While the class-leading Honda Civic posted a substantial 22% year-over-year U.S. sales increase, March 2016 sales of compact cars tumbled 11%. The daily selling rate – March 2016 had two additional selling days compared with March 2015 – plunged 18%, a loss of 1500 sales per day in the category.
The new, tenth-generation Civic is, as expected, riding high. March presented a close race. The Toyota Corolla’s 8% decline was necessary in order for Honda to claim a narrow 299-unit victory.
But it’s not difficult to see the Civic’s impact on rival top sellers. As Honda added 20,581 first-quarter sales in 2016, Toyota lost 6468 Corolla sales, Ford lost 2779 Focus sales, Mazda lost 5171 3 sales, and Volkswagen lost 3340 Jetta sales.
The declines reported by the Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra relate as much to the transition period for those two models – both are entering new generations – as they do to the overarching decline in interest in the category.
With the second-generation Cruze launch taking longer than expected and a complete loss of fleet sales in March, Cruze volume plunged 58%.
Subtract the Cruze and Elantra from the overall compact equation and compact car volume grew by 0.5% in March.
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. Suggestions on how GCBC should break down segments can be passed on through the Contact page.