US sales Q3 2017: Premium Compact segment

Every single model loses sales, with the exception of the new Mini Clubman
US premium compact

The decline in the Premium Compact segment in the US slowed down in the third quarter of the year, but the segment still shrank by 5% over the period, bringing the YTD decline to 18.1% – worse only than the Minicar, Subcompact and Small Sports segments. While the one new entrant, Mini Clubman, has done reasonably well to bring in new customers, as did the Infiniti QX30 (which we officially classify as a Premium Compact SUV, and only include here for reference) , every other model in the segment saw its sales fall by 20% or more since the beginning of the year. With the new Mercedes-Benz A-class and BMW 1-series sedans still at least a year away from market, the prospects for this segment are not looking very bright.

Highlights for Q3 2017

Mini Clubman
  • The Audi A3 maintains its lead but sees its sales fall by almost 25%, much like its closest rivals in the segment: the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Acura ILX
  • While the Infiniti QX30‘s sales performance has been disappointing in the context of the Premium Compact SUV segment, it does relatively well when viewed as an alternative to cars in this segment, selling fewer cars than only the segment-leading Audi
  • BMW 2-series loses even more than the cars ahead of it, with sales down 31%, and may yet me outsold by Mini Clubman by the end of the year
  • The aging hybrid Lexus CT is about to leave the market, and about time too, as it is almost overtaken by the underperforming BMW i3, whose sales are still falling despite an increase in battery capacity (that the similarly-priced Chevy Bolt has twice the range can’t help)

Note: “AP” designates models that are classified in the Alternative Power segment, presented here for comparison; “SUV” for the QX30 means it’s featured in the subcompact crossover segment but we mention it here for comparison; 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