US car sales analysis 2021 first half – Subcompact cars

Sales of subcompact cars in the US trail the market growth in the first half of 2021, with sales up 16% in an overall passenger car market up 29%. Subcompact cars now make up just 1.4% of the US car market, down from 1.6% in the first half of 2020. However, only four models from three brands will remain in this class after this year, with all other brands withdrawing.

Low fuel prices and the ever-increasing popularity of crossovers are of course the main factors for this decline in both market share and availability of models. Big winner in 2021 is the Nissan Versa, thanks to the new generation, with sales more than doubling to claim over 35% share of the class. To be fair, the Versa struggled extra hard in 2020 as Nissan cut down on fleet and rental deliveries in order to improve margins and resale values, but this strategy appears to be paying off in 2021. That knocks the Kia Soul into second place with 14% more deliveries than last year, losing share of the segment on last year. On the bright side, the Soul outsold the Versa in Q2 by 2,500 units, bringing it within just over 2,500 sales off the top spot after the first six months. The Kia Rio makes it two Kia nameplates on the segment podium, both in Q2 and the first half. Rio sales are up 42% so far this year, outperforming the class and the overall market.

The Rio’s sister model Hyundai Accent is up to fourth place in 2021 and the last remaining model in the class, as all other are being pulled from the market. The new generation Honda Fit is not coming to the United States and the previous model had just 2,600 deliveries in Q2. The Chevolet Sonic found fewer than 500 buyers in the second quarter, while deliveries of the Toyota Yaris and Fiat 500L just about came to a halt.

US subcompact car sales 2021 first half

Subcompact segment 2021-H1 2020-H1 Change 2021 Share 2020 Share
1 Nissan Versa 41.321 19.842 108% 35,2% 19,6%
2 Kia Soul 38.780 34.041 14% 33,0% 33,6%
3 Kia Rio 16.673 11.747 42% 14,2% 11,6%
4 Hyundai Accent 10.104 8.294 22% 8,6% 8,2%
5 Honda Fit 8.673 13.887 -38% 7,4% 13,7%
6 Chevrolet Sonic 1.512 6.452 -77% 1,3% 6,4%
7 Toyota Yaris 201 3.714 -95% 0,2% 3,7%
8 Fiat 500L 153 254 -40% 0,1% 0,3%
9 Ford Fiesta 0 3.157 -100% 0,0% 3,1%
Segment total 117.417 101.388 16%

Source: Manufacturers.