US sales 2017 first half: Subcompact segment

Subcompact segment lost more than 20%, and only Toyota-branded cars gained any sales 

Sales in the subcompact segment in the United States continued falling in the second quarter of 2017, dropping by 250,395 units for the first half of the year. This represents a fall of 20.8% compared to the first half of 2016, the second fastest rate of decline from among the mainstream segments, behind only the minicar segment. Part of the reason is that a lot of the cars in the segment are either about to be replaced (Chevrolet SonicFord FiestaHyundai Accent and Kia Rio) or are in the second half of their life-cycle (Nissan VersaToyota Yaris), but really it’s the gradual migration to crossovers that’s the more likely reason of this trend – the subcompact SUV segment grew by 10.6% percent over the same period, and sold more than 200,000 units in half a year for the first time ever.

Highlights for first half of 2017:

  • The three segment leaders, Nissan VersaKia Soul and Hyundai Accent all saw their sales fall by double digits in the first half of the year, with the Kia looking like in 2017 it will lose the segment leadership it has held since 2011
  • Relative to such a performance, the 4% sales loss experienced by Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta looks like a relative success, especially for the nine-year-old Ford
  • The only model to record substantive growth this period, Toyota iA, suggests that Toyota was right in ditching the underperforming Scion brand, seeing as Scion’s old model seems to be doing better under the Toyota banner
  • The two worst performances in the segment came from the hybrid Toyota Prius C (sales down 39%), and the soon-to-be-replaced Kia Rio (sales down 57%)

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