The midsized car segment continues to lose share in the US car market in 2021. Sales were down 11% in an overall market up 3%, to just under 1.36 million deliveries, which is the lowest volume of this millennium and half of the total segment sales of 2015. The share of midsized cars down to 9% from 10.4% in 2020. In Q4, sales of midsized sedans were down 35% in an overall market down 21%.
The Toyota Camry is the best selling midsized sedan in the US for the 20th consecutive year thanks to sales up 7%, improving its share to 23.1%. However, in Q4 the Camry was down 36% on the same period of 2020. Still, it was able to outsell the Honda Accord by more than 100,000 units in 2021 as the latter is up just 2%. Their closest two rivals see their sales drop by more than 20% as the Tesla Model 3 holds on to its podium position with sales down 23% and the Nissan Altima loses a quarter of its sales. The two South-Korean players are the best performing nameplates in the top-12 and jump into the top-6 as the Hyundai Sonata is up 21% and the Kia K5 is up threefold on its introduction year. The only blemish on their record is the 47% drop in deliveries for the Sonata in Q4. The mainstream domestic players have exited the segment as the Chevrolet Malibu is down 62% (and -75% in Q4) into 9th place, while the Ford Fusion is down 89% into 22nd place. The Fusion sold just 103 units in the last quarter.
Thanks to a strong fourth quarter, the Volkswagen Passat (+6%) passes the Subaru Legacy (-16%), while its sibling Volkswagen Arteon is up 54% on 2020, despite a 30% drop in deliveries in Q4. The Mazda6 sees stable sales at #18 and the Kia Stinger is up 8% at #21. The new generation Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle sets a new annual sales record for the nameplate at 2,629 deliveries, which allows it to outsell the Honda Clarity which will be discontinued.
Luxury midsized models outperform their mainstream rivals at +10% as they now make up 33.9% of the midsize segment, up from 27.4% in 2020. In Q3 and Q4, the luxury models made up nearly 35% of midsized models. The Tesla Model 3 is one of the worst performing models with sales down 23%, most likely due to the launch of the Model Y crossover. Keep in mind we have to estimate Tesla sales by model and region as the brand itself does not specify them. Still, the Model 3 has held on to the overall podium, outselling its nearest rival BMW 3-Series (+19%) by over 70,000 deliveries. The Lexus ES holds on to third place among luxury models with sales up 5%. If the Mercedes-Benz C-Class outsold the ES in Q3 by a handful of deliveries, in Q4 the C-Class was down 70% to just 1,700 deliveries due to a model changeover to a new generation. The Acura TLX is up 20% into overall 11th place while the BMW 4-Series (+142%) and Lexus IS (+62%) each jump four luxury rivals thanks to their respective new generations. The Audi A5 (-8%) and A4 (-11%), as well as the Infiniti Q50 (-16%) and Volvo 60-Series (-19%) all show double digit declines. The Alfa Romeo Giulia (-7%) is distanced by Genesis G70 (+14%) while the Cadillac CT4 (+48%) is closing in quickly, outselling them both in Q4.
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