By on August 5, 2010

Of the “Big Six” midsize sedans, Malibu is starting to emerge as a consistent number three to the Camry/Accord’s established one-two positioning. Fusion and Altima have swapped spots, and the Sonata is stuck at 17k units due to production capacity constraints. Meanwhile, the Impala is only just holding off… the Prius? Crazier still, the Prius/Impala 14k volume level is about double of the next best-selling mid-to-large sedan nameplates (Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima, Dodge Charger are all in the 6k-7k level). Extended one-month chart after the jump…

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82 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: July Midsize Sedan Sales...”


  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Nice to see the Camry, Sonata and Malibu increase sales, but what surprised me the most was the Fusion and Accord.

    The Fusion dropped sales in key segment and the Accord just took a right leathering. What could be the reason….?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The current Accord has been out for a few years now, so part of it is people starting to just over the current design.

      The Camry is the Camry, and nothing short of a revelation that it makes women infertile and men impotent will turn the public away from it overnight, though if Toyota continues to decontent it over time and with the next redesign, it will slip over following years.

      Ford hasn’t increased incentives on the Focus in months, nor is Ford offering artificially subsidized lease rates on it. It makes it a bit harder to sell on price to someone who is looking at bottom dollar over quality, but it appears Ford is happy to take the route of fewer sales but higher profits per sale for most models right now.

      The Malibu and Impala both have high incentives for the class – $3,000 rebate on the ‘bu and $4,000 on the Impala, combined with fleet sales, numbers shoot up.

      The Sonata is riding high on a brand new model, and will probably continue the strong sales trend as production ramps up for the next several months.

    • 0 avatar

      Accord is Too Big.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      PZ – how so? I’ve heard this before and I don’t understand it.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim M

      @PZ – That’s funny, I think my Accord is too small. I think you’re looking for a Civic… :)

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      @nullomodo — I assume you mean Fusion, not Focus?

      Surprisingly weak performance. It’s a better car than its sales reflect.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Six cars outsell the Impala, inculding (finally) the Malibu. Wonder what the sales volume will be when the reborn Impala finally debuts?

    Was this a “normal” month for the Avalon or is it down a bit? Seems like a lot of spending on a great ad campaign to sell just (not even) 3,000.

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      Are you talking about the ad where the stewardess (the anachronistic term applies here, I think) hands you a pillow? It screams to me “Buick doesn’t want you anymore and Mercury is going away. What’s a grandmother to do? Our super comfy ride will come in handy when you crash through the bagel shop window. And look! — it comes in beige!”.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      That is some funny sheeot…
      But it’s still a damn nice ride. Even some of us young’ns like Grandpa’s old Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I’m not sure we’ll see a reborn Impala.

      Honestly, I hope we don’t; full-size non-premium sedans don’t sell all that well, and GM is going to have a devil of a time keeping the Impala from stomping on Buick’s turf.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      They don’t sell as well as midsize sedans or compacts, but even 30,000 units a year can be profitable if done right.

      Since GM is already brining the G8 back as the Caprice for police fleets, it makes since to capitalize on the investment by offering a warmed over civilian version. Now, whether they call it the Impala or just kill off the Impala name and call it the Caprice is fairly immaterial, but I think it would sell well enough to make sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      I don’t think the Impala name should be killed. They brought back it and Malibu, 2 historic nameplates, and are being backed with decent and good product respectively.

      I wouldn’t hold my breath on a RWD Impala, even if the Caprice is coming from the land of Oz.

      I think there’s still a market for full-size non-premium cars. The Impala, Avalon and Taurus are the proof.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      “Are you talking about the ad where the stewardess (the anachronistic term applies here, I think) hands you a pillow? It screams to me “Buick doesn’t want you anymore and Mercury is going away. What’s a grandmother to do? Our super comfy ride will come in handy when you crash through the bagel shop window. And look! — it comes in beige!”

      You gave me great ideas for Avalon slogans – “For those of us that remember Oldsmobile.” “Mercury supplies are dwindling, buy an Avalon instead.” “Buick thinks they’re too cool for you, Test drive an Avalon.”

    • 0 avatar
      JeremyR

      “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile, but it’s as close as you can get”?

  • avatar
    dwford

    More people buy a Dodge Avenger than either a Subaru Legacy or Mazda6? Talk about a slap in the face! I’ll assume thats mostly fleet sales.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Based upon one data point, the Accord appears to be in serious trouble. It should have capitalized on Toyota’s alleged acceleration problem, or at least stayed even with last year.

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      I doubt the Accord is in trouble. Honda still has the lowest incentives, the Accord has almost zero fleet sales.

