US car sales analysis 2022-Q1 – Subcompact cars

The subcompact car segment in the US is in a steep decline in the first quarter of 2022, with sales falling 56% in an overall market down 16%. With just over 25,000 deliveries, subcompact cars now make up just 0.8% of the US passenger car market, half of their share last year. Not surprising if you consider that only four models from three brands will remain in this class, as all other brands have withdrawn.

A shortage of supply which leads manufacturers to prioritize higher-margin models and the ever-increasing popularity of crossovers are of course the main factors for this decline in both market share and availability of models. The Kia Soul holds on to its top spot with sales down 18% on last year, and grows its share of the class to a dominant 55%. Together with its stablemate Kia Rio in second place, Kia sells over 80% of all vehicles in this segment. The Rio is down just 5% this year, more than doubling its share of the class. Its sibling Hyundai Accent is down 37% in third place, while former class leader Nissan Versa loses 90% of its sales to fall to last place among survivors. That means in Q1 of 2022 more than nine out of every ten subcompact cars sold in the United States came from a South-Korean brand. The Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500L, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris have been pulled from the market.


US subcompact car sales 2022-Q1

Subcompact segment 2022-Q1 2021-Q1 Change 2022 Share 2021 Share
1 Kia Soul 14.124 17.191 -18% 55,0% 29,6%
2 Kia Rio 6.507 6.818 -5% 25,4% 11,8%
3 Hyundai Accent 2.697 4.272 -37% 10,5% 7,4%
4 Nissan Versa 2.330 22.394 -90% 9,1% 38,6%
5 Chevrolet Sonic 3 1.065 -100% 0,0% 1,8%
6 Fiat 500L 1 69 -99% 0,0% 0,1%
7 Honda Fit 0 6.065 -100% 0,0% 10,5%
8 Toyota Yaris 0 131 -100% 0,0% 0,2%
Segment total 25.662 58.005 -56%

Source: Manufacturers.