By on October 13, 2011

Well, it sure looked like the Kia Soul was poised to take out the Nissan Versa as the king of the small cars, especially in light of Michael Karesh’s lukewarm review. But the new Versa has roared back into contention last month, outselling the two next-closest nameplates combined. The Soul is hanging onto its lead in the YTD numbers, but that won’t last if the Versa keeps up this pace. On the other hand, an updated, more efficient Soul is hitting the market soon, and Kia’s new Rio should help take the fight back to Nissan. Meanwhile, The Fiat 500 still has yet to outsell the MINI, Sonic and Veloster are just entering the market, and Hyundai’s brand-new (and reportedly supply-limited) Accent can’t move past Honda’s aging Fit. But really, there’s only one story here… how about that Nissan Versa? 

 

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59 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Subcompact Sales In September And Year-To-Date...”


  • avatar
    Marko

    The Versa is disturbingly successful, but I guess people like the low price and the “Buick”-like driving dynamics. Also, it seems like the latest subcompact offerings have made a lot of people forget about the Mini. (It doesn’t help the Mini that Ford, Chevy, etc. dealers are much more numerous than Mini/BMW dealers.)

    • 0 avatar

      Seems to me you can explain all the MINI’s loss and more to the introduction of the Fiat 500.

      The Fiat 500 ate up about half the Mini market share. It also managed to grow the market a bit – the Mini + Fiat total is 681 units more than it was last year.

      I guess novelty makes a big difference in that market, since from the reviews I thought the Mini was by far the better car.

      However, if Fiat expected huge sales for the 500 they were a bit delusional …

      D

    • 0 avatar
      M.S. Smith

      MINI claims to be inventory bound at the moment, and the regular Cooper is likely losing sales to its own Countryman, and maybe a few to Coupe early adopters.

      Companies will say anything, of course, but I’m inclined to believe them in this case because trying to take money off the price of a Mini continues to be like trying to extract blood from a stone.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Is the Countryman included in the CUV charts or rolled in with other MINIs? Checking the web, my dealer seems to have a surprising number Countrymen on the lot. They have very few Clubmen, not sure if it’s because they’re still a hot item or they cut production in anticipation of the Countryman stealing its thunder.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        The Countryman is included in the compact CUV charts. Or at least were in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Also, another reason for slow sales for Mini is that the 2012 Mini Cooper will be the last year of the current (since 2007) body style.

      New one expected for 2013, with engine ranging from a 3 cylinder to rumors of the BMW N20 turbo four in the top line John Cooper Works model.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      The Versa proves that you don’t have to be best to be a winner. The Versa is far better than the cars being replaced by the Versa in garages and driveways across the US. The point is to sell what you make and Nissan is selling all the Versas they are making. Nissan has been around longer than Kia, so buyers interested in making a safer choice in this car market are chosing the tried and true Versa. The big loser here is Toyota and Honda. This used to be their customer base and they have lost it.

      As to the Mini – too bad. The opposite is true too. Accolades and enthusiasm isn’t enough. The Mini is a niche vehicle and it has filled it’s niche.

      The Soul is where the action is. While Versa is a compromise vehicle, the Soul is a statement. The Versa says new-ish, and the Soul says brand-new. There is a difference between Versa and Soul buyers, I suspect. Souls are more fashionable. When buying a disposable car, try the latest fashion, I say.

      The Fit is having a fit. It is too new to be having these kinds of sales figures. Honda has positioned it’s Civic in such a spot that the Fit doesn’t fit the Honda line up unless you are a Hondaphile. The Fit is a very fine car, it just doesn’t look worth what it’s window sticker says it is worth.

      I have no idea why anyone would want a Ford Fiesta when one could have a Ford Focus. The Fiesta isn’t different enough from a Focus to settle for it’s drawbacks. The Fiesta really doesn’t have a reason besides price to draw customers. If Ford is serious about keeping it around, they will need to do something to differentiate it from the Focus.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Are these the new Versas that are flying off of lots? The old one kinda made sense, because it was cheap and had real passenger room lacking in all the artsy-fartsy sloping roofline garbage. The new one is just cheap. Is that enough? Could the cheap new car be a response to silly used car pricing?