      If Government Motors want to use taxpayer money to move more Malibus for a sales title, and push fleet sales to 60% of their product, I’m sure Honda doesn’t care.

      Honda would rather turn a profit.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The Sonata is definitely constrained, we were out of SE and Limited trims all month. Most dealers I have talked to had very limited supply all month.

  • avatar
    Zas

    Didn’t Toyota push 0/0/0/0/0/0 or whatever last month which brought in a huge amount of foot traffic that turned into sales? I think that’s the big reason for the push up in their sales number, as well as the public finding out that UA-issues have largely been blown out of proportion and google is their friend…

    Its amazing though that the Impala’s number have been flat from year-previous while the Malibu had a strong surge upwards. Maybe it’s the content issue that GM is now facing: better bang for the buck when you move to the more downscale Malibu versus the upscale Impala when you have Malibu’s long list of standard features for less money…

    Nissan and Honda are do for a refresh of their models, perhaps that’s the reason why people who generally buy those two nameplates are holding off until next month when the new 2011 models arrive in the showrooms.

    Just wondering (and off-topic) when can we start calling Chrysler “Fiat” ? :-)

    • 0 avatar
      TG57

      Nissan already refreshed the Altima for the 2010 model year with new styling and equipment.

      The updated ’11 Accord should be out this fall. Honda’s webpage for it:

      http://automobiles.honda.com/2011-accord/

      IMO the new chrome grille looks much better, though I’m not sure what to think about the added rear taillamp garnish. I doubt most buyers will care or even notice, though.

  • avatar
    threeer

    What do the top three say about us as a car-driving nation? Yikes…

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      Not much, but you should feel grateful that you can drive a one segment bigger car than the rest of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      What did the Impala, Galaxie and Fury say in 1965? This is still a continent of big spaces. While not much lighter in mass, the current winners are still a great value in speed and comfort. All they lack is six passenger room.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Threer, come on now. My 5 speed manual Accord with the 7K redline, DOHC 4 cylinder and sublime steering is damn fun to drive. Don’t knock it til you tried it.

  • avatar
    Boxofrain

    Can’t believe anyone is buying the Chrysler offerings, especially the Avenger. The 300 is actually a cool rig. I can’t understand the Mazda 6. It’s a great looking car, good reputation etc. Why so little sales?

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Maybe it’s distribution — and the whiz kids who thought that “too many dealers” was killing the domestics were wrong.

      What cars makes would I consider buying? Since I’m not moving for a car, that’s:

      Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Nissan.

      I’m not going to drive more than thirty minutes to get to a car dealership, because if I had to get it in for service, much more than that distance is going to cost way too much time and hassle.

      I have no idea where I would find a Mazda dealer, although I could see myself liking one. One learns to accept that a Ford is equivalent enough for the cost of getting to a dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Mazda is a second tier Japanese brand well off the radar of most non-enthusiasts. It is likely to find itself in Mitsubishi territory before long. Also, Mazda’s current toon town front end on many models is a real turn off as well. I don’t see how Mazda has a chance of becoming a solid brand in the US anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Matthew S

      Where do you guys live? Mazda is fairly common on the west coast. Its pretty easy to find several dealers in metro areas.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      I live in the SF Bay Area. Sure, there are Mazda dealers around (though the one closest to me shut down last year). There also used to be plenty of Isuzu and Mitsubishi dealers too ….

  • avatar
    msquare

    Hmm…the combined sales of the Malibu and Impala are very comparable to the Camry, and throwing the Avalon’s sales in opens up the Camry’s margin just a bit.

    Adding LaCrosse sales to Malibu/Impala means, as a company, GM is the sales leader in this class. What would happen indeed when a new Impala comes out, not to mention the revised Chryslers on the way?

    Now, you might put the LaCrosse, Avalon, Maxima and 300 in a different category and see how they stack up against Lexus ES and Acura TL or TSX. Throw the Lincoln MKS in there too.

    The Impala is also outselling the Ford Taurus by three to one.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The LaCrosse, Taurus, 300, Charger, and Avalon are all a solid size above midsize. The Maxima isn’t really that much bigger than the Altima, though it is priced higher and sold as a premium offering.

      Comparing the Maxima, Taurus, ES, TL, LaCrosse, Avalon, and maybe even the 300 makes a bit of sense, but the TSX is smaller than any of them and doesn’t really fit into that group. The

      The Impala is outselling of the premium large cars by 3:1, save the LaCrosse which it still outsells 2:1. How profitably those sales are is up for debate, as a lot of them are fleet dumps and even retail sales have $4,000 cash on the hood, but it is hard to argue with the value of the Impala for customers whose only criteria is maximum lbs of car for the dollar.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Good to see the Sonata doing so well. It’s proof that if you build a competent vehicle…you will land in the top five.

