Top 10 Worst-Selling Cars In America – September 2011


Kia Rio5

Oft repeated but always worth mentioning, the establishing of a Worst-Selling Cars list isn’t easy. Certain cars are bound to be poor sellers. Take the Kia Rio for instance, the top (or is it bottom?) ranked car on the first table which measures Worst Sellers by year-over-year percentage decline. The outgoing Rio is dead to the world, the new Rio isn’t here yet. How can Kia do anything but sell significantly fewer Rios this September than last?

Of course, every car has its reasons. We expect to see the Acura RL here because it’s a shamefully dull midsize luxury car competitor. And Saab has run into some troubles. And Hyundai isn’t really doing anything with the current Azera. The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was never a hit. The Nissan Cube lost to the Kia Soul on so many levels. The same could be said of the Honda Insight and its top dog rival from Toyota, the Prius. The Good Car Guy put the Lexus HS250h in The Bad 8. Mercedes-Benz has been suffering from dramatically declining SL-Class sales for months now. And the Acura ZDX is another Bad 8 member because it is so… freaking… ugly.

The Kia Rio, then, doesn’t really deserve to be here. In September 2011 it was trapped inside a problem not related to desirability but directly connected to plant retooling, product life-cycles, and inventory. Though many other members of this first Top 10 Worst-Selling Cars list will be here next month, and probably the next, the Rio won’t linger long.

BY PERCENTAGE DECLINE
Rank
Vehicle
% Drop
September
2011
#1
Kia Rio
-88.4
190
#2
Acura RL
-82.1
43
#3
Saab 9-3
-81.8
190
#4
Hyundai Azera
-73.6
79
#5
Mercedes-Benz R-Class
-71.9
82
#6
Nissan Cube
-71.1
440
#7
Honda Insight
-69.5
512
#8
Lexus HS250h
-67.5
231
#9
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
-66.0
67
#10
Acura ZDX
-65.3
87

All Three Lists Updated & Corrected On 10/18/2011

It’s fair to say that, based on the second chart you’ll see below, the Hyundai Azera would be September 2011’s worst-selling car in America. Except there are issues with such a statement. Hyundai has been delaying the next-generation Azera for what feels like a dog’s age, allowing the current Azera to soldier on without any support. But under GoodCarBadCar.net Worst Sellers rules (which state that a vehicle featured on the company’s website in the current model year which has not been cancelled by its automaker will be eligible) the Azera is a worst seller.

Again, really, the Chevrolet Caprice? Ah, the Caprice is police car only material. The Mazda Tribute? I’m not sure Mazda remembers where the Tribute came from. Long live the 2013 Mazda CX-5. There are currently four Suzuki Equators for sale within 100 miles of northeast San Antonio, Texas, however. If you wanted one you could have one. Thus, on volume terms alone, the Equator does stand out as the true worst-selling vehicle in America in September 2011.

BY VOLUME
Rank
Non-Premium Vehicle
September 
2011
Year-To-Date
#1
Hyundai Azera
79
1407
#2
Chevrolet Caprice
140
498
#3
Mazda Tribute
180
2082
#4
Suzuki Equator
187
1599
#5
Kia Rio
190
13,792
#6
Subaru Tribeca
256
1970
#7
Suzuki Grand Vitara
372
3779
#8
Mazda MX-5 Miata
433
4687
#9
Nissan Cube
440
13,652
#10
GMC Canyon
458
7634

In the third chart, one which measures worst sellers by volume but takes into account all vehicles, even those intended to be ultra-exclusive and not just the mainstream contenders, you’ll find the ultra-rare Lexus LFA, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, and then a true failure, the Acura RL. Sales of the RL sedan slid 82% in September. The RL is the most boring premium-badged vehicle on sale today. 

The super-rare CL-Class Benz was actually up 28% in September. SL-Class sales fell 66% and the R-Class was down 72%, putting both in the list of 10 Worst-Selling Cars By Percentage Decline at the top of this page. The Acura ZDX, a member of The Bad 8, was off last year’s pace to the tune of a 65% decline. Porsche Cayman sales improved greatly in September, up from 61 at this time last year.

BY VOLUME – ALL VEHICLES
Rank
Vehicle 
(All-Inclusive)
September
2011
Year-To-
Date
#1
Lexus LFA
4 454
#2
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
25 454
#3
Acura RL
43 979
#4
Saab 9-4X
48 130
#5
Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
64 706
#6
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
67 1185
#7
Hyundai Azera
79 1407
#8
Mercedes-Benz R-Class
82 1986
#9
Acura ZDX
87 1220
#10
Porsche Cayman
94 1075

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