    If it interesting to see what a strong seller the Aveo was. Cheap is obviously king in subcompacts, so it could well be that GM is doing the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. As usual.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      “Could the cheap new car be a response to silly used car pricing?”
      –That was my thought too. Now that used car prices are reportedly dropping, it will be interesting to see how sales of econoboxes will fare.

  • avatar
    M.S. Smith

    Cheap sells.

    Of course, in the long run it’s a risky game to play. Profit margins are small, so minor fluctuations can spell trouble. For now, however, I think Nissan will do fine because they’re really the only company left in the ultra-cheap vehicle space. Everyone else has gone upmarket.

  • avatar

    Price is the game changer here, the Versa is the cheapest car in the segment(and the US I believe) and that is a huge deal to most of the buyers looking to save money.

    The Fiat 500 should gain more traction in coming months and surpass Mini now that the dealerships (Studios) are opening in widespread areas and the ads are popping up everywhere… I just hope that JLo didnt do all that much damage.

    on a side note… I am one of the 2,773 who bought a Fiat in September :)

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’ve seen 2 500s in the last month. The dealership network is just starting to pop-up in my area, as I’m sure it is in other places. I suspect if I lived closer to Minneapolis/St. Paul (I’m about 35 minutes out) I’d probably see more of these buggers. Those two cities, and their close suburbs, seem to be getting the Fiat dealers.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    The interior of the Versa & Fit (Back Seat) is larger then Focus and Cruze. Not Fiat 500. Why are they classed as Sub-Compact? The Versa (All Versions) a lot of car for the money. Not for the car lover. For the appliance King.

  • avatar
    Joss

    It should be Fit and (new) Accent plowing this field.. Fit’s sourced from Japan inventory may not have recovered sufficiently to match Versa discounting. Also hard to discern what’s Versa fleet /discounted 2011. Still looks like Versa stole from Sonic and 500 from Cooper.

    Considering the 2012 Versa sedan? Wait 6 months don’t touch first couple of batches. I guarantee factory flaws. Don’t believe the mileage hype on CVT secondary planet redux. If you want Nissan go Sentra or Versa hatch or just wait a few months on the new sedan until the early flaws are out.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      I don’t think the Sonic has been on the market long enough for anyone to really make any comment on it. I wasn’t even aware that Sonics were on sale now. The Versa numbers of course include any outgoing sedans and the as of now unchanged hatchback. We don’t know how many of those were actually the new sedan, at least by looking at this chart.

      And I believe the Versa has basically always been at the top of the chart, even before supply issues with the Fit.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Seeing how Sonic has been on sale for just a couple of weeks and is inventory constrained, there is almost no point in many any observation on sales.

      None of the dealers around me have any hatches to look at in any trim level. I’ve seen one in the wild already (black hatch)

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The Versa, as has been said, is not really in this segment, but in the class above. It is an awesome value for a non-enthusiast, with a relatively huge interior and almost crossover like view of the road. I think it has been set back with the redesign, probably to reduce Sentra cannibalization.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    “Meanwhile, The Fiat 500 still has yet to outsell the MINI…”

    IMHO, the real story here is the fact that the Fiat 500 is outselling the Yaris – and by a substantial margin.

    I always thought the Fiat 500 was a bit of a niche fashion accessory, rather than a serious attempt at a high volume subcompact.

