Midsize Sedan Deathwatch #8: It Got Downright Ugly In January 2017
The Suzuki Kizashi‘s brief tenure came to an end in 2013. 2014 was the last year Mitsubishi produced Galant sales in the United States. 2015 marked the Dodge Avenger’s terminus. The Chrysler 200’s death was announced in 2016.
Will 2017 be a periodÂ of further contraction in America’s midsize sedan market?
This is the eighthÂ edition ofÂ TTACâ€™s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch. The midsize sedan as we know it â€” â€œmidsizedus sedanicusâ€ in the original latin â€” isnâ€™t going anywhere any time soon, but the ongoing sales contraction will result in a reduction of mainstream intermediate sedans in the U.S. market.Â
How do we know? It already has.
If January 2017’s results are anything to go by, it’s going to be a very ugly year for midsize cars in the United States;Â sales tumbled by more than a fifth in January 2017, a year-over-year decline worth 30,000 lost sales.
There were a number of guideposts in January that clarified just how poor a month it was for America’s midsize car category.
Granted, Volkswagen Passat sales improved. Passat volume jumped 64 percent to 5,887 units. But that year-over-year Passat uptick must be placed in context. At this point last year, Passat sales were in the toilet. Better historical context is provided by previous Januarys. In the first month of 2017, Passat volume was down 7 percent compared with January 2015, down 6 percent compared with January 2014, and 34 percent compared with January 2013.
The Mazda 6, meanwhile, reported a 28 percent year-over-year improvement. But the 6 was still the lowest-volume midsize car in America January 2017, discontinued Chrysler 200 aside. Only 3 percent of America’s midsize volume was generated by Mazda. Sales of the Mazda 6 in January 2017 were down by a third compared with January 2012. Mazda has sold more than 5,000 6s in a single month just twice in the last 18 months.
That’s right. Even the good midsize numbers in January 2017 weren’t that good at all.
And yet, there’ll be new blood in the category soon, prompting some industry insiders to forecast minimal decline in the latter portion of 2017.
The new midsize cars, of course, are replacements for current midsize cars. No automaker not currently participating in America’s midsize car category is about to jump in. That would be silly. Midsize cars aren’t brought to life. Midsize cars, the forgotten and ignored and the poorly executed, simply die off.
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
February 2, 2017 at 03:35AM
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