The midsized car segment continues to lose share in the US car market in the first quarter of 2021. Sales were down 15% in an overall market up 12%. As a result the share of midsized cars drops by almost 3 percentage points to below the 10% mark for the first time ever, at 8.9%, compared to 11.7% in Q1 of 2020 and 10.2% in the full year 2020. In absolute numbers, the midsized car class is down to less than 350,000 sales for the quarter.
The top-2 players both see virtually stable sales and improve their combined share of the class to 35.8%, with the Toyota Camry still firmly in control, selling almost as much as the #2 Honda Accord and #3 Nissan Altima combined. The Altima is down 32% but holds on to its podium position as the Chevrolet Malibu (-24%) and Tesla Model 3 (-45%) are also down by double digits. On the other hand, the Hyundai Sonata is up 32% thanks to the new generation, while the Kia K5 lands just behind its sister model at #7, at a similar sales volume as its predecessor last year, the Kia Optima. The Ford Fusion is in its final year, and its sales drop 79%, while the Subaru Legacy gains share at -4%. The Volkswagen Passat is down 24% and is being chased by the Mazda6, down 5%, a similar performance as the Kia Stinger. Among smaller players, the Honda Clarity is down 9%, while the Volkswagen Arteon is up 39% and the Toyota Mirai is up almost sixfold thanks to the new generation.
Luxury midsized cars increase their share of the class from 26.1% to 27.3%. The leader of the luxury midsized segment is obviously the Model 3 at an overall #5 spot, although these figures remain estimates since Tesla doesn’t break down regional sales figures. Behind it, the Lexus ES outsells the BMW 3-Series to hold on to its #2 spot thanks to sales up 10%. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is back up 12% after a horrible 2020 for the nameplate, and stays ahead of the Acura TLX, up 12%. The new generation Lexus IS boosts the nameplate up 122% to outsell the Audi A4 (+28%) and Volvo 60-Series (+32%), although they too gain significantly. The Volvo is even outsold now by the recently renewed BMW 4-Series which more than doubles its sales of last year. The Cadillac CT4 is up to #22 overall, between the Infiniti Q50 (-23%) and the Alfa Romeo Giulia (+17%), while the Genesis G70 is down 10%but passes the Lincoln MKZ, down 64%.
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