In the first three quarters of 2020 the minicar segment continues to outperform the overall US car market, with deliveries down 15% compared to an 18% decline for the entire market. However, this is not a homogenous performance across the segment, with one nameplate in the black and all three others in the red by double digits. Only the Chevrolet Spark manages to find more buyers in the first 9 months of 2020 than in the same period a year earlier. In Q3, minicar sales were down 5% in an overall market down 9.5%.
The other three players in this segment see their sales decline by one fifth or more. As a result, the Spark takes nearly half of all sales in this segment, with a share of 46.7%. The Mitsubishi Mirage is down by 29% and holds on to second place, while the Mini Cooper enjoys a relatively strong third quarter. It was down 67% in Q2 but it enjoyed a resurrection in Q3 with sales up nearly 10%. As a result, its year-to-date figure is now down just 21% The Fiat 500 lost 74% in Q2 and 89% in Q3. The small Italian sold fewer than 100 units in Q3 and just 662 for the past nine months. Unsurprisingly, it will be pulled from the North American market.
With the minicar segment in decline even in its “home market” Europe, and becoming evermore insignificant 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.
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