Ram Pickup – the evolutionary fifth generation is clearly proving a big hit with buyers, with sales up by more than 30% in August, November and December, making 2018 the model’s best ever year
Hyundai Kona – the adventurously-styled small Hyundai crossover saw its sales cross 8,000 in Dec’18, over 1,500 more than erstwhile segment leader Jeep Renegade, and within 800 units of the current segment leader, Buick Encore (according to our estimates)
Subaru Ascent – much like the Kona, the new-to-the-brand Ascent has been an immediate hit with buyers, with the high December sales suggesting 2019 sales could top 100,000 – not bad for a brand whose total sales were still well below 200,000 only a decade ago
Kia Stinger – a large 4-door, RWD “coupe” from a brand whose sportiest model in the past decade has been a 2-door version of its FWD compact runabout has no right to be selling over 15,000 units in a year, but the Stinger’s good press, handsome looks and powerful engines have brought in a lot of buyers
BMW X2 – the small X2 may be a questionable improvement over the already-handsome but more spacious X1, but that has not stopped it from frequently outselling not just its more straight-laced brother, but also its equally-new rivals, Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-Pace, combined
Lexus LS – the big Lexus may find it hard to re-create the success of the first-generation model, which sold over 40,000 units per year, but the swoopy fourth-generation model has already managed to more than double the sales volume of the previous generation in 2017
Toyota Yaris – if the 30% year-on-year drop recorded by the sedan version wasn’t bad enough, the liftback has seen its sales fall by over three quarters in 2018!
Smart ForTwo and Fiat 500 – with sales of both models down by almost 60% in 2018, now is the good time to admit the experiment has failed, and conclude that despite urbanization and changing tastes, American drivers are still not keen on driving anything smaller than a compact car
Mini Clubman – sales of the Clubman in 2018 were not just down by almost 45% year-on-year, they were barely over a third of what they were in 2016; clearly, customer seeking space greatly prefer the crossover Mini Countryman to the Clubman’s more straightforward compact segment positioning
Infiniti QX30 – hopes were high that the QX30 would bring a whole new group of younger, adventure-hungry customers to Infiniti, but instead sales have fallen by almost 45% in only the model’s second full year
Volkswagen Golf – another once-popular model whose sales have collapsed (by 45%, compared to 2017) after the introduction of a similarly-sized crossover model (here: Tiguan L)
Chevrolet Bolt – the Bolt was touted as a taste of what the future of GM will look like, but with sales down 30% in only the model’s second year, at the time when the Tesla Model 3 is setting new EV records, is a poor performance
GMC Acadia – a rare case when a new generation of a model is significantly smaller than the previous one, the “right-sized” Acadia seemed to gain good traction with buyers in 2017, only to fall back a year later to the sales level achieved by the older model in its final year
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