US car sales analysis 2020 – Minicars

Sales of minicars in the US move with the overall market in 2020, at -13% vs -14%. That actually makes it the best performing car segment this year, although it’s also still the smallest segment in absolute terms, by a large margin. Just under 69,400 minicars were sold in 2020, which is half a percent of the total passenger car market in the United States. This is also the lowest sales for the segment since 2011, when the Mini Cooper was the best seller ahead of the Fiat 500 and Smart Fortwo.

The Chevrolet Spark manages to outperform the market and even scores a 7% gain on 2019, making this the best year for the Spark since 2016. That gives the smallest Chevrolet a share of 48.3% of the minicar segment, up 9 percentage points on 2019. The other three players in this segment see their sales decline by double digits. The Mitsubishi Mirage is down 29%, while the Mini Cooper scores an 11.3% gain in Q4 to reduce its full-year decline to -13%. It also almost took 2nd place in the fourth quarter. The Fiat 500 completes the table but its production for North American has ended earlier in 2020 and just 12 units were sold in the last quarter. That leaves this segment with only three nameplates for 2021.

With the minicar segment in decline even in its “home market” Europe, and just irrelevant sales in the United States, the future is bleak for this type of vehicle. Especially considering gas prices are expected to remain low in the foreseeable future and Americans’ appetite for full sized trucks and SUVs, very few people are looking to spend their money on a car this size.

US minicar sales 2020

Minicar segment 2020 2019 Change Share Share
1 Chevrolet Spark 33.478 31.281 7% 48,3% 39,1%
2 Mitsubishi Mirage 19.136 26.966 -29% 27,6% 33,7%
3 Mini Cooper 16.090 18.558 -13% 23,2% 23,2%
4 Fiat 500 674 3.267 -79% 1,0% 4,1%
Segment total 69.378 80.072 -13%

Source: Manufacturers.