US sales Q3 2017: Minicar segment

The collapse of the Minicar segment continues


After briefly returning to growth in the first quarter of 2017, the minicar segment in the United States fell back into the red in the second quarter of this year, and firmly remained there in the third quarter, even if the 36% fall in sales in Q3 was slightly less bad than the 47% drop recorded in Q2. All in all, sales in the minicar segment were only 63,023 over the first three quarters of 2017, down from 90,095 in 2016, which is roughly how many Toyota RAV4s are sold in a month and a half!

Highlights for Q3 2017:

  • Mitsubishi Mirage remains the segment leader after being the only car to sell better in Q3’17 than a year earlier, albeit only by 3%, for a YTD gain of 4%
  • The Mirage is followed closely by the Mini Cooper range, though needless to say this should be as nothing else as a defeat for the anglo-german car: its sales were 39% down compared to this period last year, driven primarily by a collapse in sales of its 4-door version now that the second generation of the Countryman is available (the other cars in the Mini range are the Hardtop 2-door and Convertible
  • Chevrolet Spark, which was a close second to the Mini this time in 2016, did not even begin to recover from its 80% collapse in sales in the second quarter of the year, with Q3 still being less than half of what they were this time last year
  • Even though it is now decidedly long in the tooth, Fiat 500 did relatively well to only lose 22% of sales in the third quarter, while those of the fifth-placed Smart ForTwo more than halved during the same period

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. There’s the problem. A four door Mini takes the concept so far from the original but doesn’t offer anything new or special that can’t be had elsewhere for less money. It actually contaminates the brand identity rather than enhancing it.

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