US car sales analysis Q2 2018 – Subcompact segment

Kia Rio is the only model to see its sales rise, as segment once again shrinks by almost 20%

Sales in the US Subcompact segment fell by 18.6% to 203,930 in the first half of 2018, with the segment posting almost identical growth in the second quarter as in the first. With only two models posting positive growth and only two new models on the immediate horizon (the already-revealed new Hyundai Accent, and the Kia Soul), it looks likely that the segment decline will continue in the foreseeable future, as customers abandon it for for larger Compact and more trendy Subcompact SUV cars.


  • It’s change once again at the front, as the Kia Soul retakes the segment lead it lost to the Nissan Versa in the first quarter of the year
  • The Ford Fiesta was one of the only two models that gained sales in the second quarter of the year, pushing the model into slightly positive growth YTD, and ahead of the Honda Fit
  • Toyota models continued where they left off in the first quarter of the year: while the Mazda 2 sedan-based Yaris iA continued to lose sales in the low double-digits, the hybrid Prius C once again lost over a third of its sales, while the hatchback Yaris saw its sales collapse almost by a factor of 10
  • While not as bad as the Yaris, both the about-to-be-replaced Hyundai Accent, and the aging Chevrolet Sonic saw their sales drop by around half compared to last year, allowing the resurgent Kia Rio to climb in between them

Note: “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison; 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