Segment sees sales decline lessen as barrage of new models hope to recover ground lost to crossovers
Sales in the US Mid-sized segment fell by 5.8% to 822,522 in the first half of 2019, a slightly less bad performance than the 10% plus sales decline the model experienced in 2017 and 2018. What’s more, while the sheen of newness may be coming off the latest Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, and the Ford Fusion leaving the segment, there will be plenty of new models to take the battle to the crossovers, including the new Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback and heavily-facelifted Volkswagen Passat.
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
Sales rose for only 3 out of the 13 models total in the segment
Toyota Camry easily retained the leadership of the segment, losing only 2% of its sales, moving it further ahead of its arch-nemesis Honda Accord (sales down 6%) and the recently-replaced Nissan Altima (sales down 12%, with the new model failing to arrest the 5% sales slide in the second quarter)
All the positive growth in the segment came from long-in-the-tooth models, including the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Fusion (sales up 11%), and the soon-to-be-replaced Subaru Outback and Kia Optima (sales up 3% and 8%, respectively)
The rise of Volkswagen’s crossovers came at a clear expense of the outgoing Passat, whose sales dropped by half so far in 2019, suggesting that the brand may be right to only give the model an extensive facelift (rather than full-on remake) for the 2020 model year
The segment’s only new entrant, Volkswagen Arteon (replacing the CC), only came out in Q2’19, so we will need to wait until the second half of the year to see just exactly how well it was received by customers
Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts in 1973 – access previous years using slider on bottom
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