    While its true that the Fiat 500 is fresh and the Yaris is a bit long in the tooth, I would expect the Yaris to sell more since it comes with a Toyota badge and a significantly lower price. I doubt the Yaris is supply constrained, here in Canada they were offering $1250 cash back, or $750 cash back and *six years* free financing. I woudn’t expect to see six years of free money on a car where supply couldn’t keep up with demand…

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    The Nissan Sentra still hold the 2nd place over at CR. Really?
    I keep on thinking that if they brought a Sentra to the new Jetta/Civic showdown those cars would not be scalded as they did. If you get a Sentra with over 30K as a rental, just toss back the keys. The car does not handle abuse. Low mile car are OK.
    High mile Corolla? Civic? VERSA? Forte? Yaris? Accent? No problem.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    How about the Mazda 2 being outsold by leftover Aveos? From an enthusiast’s perspective, it is the 2nd most desirable car in the class. Apparently, that isn’t enough to sell in measurable numbers. Mazda could beat Mitsubishi to the US market trivia book.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @CJ: Wait, the old Aveo outsold the savior of the subcompact class, the Mazda 2?

      Maybe it really isn’t that desirable then. Or truly, there are no enthusiasts in this end of the market.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Toyota has always experienced difficulties selling their cars in the subcompact market.

    Tercel… Echo… Yaris… not a one of them in nearly 30 years has competed in this segments the way Camry and Corolla do in their segments.

    Although Paul Neidermeyer shakes his head in near disgust whenever he hears it, I do happen to like the Versa quite a bit. DIY maintenance is not that big of an issue with these vehicles. They offer an amazing level of space for the price you pay. Plus the shape has a bit of a French quirkiness to it since what what you’re buying is pretty much an Americanized Renault Logan.

    I have seen the new Versa. Sat in one as well. in my opinion it’s a much nicer design than the outgoing Versa. But I’m the type of guy who can look at the 4 bar linkage of an SC400 and admire its enduring beauty.

    Not many other people have that type of mindset.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Steven Lang: “Tercel… Echo… Yaris… not a one of them in nearly 30 years has competed in this segments the way Camry and Corolla do in their segments.”

      Yes, the conventional wisdom is that US mfrs make terrible small cars ostensibly to increase sales of the larger ones, but then why do all of the tiny Toyotas, well, suck?

      When I was shilling cars in the early 90′s no one, but no one came to look at a Tercel. We called them Turd-smells, as everyone who
      looked at one turned up their nose like they’d just found a three day old diaper Most of the folks who ended up in one were some how credit damaged.

      That’s been a puzzle for me, why tiny Toyotas are so bad, when other makes have much better small cars.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I don’t share your Tercel recollections. My last contact with one came in 1991 or 1992, when I was given one by a rental company. It was nothing special, and I didn’t for a second consider a Toyota to replace the Jetta my girlfriend had just totaled on me. At the same time, it was pretty much what I expected a small economy car to be and there is no way it wasn’t a strong seller. I spent 20 minutes walking around the commuter lot at Virginia Tech, wandering from red 2 door Tercel coupe to red 2 door Tercel coupe looking for the one that was mine. There were so many of them it wasn’t even funny. I also remember a great deal of enthusiasm for the earlier Tercels amoung the people who had them, bording on fanatacism for the 4×4 wagon owners. The Echo, on the other hand, was a punitively bad design. One look at the dashboard had me concluding that Toyota had read the GM playbook on coercing people up the model range by depriving them of expected features, in this case a speedometer in the driver’s line of sight.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        depriving them of expected features, in this case a speedometer in the driver’s line of sight.

        Unless you have severe macular degeneration, the Echo’s speedometer isn’t out of the driver’s line of sight. It’s in the center, but the Echo isn’t exactly a 76 Eldorado in terms of width. Besides, staring absolutely straight ahead isn’t a good idea when driving. I’ve driven plenty of center speedometer cars and don’t have an issue. To be honest, I really don’t look at the speedometer often – usually just to set the cruise control. If not using cruise control, I’m setting my pace to traffic.

        Why do it? For short-statured drivers, not having the speedometer in front helps with forward visibility.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        @mcs: Why do it? For short-statured drivers, not having the speedometer in front helps with forward visibility.

