinued Chrysler 200 experienced
- VW Passat continues to lose volume on the back of the carmaker’s diesel PR disaster (down 31%), but even worse was the performance of the critically-acclaimed Mazda6 (down 37%)
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