The subcompact segment shrank by 4% compared to Q1 2015, not a great performance but considerably better than the minicar segment, which shrank by 28%, and even slightly better than the compact segment, which shrank by 6%. What the subcompact segment is still lacking in popular new metal: the cars that are popular are getting long in the tooth (Kia Soul, Hyundai Accent, Chevy Sonic), while the new cars are not selling in large volumes (Scion iA and Honda Fit, plagued by supply shortages). What’s more, there are no new cars on the immediate horizon, so it seems that the segment will have to wait until 2017 at the earliest to truly rebound when the new Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio should come to market.
Highlights for Q1 2016:
- Nissan Versa outsold 2015’s segment leader Kia Soul just as it did in Q1 2015, though it lost 1% of sales compared to last year
- Kia Soul, Hyundai Accent and Chevy Sonic are the only cars whose sales increased year-on-year
- Honda Fit‘s supply shortage meant that it fell from 3rd to 5th place in the rankings, with sales shrinking by 36%
- The Mazda2-bases Scion iA did well enough to outsell both its established Scion xB sister and Toyota Yaris cousin, further putting into question Mazda’s decision to eschew this segment
- It’s the end of the line for the Nissan Cube, leaving the Kia Soul as the remaining “funky” entrant in the segment otherwise filled with dull-but-worthy cars
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