        No, they do it because it is cheaper to design (and build) RHD and LHD models, important for keeping prices low. Any visibility benefit is just an added bonus.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        If it is such a great feature, why is is confined to costed out penalty boxes? When Toyota puts it in a Lexus or Camry, I’ll believe there is a functional reason for it. Driving a Mini Cooper for about a year did nothing to improve my opinion of the design, and it has kept me from buying or recommending a number of Toyota/Scion products.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        We have a Yaris sedan, and it certainly doesn’t suck. It was very good in 2007 when we bought it (especially compared to the 93 Civic we replaced with it), and had several advantages over the Versa, Fit, and Accent/Rio offered at the time. Having cross-shopped it, I really don’t get how the Accent has been outselling it so readily. The Aveo–probably rental fleets.

        I have no delusions that the center mounted gauges are anything but a penny-pinching measure, but you get used to them very quickly and I don’t think it takes any more effort to get a reading.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        No, they do it because it is cheaper to design (and build) RHD and LHD models, important for keeping prices low. Any visibility benefit is just an added bonus.

        I agree 100%. It’s definitely a cost saving measure, but I know a number of shorter drivers that love the fact that they are getting a tiny bit of extra visibility. So for some, there is a minor ergonomic benefit even if it was a side effect from cost cutting.

        In the case of the Echo, there are ldh and rhd versions of the dash because it is actually asymmetric – the instrument pod is canted toward the drive and the center console is actually closer to the passenger.

        The MINI has a center speedometer out of tradition and I believe every MINI since 2003 has the ability of displaying the speed in the tachs digital display. There has always been an option to pair the tach with an adjacent speedometer.

        The location of the dash speedometer isn’t an issue for me. As terrible as it seems I really don’t pay that much attention to the speedometer – especially on my manual transmission cars.

        If there is no traffic, I set the cruise control. If I’m in a traffic jam, I’m paying more attention to numbers related to the vehicles health. When I do check the speed, I use the nav systems display because 99.9% of the time it’s much more accurate.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @CJ: at the time I was selling Toyotas, unless you had an awful credit history, or some other issue, the Tercel wasn’t that much less expensive than the contemporary Corolla, which was a somewhat bigger car with a bigger backseat.

        If you could get bought by credit company, you could get into a Corolla for not much more than a Tercel. Neither car was for folks who liked to drive, by the same token, that’s why the Celica and Supra existed. But the Corollas have a better reputation and resale value than the Tercels did, and for a few bucks more – why not?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        mcs,

        Our Mini Cooper was one of the first US models, ordered late in 2002. I’m almost certain it was a 2003 model. It did not have the capacity to display speed on the tachometer. The speedometer on the steering column was only available by ordering navigation, which would occupy the speedometer’s spot in the middle of the dash.

        geozinger,

        The first Tercels were Corolla-Tercels, and they were FWD when the Corolla was still RWD. I’m not sure they were even cheaper than Corollas, in spite of having smaller engines. At the time, there was even the Starlet below the Tercel, which was a RWD car similar to a Chevette. Also, except for the AE86 that people now seem to think was representative of all ’80s Toyotas, the Corollas of the mid ’80s were as joyless and austere as cars might reasonably get. Both Corollas and Tercels were appliances in the mid’80s, with toggle switch like gas pedals, hard plastic steering wheels with rubbery steering racks, boxy plastic dashboards, and cardboard thin door panels. The Tercel just seemed smaller to me. Go forward a decade or so, and the Corolla was finished like a small luxury car while the Echo never let you forget you didn’t spring for the Corolla.

    • 0 avatar

      “Although Paul Neidermeyer shakes his head in near disgust whenever he hears it, I do happen to like the Versa quite a bit”

      I’m shaking my head at that line. I happen to rather like the (old) Versa; I’m always big on good packaging, and it is a good one. I have no exposure to the new one, except pictures. I would have preferred that they found a way to keep that rear headroom; that is a bit retro-grade.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      One rarely sees a B class, subcompact traversing the great emptiness that is “West of the Pecos” – with the exception of California plates. These are city cars.

