“It’ll always be there if we need it.” – Robert Davis, Senior VP Of Mazda U.S. Operations, on Mazda2.
Although the car’s been certified for sale in the United States, Mazda won’t be bringing the new 2 to American consumers. That doesn’t mean the possibility isn’t there for the future, according to Automotive News, nor does it mean the 2 won’t appear in the United States in another form.
Despite significant improvements, the fourth-generation 2 – formerly known as the Demio and a successor to the first 2 sold in the U.S. – would likely have fared little better than its predecessor. (Read More…)
In April, for the first time this year, U.S. sales of the core group of nine subcompact cars increased on a year-over-year basis.
After January’s 2% decline, February’s 11% decrease, and March’s 12% drop (and the first-quarter’s 9% decline), April sales of the Nissan Versa-led subcompact group grew 9% compared with April 2014. This brings the year-to-date tally to 163,309 sales, down 4% over the same period last year.
Although it was the first of the year, April’s increase wasn’t exactly a flash in the pan. There’s been a gradual build-up in subcompact sales during the month of April over the last few years. April 2013 sales jumped 6% and April 2014 sales rose 9% before last month’s 4003-unit, 9% increase. (Read More…)
GM’s share of America’s subcompact segment fell below 10% in the first-quarter of 2015 as Chevrolet Sonic volume tumbled 53%, year-over-year.
As a whole, the subcompact category is in decline in early 2015, but a large part of the category’s 9% drop can be attributed to the Sonic. Sales of the Sonic decreased by nearly 13,000 units over the last three months. (Read More…)
The Chrysler Group reported the Dodge Dart’s best-ever sales month in November 2014 as year-over-year volume jumped 39% to 9012 units.
This was the first time Dart volume climbed beyond 9000 units in a single month. The previous top month for this modern incarnation of the Dart was May of this year, when 8644 were sold.
Yet at best, a best-ever month from the Dart still represents nothing more than a mid-pack performance. (Read More…)
In my recent reviews of entry-level cars in Brazil (VW up! and Fiat Uno), I spoke of how these new cars are adding technology to confront newer cars sold in the category immediately above, that of the midlevel compact (Ford Ka). Entry-level car participation in the market is under such pressure, that there are few launches aimed directly at that segment, while the midlevel compact has received a plethora of novelties.
During a nine-year stretch between 2003 and 2011, the Toyota Corolla was consistently America’s best-selling small car.
For eight of those years, consecutively between 2003 and 2010, the Honda Civic was America’s second-best-selling small car.
Designs, architectures, and rivals changed, but the Corolla stayed on top.
The Canada-only Nissan Micra debuts in April, with Nissan hoping to pick up overall market share in The Great White North. But Automotive News reports that one casualty of the Micra’s introduction will be the Versa Sedan – hardly a surprise when both compete at the absolute low end of the market.
Though MINI’s lineup hasn’t (literally) lived up to its name since its reboot by parent BMW, product boss Pat McKenna would like to see the Rocketman — a MINI that truly is mini — appear in showrooms all over the world.
For that scenario to play out, though, the Rocketman needs a flight partner.
Mercedes-Benz is apparently preparing for a new line of models to slot below the A-Class, to better compete with MINI.
Has Mini’s over-propagation of vehicles gotten so bad that we’re actually cheering when a new special isn’t a silly two-seater or pseudo-crossover? The Mini John Cooper Works GP may be overpriced, but at least it’s got its heart in the right place.