    And anybody that thought the unfair media assault would hurt Toyota was sure wrong.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    TTAC gods: I like the easy to read chart on the homepage and the eye chart available on the click-through. Kudos, great idea.

    Had no idea that Chrysler 300 sales were this bad, yikes, and didn’t know that Avalon sales when compared to the rest of the class, were also so weak. Malibu is a solid performer, but I wonder how much of this is fleet sales. Toyota is no darling here either, walk any Hertz or Avis lot and you can find Camrys for rent. Accord seems to be the real winner here selling on its own merits, even if it is a bloated shadow of its former self.

    What is up with the Fusion? Are there production constraints? I figured it would sell stronger than this.

  • avatar
    BDB

    I’m seeing loads and loads of 2011 Sonatas here in central VA, and it hasn’t even been out that long. And this is what it’s like when dealer supply is constrained?

    I think Hyundai has a real, major hit here if what I see in my area is any indication. People seem to love them.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I’ve seen a lot of them in Florida too. I’m not sure what it is that’s drawing everyone to them, they do look better in person than in photos, and the design does stand out, and while the reviews have been for the most part positive, I’m surprised so many people are suddenly jumping on the Hyundai bandwagon. Pricing it out it isn’t the bargain basement deal that previous Hyundais have been, but maybe the 10 year warranty is swaying a lot of people who in these uncertain economic times are planning on keeping their next car purchase for longer than their last.

      The other possibility I suppose is that it could be a great car. I’m going to have to drop by the local Hyundai place and take one for a test drive to see what all the hooplah is about.

    • 0 avatar
      NH2VA

      BDB: As a driver of a 2011 Sonata SE I see many here in central VA as well. Many are the base models that rental fleets have purchased. Look for the orange “year” sticker on the plates, that indicates a rental car. No matter what the year is, it’ll be orange for a rental. Most of them also have the steel wheel/wheel cover combo’s as well.

      A friend of mine has been a service manager at one of the Richmond dealerships for years, and has told me more than once that they can’t keep the Limited’s and the SE’s on the lot.

      Having been a Pontiac, Mazda and Toyota owner in the past, I do love my 2011 Sonata SE!

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      It’s the styling. It’s very different from the other mid sizers. Kind of looks like a Volkswagen CC, but with five seats and a more reasonable price (and warranty).

      Is the “four-door coupe” look the next big styling trend?

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      I’ll throw in as another Richmond-area resident that I’ve seen the Sonatas pop up all over as well. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the orange year tab (didn’t know that before), but i will say that most of the ones I’ve seen have alloy wheels, marking either the GLS with the preferred package or a higher-line trim.

      The Accord is sinking because there’s a refresh for 2011 and Honda begins clearing out the older model year early before beginning deliveries of the new model. Also, the Accord is relative crap for anyone who cross-shops a competing model. The singular redeeming feature was the shaping of the headliner to add inches to the rear headroom. It isn’t too big, it’s too noisy and handles like novocaine.

      I know Nullomodo is partial to Fords but having driven both the 10 Fusion SE and 11 Sonata GLS the Hyundai feels more solid and handles a bit more confidently. The Sonata gets better gas mileage and still comes in cheaper, plus the styling is head and shoulders above the class, even if your head and shoulders aren’t completely above the belt line. The only class competitor that specs out competitively on performance/size/price is the Mazda6 (which I haven’t driven, yet at least, and is only price competitive due to financing incentives) which doesn’t get the gas mileage and lacks some interior appointments (sat radio is standard for the sonata). Personally I would try a 6 and seriously consider it or would be comfortable jumping into a Sonata, but I just don’t think a sedan is something my family can deal with. Everything in this class (and the next one up too frankly) is a few inches short on rear seat hip width for three car seats. Minivans and full-size crew cab pickups are the only things that seem to comfortably fill those needs.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Why is the Sonatas doing so well while the Mazda6 gets ignored at 3K moved?
    All we heard was the new 6 design was much to radical for the average car buyer, then the even more radical Hyundai came and sells 17 thousand??????
    It can’t be just the snappy 4 cyl, can it?
    I love my 6s and it seems to attract people, but then nobody buys it.

    • 0 avatar
      NH2VA

      TT Like Boxofrain said above, I think it has something to do with the amount/quality of the Mazda dealerships. I test drove 2 different 6’s here in Richmond at the start of the year. Impressed with the car, but the dealer had a full-court press with the sales force, even the Sales Manager grabbed my keys to give me an estimate on my trade-in. I walked. There was no other dealership in town that I could cross-shop prices with. (Another has since opened).

