Small Car Sales In America – December 2016 & 2016 Year End


2016 Honda Civic sedan

Considering the declining sales seen elsewhere in America’s passenger car market, not to mention the disappearance of some models, it’s not reasonable to say that Americans don’t want small cars.

Sure, Americans are now buying more SUVs/crossovers than cars. But the decrease felt across the car sector – sales fell 10% outside the compact segment – the 5% drop in sales in the compact sector wasn’t so bad. Besides, a fair chunk of the near-120,000 unit drop was caused by the disappearing Dodge Dart. Its death was announced early in the year; production was ended before the year ended. Dart volume dropped by nearly 45,000 units. 

U.S. Car Sales Rankings By Model – 2016 Year End
U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model – 2016 Year End

Two other Detroit nameplates – the new Chevrolet Cruze and older Ford Focus – lost a combined 71,000 sales. Throw in the anticipated drop at Volkswagen following the TDI emissions scandal as a cause, as well.

But then try telling Honda, Nissan, and Toyota that Americans won’t buy small cars. The trio combined for 959,846 total Civic, Sentra, and Corolla sales, a 6% year-over-year uptick. 

USA small car sales chart 2016 year end
Click Chart To Expand

Subcompact car sales, meanwhile, fell just 3% as Honda Fit supply improved and as the Korean duo pushed harder to deliver Accents and Rios; as Toyota found a measure of success with the Scion iA/Toyota Yaris iA.

Americans are still buying small cars. Millions of them. But it’s getting harder for lower-volume nameplates to make hay as consumers flock to crossovers; as remaining small car buyers inevitably veer toward the most popular nameplates.

You can click any model name in the tables below to find historical monthly and yearly U.S. auto sales data. You can also select a make and model at GCBC’s Sales Stats page. These tables are sortable, so you can rank small cars of all kinds any which way you like. Mobile users can now thumb across the tables for full-width access. Suggestions on how GCBC should break down segments can be passed on through the Contact page.

Click Column Headers To Sort • January 2017 • November 2016December 2015

Compact
Dec.
2016
Dec.
2015
%
Change
2016
2015

Change
1079
1960 -44.9% 14,597 18,531 -21.2%
1038
2545 -59.2% 30,277 31,886 -5.0%
17,324
16,849 2.8% 188,876 226,602 -16.6%
1525
5867 -74.0% 43,402 87,908 -50.6%
10,242
11,005 -6.9% 168,789 202,478 -16.6%
31,482
32,796 -4.0% 366,927 335,384 9.4%
19,556
14,242 37.3% 208,319 241,706 -13.8%
7560
5411 39.7% 103,292 78,919 30.9%
8102
9838 -17.6% 95,567 107,884 -11.4%
860
1324 -35.0% 14,304 17,691 -19.1%
17,037
19,760 -13.8% 214,709 203,509 5.5%
8064
9148 -11.8% 88,517 100,519 -11.9%
31,209
33,692 -7.4% 378,210 368,431 2.7%
29,402
32,447
-9.4%
360,483
363,332
-0.8%
1807
1245
45.1%
17,727
5099
248%
8968
5715 56.9% 61,687 65,308 -5.5%
13,079
14,073 -7.1% 121,107 131,109 -7.6%
Total
177,125
184,225 -3.9% 2,098,580 2,217,865 -5.4%

Subcompact
Dec.
2016
Dec.
2015
%
Change
2016
2015
%
Change
6375
7293 -12.6% 55,255 64,775 -14.7%
3772
3550 6.3% 48,807 64,458 -24.3%
4425
4197 5.4% 56,630 52,724 7.4%
4159
2718 53.0% 79,766 61,486 29.7%
1269
997 27.3% 28,700 23,742 20.9%
1 -100% 3 297 -99.0%
8918
11,058 -19.4% 132,214 144,528 -8.5%
1644
2861 -42.5% 20,452 38,484 -46.9%
2757
2185 26.2% 38,855 24,384 59.3%
760
377
102%
10,872
16,779
-35.2%
1997
1808
10.5%
27,983
7605
268%
Total
33,319
34,860 -4.4% 460,682 474,878 -3.0%

City Car
Dec.
2016
Dec.
2015
%
Change
2016
2015
%
Change
4257
1384 208% 35,511 32,853 8.1%
1555
1262 23.2% 22,226 21,515 3.3%
2 -100% 6 482 -98.8%
1186
669 77.3% 6211 7484 -17.0%
Total
6998
3317 111% 63,954 62,334 2.6%

Warm Hatches
Dec.
2016
Dec.
2015
%
Change
2016
2015
%
Change
1411
1737 -18.8% 15,437 23,980 -35.6%
2699
2246 20.2% 30,053 24,245 24.0%
3804
2823 34.8% 39,239 40,120 -2.2%
102
976 -89.5% 9336 16,459 -43.3%
1596
1311 21.7% 15,667 22,667 -30.9%
Total
9612
9093 5.7% 109,732 127,471 -13.9%

Tall Hatchbacks &
Subcompact Crossovers
Dec.
2016
Dec.
2015
%
Change
2016
2015
%
Change
7755
6498 19.3% 78,565 67,549 16.3%
8007
5323 50.4% 79,016 63,030 25.4%
102
310 -67.1% 3118 7585 -58.9%
843
3572 -76.4% 11,712 11,357 3.1%
9034
4737 90.7% 82,041 41,969 95.5%
12,427
12,159 2.2% 145,768 147,133 -0.9%
1646
1663 -1.0% 18,557 6406 190%
853
2148 -60.3% 12,706 16,686 -23.9%
1
38 -97.4% 85 1708 -95.0%
2500
3356 -25.5% 33,067 36,966 -10.5%
13 -100% 15 943 -98.4%
1290
1958 -34.1% 19,577 27,121 -27.8%
886 -100% 2677 15,223 -82.4%
8 -100% 9 794 -98.9%
10,229
8090 26.4% 95,677 88,927 7.6%
Total
54,687
50,759 7.7% 582,590 533,397 9.2%

Source: Automakers & ANDC
* vehicle also displayed in another GCBC segment breakdown
GCBC isn’t here to break down segments, an impossible task for any group, but to display sales data for the sake of comparison. The more ways sales data can be displayed, the better. This explains why you’ll see the Encore and XV Crosstrek are listed with small SUVs, too, and the Acura ILX shown with mainstream cars is also displayed with luxury cars… because readers have wanted it both ways. You can always find the sales results for EVERY vehicle and form your own competitive sets by using the All Vehicle Rankings posts.

RECOMMENDED READING
Small Car Sales In America – January 2017
Small Car Sales In America – November 2016
Small Car Sales In America – December 2015
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America In 2016
U.S. Auto Sales Brand Rankings – December 2016
Midsize Car Sales In America – December & 2016 Year End