By on June 3, 2010

Midsized. Family sedans. D Segment. Camccords. Whatever you call them, they did pretty well last month, with only the Camry losing year-over-year volume.

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45 Comments on “May Sales Analysis: Mid-Size Sedans...”


  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    Looks like the Unintended Acceleration concerns have already been forgotten.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      Give it time. There’s such a thing as demand inertia

    • 0 avatar

      Quite the opposite is true, in fact: Camry would’ve grown if not the lingering effects of the government witchhunt on Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      mdensch

      Doing the math, the top six models showed an aggregate increase of 23% over 2009 while the Camry shows a 6.5% decline. In other words, the Camry underperformed the segment by nearly 30%, and that’s with extremely generous (for Toyota) incentives on the table.

      I’d say recall concerns are probably still on people’s minds.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>dexter
      Really?

      WSJ BLOGS
      Driver’s Seat
      JUNE 3, 2010, 4:45 PM ET
      Honda Accord Could Pass Toyota Camry As Top-Selling Car
      Article
      Comments
      DRIVER’SEAT
      By Jonathan Welsh

      Honda’s Accord is poised to become the best-selling car in the U.S.
      After nearly a decade of falling short, Honda’s Accord is on track to wrest the coveted top-selling-car crown from its longtime nemesis, the Toyota Camry.
      Honda sold 124,967 Accord sedans and coupes through the end of May, pulling within 1,000 cars of the Camry’s 125,804. Like others tracking this long-running rivalry I don’t include sales of the Crosstour, an expensive luxury hatchback version of the Accord. To me they are different cars, though they share many parts. Besides, Honda classifies the Crosstour as a light truck — like an SUV or pickup.

      You might think that Accord should be able to win this year as Toyota reels from recalls and bad publicity related to safety and quality problems, right? Well, it isn’t so simple. Toyota, which used to be stingy with low-rate financing, rebates and other incentives, has had to make generous deals to keep customers coming.

      If you are interested in an Accord, look for financing and lease deals from Honda, but don’t expect them to go as low at Toyota. Honda has never been much for cash rebates and 0% financing. People familiar with both companies say they adhere to an honor code more common in Japan than in the U.S. Boosting sales at Toyota’s expense, by aggressively trying to lure their customers away for example, would be like kicking someone who is already on the ground….
      http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2010/06/03/honda-accord-could-pass-toyota-camry-as-top-selling-car/?mod=rss_WSJBlog&mod=WSJ_Autos_Driversseat

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      I don’t know about that, my mom just bought a fusion, hyundai was second, accord third, the camry wasn’t even considered, she said there was no reason for that other than she didn’t like it (camry), but I can assure you that SUA was in the back of her mind.

      And why wouldn’t it be, even if the SUA was exaggerated, there were problems with the cars (the amount of recalls and effort to not make it public confirm that). At this point, I imagine that alot of people sitting on the fence are looking at toyota in the same way they looked at GM (they are saying one thing, but the cars are saying something different)

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I guess the Subaru Legacy sells better than the Mitsubishi Galant. Much better…

    But , how much?

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I was wondering the same thing. With all the news about Subie sales defying the catastrophe of ’08-’09 I would have thought it would at least be on the list.

    • 0 avatar

      Subie numbers are a challenge… Legacy is lumped in with Outback, making segment analysis nearly impossible. Together, Legacy/Outback did 11,216 units last month, up 74 percent from 6,422 in May of 2009.

  • avatar
    texlovera

    Avenger sales have more than doubled???

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Interesting. From a sales perspective, 6 contenders and 6 intenders.

    I wonder what accounts for the spike in Avenger sales. Did tight state government budgets cause the closure of mental health facilities?

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    The Sonata really did well. Brand new model and its already selling at Fusion-Malibu levels and almost double over year ago sales. That to me is an impressive performance.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      Brand new model… that’s exactly the reason. After the novelty effect wears off, the sales will back where they belong, ie at around 10k/month. That is, unless the upcoming turbo version becomes a hit with American mid-size sedan consumers, something which I really doubt.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @SomeDude:

      The Turbo Sonata – at $25k – will indeed be a hit with mid-size car consumers, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      The Sonata sales are for the 2010 (with huge discounts) and the 2011. Expect a drop from these levels next month. The 2010s are almost gone, and supplies of the 2011 are thin.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      @ gslippy

      Turbo has a connotation of being sporty. Or sportish. Or, if you ask my neighbours why they chose their Camry over the actually quite anemic new Accord, reckless driving and other ungodly behaviour of godly men.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The Sonata’s sales increases are very impressive and definitely due to the new model. Expecting volume to drop back to 10k/month “after the novelty wears off” is pure BS, by the way. There might be a slight drop-off after the discounted 2010′s are cleared out and there will be a slight decline as the car ages as is the case with nearly all cars, but I imagine Sonata sales will remain strong for several years yet.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @dwford supplies of the 2011 are thin

      You’re absolutely right and here’s why:

      Hyundai Says Sonata Sedan Demand Outstrips U.S. Plant Capacity

      Santa Fe production may be moved to West Point Georgia to help the situation.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      I disagree that with the idea that the Sonata is enjoying a temporary sales bump. Hyundai has broken into the mainstream when people are considering a car in this class. Hyundai is in the game to stay, and in a very serious way.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      @SomeDude

      The previous gen Sonata when it debuted never reached these heights in sales.

