US sales Q1 2016 Minicar segment

US mini 2

What a difference a year makes! 2015 started off very well for the Minicar segment, with a 19% growth recorded in Q1, but 2016 could not be more different: sales were 28% lower in Q1 2016 than a year prior, the biggest fall from among all segments! The reason for this is very clear: continuing low gas prices encourages people to buy larger, less fuel-efficient cars. With only one new car (Chevy Spark) and one facelifted car (Mitsubishi Mirage) hitting the market this year, it’s hard to see how things could get better anytime soon for the struggling segment.

Highlights for Q1 2016:

Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Mini Cooper retained the segment crown despite sales being down 11%
  • Mitsubishi Mirage was the only car whose sales grew compared to Q1’15, allowing the discount runabout to take second spot from the Chevy Spark
  • Sales of the Chevy Spark and Fiat 500 fell by 43% and 53%, respectively; this is particularly bad news for the Spark whose new version hit the market this quarter, though it is possible that once the model handover is finished we will see a sales rebound in the second quarter
  • Smart ForTwo is just about hanging in there, with barely 1,300 sales in the whole quarter

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