Chevy Spark regains leadership of the rapidly-shrinking segment
Sales in the US minicar segment fell by 26.0% to 18,779 in the first quarter of 2018, making it the second fastest-shrining segment in early 2018, ahead of only the small sports segment. This performance is a continuation of the segments recent downward trend (it shrank by 20.0% in 2017), and suggests a grim future for the entire segment. Given that all the cars in the segment are either new (Mini Cooper, Chevrolet Spark, Smart ForTwo) or have recently been facelifted (Mitsubishi Mirage, Fiat 500), the falling sales may push some manufacturers to leave the segment (Smart practically has abandoned private sales in the US), and are unlikely to lure any new entrants anytime soon.
The new Chevrolet Spark recorded the least-bad performance in the segment, with sales falling by a mere 3%, which was enough to put it at the top of the standings, ahead of Mitsubishi Mirage, whose 26% decline in sales was the worst among the top 3 models
After topping the segment last year thanks to a timely sales surge in Q4’17, sales of the Mini Cooper range fell 18% in Q1’18, good enough only for third in the standings
Misery continued for Fiat 500, whose facelift in 2017 utterly failed to reignite any interest in the car; with monthly sales below the 500 mark so far this year, the model is on course for annual sales of around 6,000 units, a huge decline from the 43.772 sales peak the model reached in 2012
Similarly miserable are the sales figures for Smart ForTwo, hovering around 100 units per month, in about the same league as McLaren
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off
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