      The Versa is a tad longer length wise than a late 1970ies Datsun 210 or Toyota Corolla – and – it has more cabin space – but it still isn’t a car for a long several hundred mile haul at 80 mph.

      In town point A to B, the Accent, Versa, Yaris or Fit will serve you well – if you choose to be frugal.

      • 0 avatar
        getacargetacheck

        “but it still isn’t a car for a long several hundred mile haul at 80 mph.”

        Actually, it is. I just finished a round-trip cross-country drive in a Versa sedan with the 4-speed. It hauled all my junk with room to spare. Very comfortable to drive although the seating is strangely lower with lots of headroom leftover than I’m used to.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I’ll agree with getacargetacheck here. Larger cars are obviously better suited to long interstate travel, but b-class have enough power, features and room now that driving all day at 80 really isn’t that much of a chore. Road noise in the Fit gets tiring real fast, but our Yaris is quiet enough, and from what I’ve read the Fiesta is nice and stable on the highway.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, seems like Americans are really falling for their French, ummm, I meant to say, Japanese car.

      Seriously, what’s not to like? You get a big car for the price of a smaller more “stylish” (not to mention expensive) car. No, it´s no mountain road carver, nor stoplight sprinter, but for families with small children, or older folk who value their money (well I guess that can happen at any age), need space in the trunk for kid’s stuff, like a relaxing ride, and don’t feel the need to get tickets for speeding, this is close to the ideal car. I should know as I’m a quite satisfied owner of a Renault Logan. Aat this time in my life I dont need speed, I need space and confort for my wife and baby.

      This car gives it to me. It kicks everybody’s else’s backside down here in cost benefit. With space to spare.

      Now, wondrous platform this is. Everytime we read about an emerging market, a car based on this platform is at or near the top in sales (according to MAtt Gasnier’s wonderful articles). Whether it be in Nissan or Renault drag. Now, also in America people are showing they need/want what everybody else wants. Economy, space, comfort.

      Other makers should take note. Maybe VW already did with Jetta.

      Did I mention people want price? WHile not giving up much? Did I already say price? Ok, I’ll say it again, price with gobs of space.

      New Fiesta and SOnic grab headlines. This car sells.

      ok, last time, price, space. Price, space. That’s the mantra.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Look at all the Versas in the rental fleet. Hertz, Avis… whoever is buying them is buying them by the boatload. Twelve grand with auto and air, they are the darling of the subcompact rental fleet. I think that at any given moment, there must be 300 Versas parked at the combined rental lot at McCarran.

    • 0 avatar
      marc

      that’s what I keep saying. It feels like every other rental Ive been in for the last 3 years, Budget, Hertz, ZipCar, has been a Versa. How come no one looks at this? Car rental agencies love Versa because they can identify it as a couple classes above B segment due to its interior volume.

  • avatar
    cutchemist42

    Kind of surprised to see the Versa sell like that since I honestly feel it’s the worst out of the subcompact class. Guess people cannot get past that price.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Fords pricing strategy has backfired on the Fiesta. Its cheaper to buy a corolla or civic. You get more space, similar fuel economy and better financing too. GM will learn a similar lesson with the Sonic, which transacts several thousand dollars more the Aveo. Once the novelty wears of, they will drop mid pack. For the year, Fiesta is up 47,000, versa is down 5000, Aveo down 7000 and Yaris down 16,000. Fit is up 7K and Mazda2 up 4K.

    The Yaris sales have more than halved from an already poor performance in 2010. It has gone from selling 102,000 cars in 2008 to 15,000 in the first 9 months of this year. With the unfavorable exchange rate it makes sense to cut down exports, incentives and advertising. For 2012 and beyond there will be no Yaris sedan.

