US sales 2017 first half: Minicar segment

Minicar segment collapsed in the second quarter of 2017, with only Mitsubishi Mirage recording YTD sales gains


After briefly returning to growth in the first quarter of 2017, the Minicar segment in the United States fell back into the red in the second quarter of this year. And what a fall it was – sales fell by almost a half compared to Q2’16, to only 19,019 units, the largest fall from among all segments by a wide margin.

Highlights for 2017 first half:

  • After fighting a close battle in the first quarter of the year, Mitsubishi Mirage emerged the clear victor over the course of the first half of 2017, thanks in large part to a relatively small fall in sales in Q2’17 (down 10%), meaning it’s the only model whose YTD sales remain up on the first half of 2016
  • The Mirage’s closest competitor in Q1’17, Chevrolet Spark, suffered a complete collapse in sales in Q2’17, resulting in its YTD sales being only half of what they were in the first half of 2016, dropping the model to third in the rankings
  • Thanks to the Spark’s misfortune the Mini Cooper range (Hardtop 2-door4-door and Convertible) was promoted to second in the segment rankings, though this will be scant comfort to the brand given that YTD sales are a third down on 2016, at least in part due to sales cannibalization from the new compact-sized Clubman
  • In fourth spot is the Fiat 500, putting in the second-best performance in the segment, losing only 6% overall over the course of the first half of 2016

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. Something must have happened to the Spark though… Chevy is only reporting 11 ( eleven! ) sales in June. Could it be a supply issue, or something to do with the PSA purchase of Opel ( unlikely, i now )?

    1. @tuga – I completely agree, but so far I have not come across any explanation as to what is going on. If you come across something please share!

    2. Hi Tuga, I have no idea what’s up with the Spark either, but I’ll try to find out for you.
      I’m pretty sure the PSA deal has nothing to do with it, as GM South Korea has developed and produces the Spark, which means the Opel Karl/Vauxhall Viva versions are then sold to the European branch, just like the Buick Encore – Chevrolet Trax – Opel/Vauxhall Mokka triplets, but unlike the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia – Buick Regal, which has been developed by the European branch.

    3. Hi Tuga,
      I promised to get back to you on why sales of the Spark have come to a virtual halt.
      It turns out there’s been an airbag recall since May 9th on 55,068 units of 2016 and 2017 Model Year Sparks that has forced dealers to halt sales on certain vehicles for several months. The recall will begin July 5th and will include a replacement of the airbag module. That stop-sale has been reflected in the June sales charts (11 units sold). Deliveries of repaired Sparks should start again after July 5th.

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