US car sales analysis 2019 Q2 – Small Sports segment

Only new Hyundai Veloster prevents segment from a serious sales decline

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Sales in the US Small Sports segment fell by 0.8% to 18,305 in the first half of 2019, which on first glance may suggest that the segment is holding steady. This, however, would be greatly misleading. In fact, the only model to see positive growth is the hugely popular (by segment standards) new Hyundai Veloster, whereas the rest of the models saw their sales fall by almost 20% relative to the same period in 2018. With the downturn in the market looming large, once can’t escape the feeling that the future is far from bring for this segment…

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


  • The segment-leading Hyundai Veloster saw its sales rise by almost 40%, as the model’s new version clearly resonates with buyers; however, it is doubtful the model will come anywhere close its almost-35,000 sales record it reached in 2012 – right now 15-20,000 seems like a more reasonable estimate for 2019
  • Every other model in the segment saw its sales fall, with the uniquely comfort-oriented Buick Cascada seeing the smallest sales decline of just 5%
  • The new Mazda MX-5 Miata saw its sales fall by 17% in only its second year on the market, with the projected 2019 sales of under 10,000 units showing just how much the segment has declined in the past three decades (sales in 1991: over 31,000)
  • Of the remaining cars the Toyobaru twins saw the biggest declines of 27% (Toyota 86) and 22% (Subaru BRZ), with the Fiat 124 Spider close behind on 19%

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts earlier – access previous years using slider on bottom