US sales 2017 first half: Mid-sized segment

Only Outback and Passat see their sales rise, five models lose more than 20% since 2016


Sales of Mid-sized cars in the US fell by 13.7% in the second quarter of 2017, following the same path of double-digit sales decline as all the other mainstream segments bar the compact segment. With one-time top non-pickup models like Toyota CamryHonda Accord and Nissan Altima now regularly giving way to crossovers in the monthly top rankings, it is far from clear whether the latest versions of the first two cars, which made their debut earlier this year, will be enough to even halt, let alone reverse this trend. One thing is for sure: they will need to do better than recent new models in the segment – Hyundai SonataKia Optima and  Chevrolet Malibu –  all of which have really underperformed relative to their previous generations.

Highlights for first half of 2017:

2018 Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Camry retains leadership of the segment it has led for over a decade without much of a problem, and while it lost 11% in sales relative to 2016, the new model will go on sale very soon and should help it shore up its segment lead
  • There is a new model in 2nd spot, Honda Accord, which overtook Nissan Altima, something that might worry Nissan given that the new Altima is at least another year away, while the new Accord goes on sale later this year
  • Ford Fusion in 4th spot is the top-ranked of a series of cars that lost more than a quarter of sales since 2016, the others being Chevrolet Malibu in 6th and Hyundai Sonata in 7th
  • The latter two have been jumped in 2017 by Subaru Outback, one of the only two models to have gained sales in the past year, the other being the recovering VW Passat
  • It’s not all good news for Subaru, though, as the Legacy lost 15% of sales compared to last year; still, this was a better performance than the hapless Mazda6, which despite being an objectively very good car once again lost volume and is the last of the volume players in the segment

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

      1. When the EU-Japan trade deal goes through, I can see both Toyota and Honda introducing the Camry and Accord in the EU markets.

      2. I want to see them back to Europe too, but I highly doubt they will bring them here, plus I would like to see also Highlander in Europe, but I doubt about this too!

  1. I think Toyota and Honda are losing sales if they don’t bring those cars here. They might not sell like their predecessors did once (and in this segment, besides the premium sector, who does…), but they’ll be a great adition to their line up and can work as some kind of halo-models. Honda specially really need something like that right now in Europe.
    And who knows, with the Mondeo and Insignia underperforming, and with the french models being replaced by Passats and Superbs, they might have a chance to bring some fight to these two.

    1. The Insignia is not underperforming. It’s an old model being replaced by the new generation.
      The Talisman is having a decent comercial performance in Europe AND South Korea. The Peugeot 508 is also getting old and will be replaced next year. Passat sales have dropped a lot. The Superb is a hit though but it canibalized the Passat.

  2. It’s simple: Consumers are turning their back on sedans, manufacturers anticipate and offer a zillion versions of these high(-er) margin SUV.

    This trend is identical in China, US and EU.
    I don’t see a reason why this development will stop (any time soon).

    Other than that: very curious to see the successor of the Peugeot 508.
    After the terrific Talisman another great looking sedan will emerge from France.

    1. They are moving away from sedans, and the only way for midsize cars to make sense for manufacturers is to make them global products. For example, the new Insignia/Commodore/Regal makes sense because it will serve Europe, the US and China.
      The Camry and Accord make sense because of Japan and the US but they’ll probably have to sell them in Europe now as well.
      The Talisman made sense for Renault because it sells not only in Europe but is also a success in South Korea. I think Peugeot will take the 508 to China as well, now that they have the 3008/4008 and the 5008 in Europe and China.
      Ford needs to replace the Fusion/Mondeo with a new US/european sedan now that they don’t have production problems in Europe.

      1. @ Pedro

        Making cars in this segment global models would make it easier to make them profitable, but the problem is a matter of scale. Both the Camry and the Accord sell best in 2 markets, the US and China, and those two markets together probably account for well above 500k per year per model. Would spending money on engineering them for Europe, maybe adding an estate, which are hugely popular in this segment ( but only in Europe ), maybe adding a diesel ( still above 70% of sales in this segment, they could sell them as hybrids, but that would further limit their appeal. And it would work better for Toyota than for Honda imo ), would all of this make financial sense just to sell 20/30k in Europe, ? I really don’t think so.

        I’d like them too, but i don’t think they will.

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