US sales Q3 2017: Mid-sized segment

Every mid-sized model bar the Subaru Outback has lost sales in 2017 so far


Sales of Mid-sized cars in the US fell by 10% in the third quarter of 2017: still in the double-digits, but less severe than the declines in the first and second quarters. This relative upturn is mostly due to the entry of the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord into the market – it helps because customers are excited about the new model, but primarily because dealers want to empty their forecourts from the old model, and are offering bigger-than-before discounts. Still, with recent new models underperforming relative to their previous generations (Chevy MalibuHyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima), it remains to be seen if the new, bolder Toyota and Honda have what it takes to lure customers back into a segment that has become very unsexy over the past few years.

Highlights for Q3 2017:

2018 Toyota Camry
  • While four cars saw positive growth in the fourth quarter (Honda Accord, Nissan AltimaChevy Malibu and Subaru Outback), it’s only the Subaru that recorded positive YTD growth (its sales are up 11%)
  • Toyota Camry retains leadership of the segment it has led for over a decade without much of a problem, with Honda Accord consolidating its second position ahead of the Nissan Altima, whose sales are down a worrying 18% so far this year, much more than the two cars ahead of it
  • Still, the pack chasing the Top 3 did similar or worse: the fourth-placed Ford Fusion was down 24%, the fifth-placed Chevy Malibu down 17%, while sales of the Hyundai Sonata were down by a whopping 31%, allowing it to be overtaken by the on-form Subaru Outback (in essence, the only wagon in the segment); the reception by the market to the current Sonata has been so dismal that it has already received an extensive facelift despite being only three years old
  • Among all this gloom, the performance of the Kia Optima and VW Passat seems not bad at all, with both losing only 5% of their sales relative to 2016
  • The further back you go the worse the picture gets: Subaru Legacy is clearly not enjoying the same success as its Outback sibling (sales down 21%), the perennially underperforming Mazda6 saw its sales slide by a further 22%, while the soon-to-be-replaced Buick Regal lost a whopping 60% of sales in the third quarter
  • In a different category altogether are the VW CC the Chrysler 200, whose sales were half and two-thirds down on 2016 as the models are phased out

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