    Its sad that the days of cheap basic transportation are almost over. The Versa is doing well, being the only car in that price range. This segment never made any sense to me, but apparently there are people willing to buy them. The entire segment will take a beating once gas prices fall.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      There is more to sales than just total volume, average sale price is important too (which is something I wish could be included in these charts, but I don’t know how often that information is released). It is a balancing act the between the two. That said, considering that this is the first subcompact Ford has offered here in some time, and the kind of rough start it had, I don’t think the Fiesta’s sales performance is that bad.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Meh. People exaggerate the worth of topping the charts. If Nissan makes 500 per Versa, and Ford makes 1200 per Fiesta, it’s about the same in terms of actual profit. Since nobody makes a ton of money of subcompacts, Ford is in the better position since it’s car will reflect will on the rest of the brand lineup, while the 9000 stripper Versas they sell a month detract from brand value.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Was going to say the EXACT same thing – and I’m pretty sure Ford makes more money on one Fiesta sale than Nissan makes on three Versas sold.

        The name of the game is profit. If the name of the game was volume – GM would have never gone bankrupt.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Fords pricing strategy has backfired on the Fiesta. Its cheaper to buy a corolla or civic. You get more space, similar fuel economy and better financing too. GM will learn a similar lesson with the Sonic, which transacts several thousand dollars more the Aveo. Once the novelty wears of, they will drop mid pack. For the year, Fiesta is up 47,000, versa is down 5000, Aveo down 7000 and Yaris down 16,000. Fit is up 7K and Mazda2 up 4K.

      Gads, where to start. The Fiesta is a B-Segment car, Corolla and Civic are C-Segment cars. The Corolla is horrifically uncompetitive in its class. Last place. Needs serious investment, decontented, under powered, old architecture, dated engine and transmission. Fiesta competes against Fit and Yaris. The Yaris is a rolling penalty box compared to the Fiesta, and also pretty darn uncompetitive in its class.

      Sonic won’t sell because of price??? Ya, they said that about the Cruze also, which is just 633 cars behind leading the C-Segment. Way too soon to make any predictions about the Sonic as it is.

      • 0 avatar
        OldandSlow

        Has anyone priced a new Honda Civic lately? If you can find the manual transmission, base 2 door Civic DX, on which A/C or a factory stereo are not even offered as options, it’ll be around $16K. The Civic DX, 2 door is a marketing ploy.

        To even think of getting A/C and a factory installed Stereo/CD player in a Civic, you must move up the ladder to the LX – which is closer to $18K for a 2 door with manual transmission.

        A base Corolla with a 5 speed can be had for $16K – which includes A/C, a Stereo and two extra doors. That’s still a couple of thousand dollars more than a base Fiesta sedan – which also includes A/C and a Stereo MP3 player for under $14K.

      • 0 avatar
        alluster

        The Fiesta is a B-Segment car, Corolla and Civic are C-Segment cars. The Corolla is horrifically uncompetitive in its class. Last place. Needs serious investment, decontented, under powered, old architecture, dated engine and transmission.

        That was my point exactly. You can buy a car one class bigger, safer, for cheaper, while not sacrificing much in fuel economy. The corolla and civic are uncompetitive but are priced accordingly. I have sat in the new civic, driven the new corolla and I would def. consider them adequate for most people’s needs who are better off buying a c segment car. But again, I drive a 9 yr old 5 speed manual focus bought with two weeks pay. It has power (windows locks mirrors), cd player, heat and air con. It serves my needs and gets great fuel econ. I would trade bluetooth, fancy lcd screens, heated steering wheels and other junk for taller seating, comfortable ride, shoulder room etc.

        I am not against profit for volume. However, Ford and GM have class leading offerings in the Sub Compact and Compact segments after a long time. They are in the process of changing perceptions and the only way to do it is to get more people to try their cars. You need to push sales initially when you class leading products, to get the word out, to get people talking. It would not have been a good strategy in the past, when they primarily sold junk. They gave away escorts and cavaliers that only left a bad taste in the mouths of people who bought them. They need to put as many cars as possible out there for people to see on the roads, in their office parking lots etc. Once the first new Lacrosse showed in my office parking lot, there are no fewer than 4 in less than a year.