      The Hyundai plant in Alabama is running 2 10 hour shifts and they still can’t keep up w/ demand; it’ll just get worse when the turbo and hybrid hit the dealer lots.

      Also, keep in mind that the new Sonata outsells the Fusion and Malibu w/ regard to RETAIL sales.

  • avatar

    Poor, poor Mazda6, it just can’t seem to gain any traction. Whatever Mazda did with the 3 worked wonders.

    Maybe as the young people who bought a Mazda3 get older, and have families, they will move up into a 6, unless Mazda is so desperate for sales in the meantime they muck up the 6, by making it softer and even bigger.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The new Sonata is a breath away from overtaking the Malibu, Altima, and Fusion.

    Based on this chart alone, VW’s hopes of world domination appear overly optimistic, at least in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      Well, maybe the US market is no longer crucial for one’s world domination?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      VW, too, has finally recognized that the Passat isn’t the right car for the US market. That’s why they are building a new factory in the US, and that for a designed-for-North-America model (aka New Midsize Sedan).

      Although, as SomeDude pointed out, the US market isn’t the largest one any longer.

    • 0 avatar
      Robbie

      VW should be VW, and not try build their own Buick in a US plant…

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Sonata has already overtaken those 3 w/ regard to retail sales (and that’s w/o the turbo version).

      The Sonata/Optima combo has a shot to overtake the Camcord when the new Optima launches (the new Optima will steal some sales from the Sonata, but it’ll steal more from the other nameplates).

  • avatar
    SV

    I didn’t realize the Fusion was only behind the Camry and Accord in sales now! Of course that third-place ranking may not last with the new Sonata doing so well, especially since the Fusion’s going to remain unchanged for 2 or 3 more years or whenever the new Mondeo-twinned model replaces it.

    The Malibu’s sales increase is odd. There weren’t any significant changes for the 2010MY (in fact wasn’t there an article recently about the Malibu’s de-contenting?) so I’m guessing significant fleet sales and discounts factored into that huge jump in volume.

    The same, I imagine, goes for the Avenger (and Caliber).

    Considering how attractive the Mazda6 is I don’t understand why it sells so poorly…

  • avatar
    Gregg

    Do the Fusion numbers include the Milan? They had to sell some.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I can only see the graph when I click on it and it shades out the rest of the window.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Do Mazdas still go “Hummmmmmmmm.”

    Maybe Joe Isuzu could help them out.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    hahaha! I am the Hyundai Sonata, here to defeat the Nissan Altima (too bad about your recent slip-ups, Nissan) and the Chevrolet Malibu (before lunch … dunno what I’ll do after I eat GM’s lunch)!

    hahaha! I am the Hyundai Sonata. I’m also evil. Oh, and not bad looking, either.

    But seriously, I’ve been seeing a lot of the new Sonata in the Detroit area. Hyundai’s dealer network here improved over the past year and the non-Detroit Three buyer is open to brands other than Honda and Toyota.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    OK, so you threw in “premium midsize” sedans in the same segment as full-size sedans, but you can’t put non-lux midsize wagons (that is, the Outback, all one model of this segment) along with Legacy sales in the chart here? Both the Legacy and Outback are the same size segment car, just different body styles. You put the Corolla and Matrix together (as Toyota reports them) in the same bar in the C-segment chart.

    I’m just sayin’…

  • avatar

    One funny thing: I see the new “butt-lifted” Galant on the road often enough that absolutely dismal numbers come as a surprise. 500 cars for the whole country? Wow.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Wow, the Sonata is gaining market share like crazy. A few years ago it was a wannabe, and now it is in the thick of things.

    The Fusion is an interesting multi-year story as it has been building market share pretty consistently from the day it arrived. The ghost of the old Ford Contour is finally put to rest :).

    Notice the huge drop off from the Altima to everyone else. You could pretty much draw a horizontal line below the Altima and call everyone else an also ran.

    Mazda is in deep do do in the US. Try as they might, the Mazda brand is stuck in the same tar pit which consumed Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Suzuki. I don’t see any way Mazda is still a going, independent car making concern ten years from now.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Interesting to note that the Camcord duo is now out-sold by any trio of the runners-up. This segment is starting to resemble a 6-way tie.

    The Camry’s decline is especially significant in a so-called “recovery” year. The Emperor is going to need some new clothes, and soon.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    I am amazed at how little daylight there is between brands 3 thru 6. This is a seriously competitive segment right now. I recently checked out a Sonata, which I hadn’t done since the previous one premiered. Was shocked at the improvement.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    The Sonata is putting pressure on everyone this time around for sure. I expect the next Accord, Camry and Altima to be the parent companies biggest challenge yet. Can they offer enough “betterness” (for lack of a better word) to command the higher pricetag this time around?

    (Although I’ve noticed Hyundais new models are really creeping up in price to where the differentiation is only a few hundred bucks)

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    I can’t remember the last time any manufacturer couldn’t keep up with demand for a mid sized mainstream sedan. In fact I don’t know if that has ever happened. Obviously the new Sonata is a very serious contender in this segment. I still find it amazing the Sonata is selling at Fusion-Malibu levels as both are IMO far better established models and have far more extensive dealer networks.


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