Sales in the compact segment slightly improve to a loss of 3% in the third quarter of 2016, as the year-to-date loss stays at -6%. The top-3 of the segment remains fairly stable, but most of the “challengers” is having a hard time keeping up, as consumers still favor crossovers over the traditional sedans. Still, after only 4 out of the segment 17 models improved year-over-year in the first half, that figure improved to 7 models in Q3.
Despite both being still pretty fresh, sales of the Cruze and Elantra are struggling to take off, with Q3 sales down 7% for the former and up just 2% for the latter. That leaves both models down with double digits for the first nine months.
Three aging compact models show different fortunes as they near the ends of their lifecycles: the Ford Focus plunges at -21% for the quarter and -15% year-to-date as it fell to #6 of the segment in Q3. The Subaru Impreza is down 8% in Q3 but still up 3% year-to-date, but the Kia Forte has suddenly seen the light at +34% in Q3and +26% for the first 9 months, lifting it to the segment top-8 ahead of the Impreza and the Mazda3.
Volkswagen keeps struggling without being able to sell diesel models and suffering from the ongoing negative publicity as it fails to find a solution to is emission cheating. However, the Jetta appears to have hit rock bottom, with sales up 3% in the third quarter, but the Golf still loses 22% and the Beetle drops 27%.
Production of the Dodge Dart ended in Q3 and it shows with a 54% drop in sales, now down 45% year-to-date. It was outsold by the also soon-to-be-killed Buick Verano in Q3, up 44% thanks to sell-out pricing.
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