Toyota Camry and Subaru Outback gain sales as Ford abandons declining segment
Sales in the Mid-sized segment fell by 12.7% to 412,667 in the first quarter of 2018, a slightly slower pace of decline than in the fourth quarter of 2017 or the previous year as a whole, but a substantial decline nonetheless. With Ford announcing that it will discontinue the Fusion is now clear that the segment which was the go-to place for family transportation is now being abandoned for crossovers not just by the customers, but also by car manufacturers. This makes it all the more intriguing to see how the new Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima will do in 2018.
Toyota Camry and Subaru Outback were the only two Top 10 models to see their sales rise in Q1’18, with the crossover-like Subaru showing a potential way forward for carmakers whose traditional offerings are struggling
Speaking of struggling, the new Honda Accord has been unable to gain traction in the segment, hurt by uncompetitive lease rates, and remained in third place behind the previous-generation Nissan Altima
Ford Fusion, the center of attention in the last few days, saw its sales fall by 15%, not much worse than the Accord or Altima, but enough for the model to lose a spot to the crossover Outback
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
A few models had a particularly bad Q1’18: sales of Kia Optima were down 27%, those of the recently-facelifted Hyundai Sonata were down by 37%, while VW Passat saw its sales almost halve due to internal competition from crossovers (see a theme here?)
And just to emphasize the point even further, sales of the sedan Subaru Legacy were less than a quarter of those of its crossover Outback sister – you can see the two models’ diverging fortunes over the past decade in the graph below:
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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