Sales of compact cars in the United States are falling faster than the overall market with a decline of 38% to just over half a million units. This translates to 320,000 fewer deliveries in the first six months of the year. Just three nameplates managed to increase their volume, of which one by just 90 sales.
The Honda Civic claims the leadership of the segment from the Toyota Corolla as the latter saw its sales fall by 46% in Q2. In the first half, both Japanese rivals gain market share as they outperform the segment, and each of them sells at least double the volume of the segment #3 Hyundai Elantra. The Elantra is down 43% (-54% in Q2) but has overtaken the Nissan Sentra for third place. The Sentra is down 60% and loses over 4.5 percentage points of share. It has the Kia Forte and even the Volkswagen Jetta breathing down its neck, two nameplates that outperform the segment this year. Then there’s a sizeable gap to the #7 Subaru Impreza which ekes out a narrow advantage over the rest of the segment and thus distances the Mazda3. The Volkswagen Golf also outperforms the segment, but only thanks to the GTI version which now makes up 40% of Golf sales in the US (57.5% of Golf hatchback sales). The Chevrolet Bolt EV is up by 1% and gains 0.6 percentage points of share. It also now outsells the Honda Insight and is the best selling (and only remaining) domestic model in the compact car segment now that the Cruze, Volt, Focus and Dart have been discontinued. The Hyundai Ioniq outperformst the segment, while the Nissan Leaf plummets with sales down 50% in the first half (-68% in Q2), proving once again the struggles of electric cars that aren’t from Tesla.
All luxury compact cars bar the BMW i3 outperform the overall segment, and as a result, the luxury share of the class is up from 3.9% to 5.8%, still a relatively small share. Best seller among luxury nameplates is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, switching places with its platform sibling CLA. The latter is down by just 11% as the new generation is still very fresh. The Gran Coupe version helps the BMW 2-Series to a 54% gain, but it still trails the two Mercedes-Benz models. However, in Q2 the 2-Series outsold the CLA and it may rise to second place after Q3. Former leader Acura ILX is knocked down to fourth place with sales down 22%, just ahead of the Audi A3, down 19%. The Mini Clubman sees 36% fewer sales while the BMW i3 is all but dead in the USA.
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