      • 0 avatar
        alluster

        Sonic won’t sell because of price??? Ya, they said that about the Cruze also, which is just 633 cars behind leading the C-Segment. Way too soon to make any predictions about the Sonic as it is.

        I see your point but most people are not willing to pay a premium price for sub compacts. Compacts is a different story. The Cruze is as big as the 3 series, g35 and some other luxury cars, so people do not mind paying more. All sub compacts look goofy aesthetically. The premium ones like the Mini and Fiat fill a niche and don’t sell in great numbers.

        The Cruze is actually 633 cars ahead leading the C segment.

        GM has two body styles in the B segment where they are lucky to sell 5K units a month, while the Cruze that sells upwards of 20,000 does not??

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      So the Fiesta has one mediocre sales month and it’s time to start passing judgement on why it’s a flop?

      No, I don’t think so. As the YTD figure attests, it’s actually done quite well thus far – this month might be indicative of a trend, but it also might not be.

  • avatar
    Thinkin...

    Test drove the Sonic Turbo, Veloster, and new Rio today. The Sonic drove decently, but the rear seat is a joke – both in terms of space and fit and finish. Impossible to get myself and a carseat in, let alone drive it in that configuration. Funniest thing about the Veloster was the rear headroom – within a few months there’ll be a wave of idiots suing Hyundai for concussing their friends in the back seat thanks to the way the hatch hinges… I’m 6’3″ and if I was sitting upright in the back seat and someone closed the hatch hard, it might kill me, no joke. Hell of a nice car though, and surprisingly roomy otherwise – just not a great family machine, despite the 3rd door.

    I was most impressed by the Rio, which really feels like an Audi inside when compared to the Sonic. It wasn’t fast, but it was competent and composed, and the driving position was good – it felt much like a current Golf, only without the growl of the 2.5 when pushed. I’d hoped to not like it, but it was impressive, and the carseat even fit with only a bit of compromise up front. All in all it just fueled my annoyance that the damn thing isn’t available in decent trim with the 6-speed stick. If it was, I’d have ordered one on the spot.

    • 0 avatar
      Advo

      Everything should be designed to be idiot proof. That is Apple’s mantra #1, isn’t it?

      Thanks for the tip on the Veloster, though it sounds like they really should have taken more account of safety with something like the odd door that most people are not going to be used to.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    This chart, and all those like them, are useless without breaking out Fleet sales from retail. Worse, they could leave a false impression of vehicles’ desirability in the marketplace.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Good point. How many Honda Fits do you see at rental agencies?

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        Honda does not have a fleet sales department. VW used to be the same. Not anymore. Everyone else does. Nissan, Toyota, GM and Ford. The only Honda you see at rental companies came directly from a dealer selling a bunch to get the dealer quota money in the trunk. Rental companies will make more money buying on their terms directly from companies when it comes to turn the cars and sell them. As a consumer buying a car Honda has an edge as the market will not be flooded with used rental fleet competing with a privetly owned car.
        At times we picked up Accords, Civics and Minivans. Very few Fit, CRV, Ridgelines and Elements ever entered rental fleets. Zipcar does however buy Hybrid Hondas and some SUVs. They get them from the dealership.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    “Well, it sure looked like the Kia Soul was poised to take out the Nissan Versa as the king of the small cars, especially in light of Michael Karesh’s lukewarm review.”

    This is why I take “enthusiast’s” reviews with a huge grain of salt. There are very few auto writers (literally fewer than a handful) who have a handle on what’s really important. No doubt the new Versa isn’t anywhere near a hundred miles as bad as Karesh reports.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Nissan overfleeted the Versa to rental companies. Toyota sold lot’s of Yaris in the past few years. Kia is going wild with the Soul over at Enterprise. Chevy Aveo is a fleet queen. Maybe the Sonic can get it out of the fleet hole. Fiesta is in every rental fleet right now.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Here In Puget Sound, the Kia Soul is anything but a rental fleet queen. They are EVERYWHERE here. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they are one of the top selling cars in this region; see as many of them around as I see Prii


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