Despite the low fuel prices and all the talk about Americans buying fewer cars, especially small cars, the minicar segment in the United States has managed to actually grow in 2019, showing a 6% increase to over 80,000 sales, which means it still holds a tiny share of 0.5% of the total US car market. The two best selling nameplates in the segment happened to be the only two to improve their sales volume, and both did so by double digits, while the remaining three all lost by double digits.
The Chevrolet Spark has reclaimed the segment crown from the Mitsubishi Mirage thanks to a 33% improvement to over 31,000 sales, giving it a share of 38.8% of the segment. Together with the Mirage, the two biggest players now hold 72.2% of the segment, with the Mini Cooper in third holding another 23% of the segment, despite seeing its sales slide 15%. The small Mitsubishi actually set a new annual sales record for the nameplate, as it has done every year since its launch in 2013, but on the other hand 2019 marks the fourth consecutive year of declining sales for the Mini, and it sells now less than half of what it sold in 2015. For the Fiat 500, the cliff is even steeper, with a 39% decline just in 2019, which is its seventh consecutive year of lower sales, at 92.5% lower than its peak year of 2012. We’ve said goodbye to the Smart brand and the tiny Smart Fortwo in 2019, after becoming an EV-only brand sales remained below 100 per month and parent company Daimler decided it would be easier to just euthanize the brand in the US.
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