Salesin the Mid-sized segment fell by 10.1 percent in 2016, a performance so bad it almost matched the 11.0 percent fall in sales registered by the Minicar segment (the worst among all mainstream segments). Midsized cars used to be the segment where the money was made, even when SUVs and crossovers started to gain a foothold in the US car market during the 1990s and early 2000s. But that boom has started to pick up speed this year, fueled by hot new models and affordable gas. In contrast there haven’t been many major model updates in the midsized segment lately. As a result, the largest-selling segment in 2016 by far was Compact SUVs (sales up 3.9 percent), with Mid-sized cars coming in second, followed closely by the Large Pickups and Compact segments (sales up 3.6 and down 4.5 percent, respectively). With new models like Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima failing to connect with buyers, only the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord stand between the segment and losing third spot in the standings to the Large Pickups segment.
Highlights for 2016:
Despite being on the cusp of being replaced with new models, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord retained their spots at the top of the segment sales table, the latter fighting off Nissan Altima, which had a great start to the year but lost steam later in the year, eventually having to settle for third
Ford Fusion held onto fourth spot, losing 11 percent in sales compared to 2015 despite a facelift, ahead of the new Chevrolet Malibu whose sales rose by 17 percent compared to 2015, a good results but hardly stuff of dreams for GM given how unloved the previous generation Malibu was
It seems that the new Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima both failed to carry on where their predecessors left off, the conservative (some would say uninspired) cars losing 7 percent and 22 percent in sales, respectively, compared to 2015
Subaru continued to ride its good fortune in 2016 with the Outback and its sister model Legacy, with sales up 20 percent and 8 percent, respectively
Much like for other cars in VW’s range, sales of VW Passat stabilized relative to the rest of the segment, with a 7 percent fall relative to 2015 being much smaller than that experienced by the perennially-underperforming Mazda6
The end of the road for the Chrysler 200 is within sight, with sales down by 65 percent compared to 2015 (or 73 percent in Q4 alone)
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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