Sales in the subcompact segment in the United States continued falling in the third quarter of 2017, dropping from just under half a million in 2016 to 376,213 in the first three quarters of 2017, which is less than the number of minivans sold over the same period. The decline has been pretty consistent so far this year, with the rate of decline ranging between 15% and 25% over the three quarters, and suggests customers are eschewing this segment in favor of subcompact SUVs. It will be interesting whether the new Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio will be able to turn this around once they hit the market, but given the disappointing performance of the new Honda Fit the signs are not very promising.
Highlights in Q3 2017:
- Only one model saw its sales rise, Toyota iA (sales up an impressive 24%), suggesting that Toyota was right to ditch its underperforming Scion brand and continue selling its more successful models under its own brand; the irony was that that iA, essentially a re-badged Mazda 2, outsold Toyota’s own Yaris by more than 3-to-1, though the latter is only available as a hatchback
- At the front Kia Soul retook segment leadership from Nissan Versa, though in the grand scheme of things neither brand should be too happy with their performance, as both recorded sales drops in the double-digits
- Considerably further back, in third, was Hyundai Accent, whose 29% drop in sales was worse than that of the also-soon-to-be-replaced Ford Fiesta (sales down 7%), but better than its cousin, Kia Rio (sales down 51%)
- Down in fourth Honda Fit recorded a 7% drop in sales – not awful, but disappointing for what still is a relatively new car
- Chevrolet Sonic recorded the second-worst performance, with sales falling by 42%, followed closely by the hybrid Toyota Prius C, whose sales were down 39%
Note: “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison; 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