Monday, January 20, 2020

2019 Subcompact Sales Summary

2019 Chevrolet Trax

There's been a long discussion about how small car sales are waning and how larger vehicle sales are gaining in popularity in the U.S. Heck, many thought 2019 would not be a strong car sales year for all cars. Well, the U.S. sales were down, but there were still 17 million vehicles sold (that five years with more than 17 million car sold, FYI). Pretty dang good. How'd the smaller cars do? Let's look.

For being a slow sales year (note sarcasm), small cars sold pretty well overall. General Motors takes the sales cake for '19 moving 116,816 Chevrolet Trax and 102,402 Buick Encore models. Those two models alone come in at 219,218 units! That's not something I expected as both models sold under 100,000 units in 2018. Honda Sold over 99,000 HR-Vs, Kia sold just under 99,000 Souls, and Jeep's pint-sized crossover moved just over  75,000 units. And yes, the top six cars on the list are, you guessed it, crossovers. That is if you consider the Soul a crossover, which Kia Motors America, Inc. does.

2019 Fiat 500L

Let's talk about some of the slower-moving vehicles. Not speed wise, but in a sales sense. At the bottom of the list is Fiat's 500L. This sales sloth has was second to last the previous year, and scrapes bottom for '19 moving a scant 771 units all year long or about 64 cars a month nationally. And just above it is the entire rest of the Fiat lineup. Now remember: Fiat announced it'd be pulling the 500 off the U.S. market this year, but that shouldn't matter too much as there are scads of them still out there. It does, however, highlight the problem the brand has in the U.S. While we don't have a crystal ball, it wouldn't be surprising to see the brand exit the North American market, especially with the recent FCA and Groupe PSA merger.

2019 Chevrolet Spark

One of my favorite small car sales battles, however, has been between the least expensive cars: The Chevrolet Spark and the Mitsubishi Mirage. Well, for '19 the Spark takes back the Most Popular Cheap Car by 4,325 units. It should be noted that both models were up in sales, but the Spark was up a whopping 32.5% (vs. Mirage's 10.3%). This shows me the market does need low-priced vehicles out there. I'm glad to see both models outpacing last year's sales.

Were there any surprises last year (other than Trax/Encore sales)? For me, the biggest surprise is Ford Fiesta sales, which topped 60,000 units, up 16.3% vs. last year. The company moved the most Fiestas since 2015. Hey, I thought FoMoCo was going to discontinue the car? Also, the Nissan Kicks was WAY up in sales, but it's likely because it had a late  2018 introduction, so the number is inflated.

I think '19 was an interesting year for small cars. The cars I listed here totaled 1,169,034 units. That's approximately 6.9% of total cars sales in the U.S. No, it still isn't a mega number. For perspective, light truck sales (e.g. pickups) sold 3,113,943 units and there are only 13 truck models in total.

Anyway, we'll see what happens with 2020. Hyundai has its new Venue out there, but I haven't heard much about any other new small cars coming down the pipe. But we'll see; I have a feeling '20 could be an interesting year.

Make/Model Sales 2019 Sales 2018 % Change
Chevrolet Trax 116,816 89,916 29.9
Buick Encore 102,402 93,073 10.0
Honda HR-V 99,104 95,494 15.9
Kia Soul 98,033 104,709 -6.0
Jeep Renegade 76,885 97,062 -21.0
Hyundai Kona 73,326 47,090 55.7
Nissan Versa 66,596 75,809 -12.2
Ford EcoSport 64,708 54,348 19.1
Ford Fiesta 60,148 51,730 16.3
Nissan Kicks 58,193 23,312 149.6
Toyota CH-R 48,930 49,642 -1.4
Honda Fit 35,414 35,300 0.3
Chevrolet Spark 31,281 23,602 32.5
Mitsubishi Mirage 26,966 24,316 10.3
Hyundai Accent 25,628 29,090 -11.9
Kia Rio 24,961 22,975 9.0
Toyota Yaris 21,916 27,210 -19.5
Hyundai Ioniq 19,574 15,076 29.8
Chevrolet Bolt 16,418 18,019 -8.9
Mazda CX-3 16,229 16,899 -4.0
Chevrolet Sonic 13,971 20,613 -32.2
MINI Countryman 13,969 17,565 -20.5
Hyundai Veloster 12,849 10,871 18.2
MINI Cooper /S Hardtop  2 DR 8,462 9,950 -15.0
Mazda MX-5Miata 7,753 8,971 -13.6
Cooper /S Hardtop 4 Door 6,065 6,450 -6.0
BMW i3 4,854 6,117 -20.6
Cooper /S Convertible 4,031 5,334 -24.4
Cooper /S Clubman 3,565 4,385 -18.7
Fiat 500 3,267 5,370 -39.0
Fiat Spider 2,644 3,515 -25.0
Fiat 500X 2,518 5,233 -52.0
Fiat 500L 771 1,413 -45.0
Hyuindai Venue 787 - -
Sales are for the U.S. only.

2018 Subcompact Sales Results
2017 Subcompact Sales Summary
How Subcompact Sales Stacked Up in 2016
2015 Subcompact Sales

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