      I went to the Hyundai dealership that I eventually bought from, they offered me the same amount on my trade-in that a cross-town Hyundai dealership gave me, and I was driving my wife’s car! They didn’t even see it much less drive it!

      There’s much to be said about competition, even amoung ‘sibling’ dealerships.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      The interior of the Mazda6 is cramped for its class. The warranty and dealer network are fair, at best. Mazda’s interior design is a bit too toon town fussy for my taste. All in all, the Sonata is a much more appealing product at a great price and with a terrific warranty.

      I don’t think that the rest of the automotive world has woken up to the powerful effect Hyundai’s warranty is having.

    • 0 avatar
      Matthew S

      “The interior of the Mazda6 is cramped for its class. The warranty and dealer network are fair, at best. ”

      Cramped? That thing is gigantic. Isnt it as big as an Accord? They supersized it just like all the other “mid” size sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      If it weren’t for supply constraints, Sonata sales would probably be closer to 20k instead of just 17k. Common story I’m hearing is you rarely ever see more than 2 Sonatas in a lot. They disappear the same day the dealer receives them.

      I’ve been seeing quite a few in my area myself.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      My mistake on the interior size. The last Mazda6 I sat in was a 2008 model, prior to the 2009 redesign.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The 6 is an incredible driving car, but….

    1. It needs a slap of chrome on it’s face

    2. Ditch the red-lit IP. As fun as it was to drive, it harshed my vibe…

  • avatar
    SV

    GM must really be loading on the discounts and fleet sales going by the Malibu – the 2010 has virtually no changes other than IIRC making the 6-speed standard yet sales have consistently been up about 30% this year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice car, but the huge sales jump doesn’t make sense (the new Sonata only achieved a similar increase with a total redesign)

    YTD sales for the top 6:

    1. Toyota Camry 189,297
    2. Honda Accord 186,356
    3. Nissan Altima 130,390
    4. Chevy Malibu 128,775
    5. Ford Fusion 128,581
    6. Hyundai Sonata 107,085

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Here’s a new definition of “Sucks to Be You.” You work at Chrysler. You look and see that the Prius sells better than all your mid-size offerings, combined. Maybe Chrysler should consider developing a car primarily for rental fleets.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Once again, proof that Hyundai is continuing it’s dogmatic growth. The Sonata beat out the Fusion, and is within a hare’s breath of Nissan’s Altima. Of course, the Fusion is getting a bit long in tooth. I also saw a report that placed the Elantra #7 in vehicle sales for the month of July. I wonder if that is the first Hyundai to break into the top ten.

    On a similar note, Hyundai announced their goal was to hit 50mph corporate fuel economy by 2025. Hyundai is a force to be reckoned with.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s the cumulative good will Hyundai has genereated over the last 2 years. It started with the Genesis Superbowl ads, then Hyundai Assurance, then the Genesis Coupe, the Tucson and finally the 2011 Sonata. People are having strong positive feelings about Hyundai right now.

    When the customer gets to the dealership, they find a well made car packed with features and an aggressive sticker price. Couple that with the warranty and hungry dealers willing to deal (even on the Sonata) and it is a recipe for sales success.

  • avatar
    NN

    I am in this market right now and can provide some insight on a few issues. Sonata capacity is absolutely constrained…they can’t get any leather/higher end models to the dealer near me (Virginia Beach, VA), all they’ve got is the base models which have questionable seat fabric patterns and the color-matched grill, which to me looks way worse than the chrome grill of the higher end models. Buyers are left to picking what is available on the lot. I think this car will be battling the Camry in a year or two for top spot.

    Mazda 6 is plagued by the same low-model cheapness…terrible cloth seating patterns and small wheels with plastic hubcaps make the low-end models look really cheap. Higher end models are much much nicer, yet, I’m getting out of an 80k mile Mazda that is coming apart at the seams (new tranny, radiator, timing belt in past year), so as much as I like the new 6, I am really weary of long term durability. Long term durability also leaves me from considering any Volkswagen.

    Nissan and Subaru have CVT’s (my wife can’t drive stick, sadly, so needs to be an auto, as this will be her daily driver). I don’t like the way CVT’s drive nor their unproven reliability. So no go there. Otherwise an Outback wagon would be seriously considered.

    That leaves for me Camry, Accord, Malibu, Fusion–just like the chart. Camry is a bore, and my wife and I both agreed that the Fusion seems a bit cheap on the inside and the styling on the outside I don’t think will wear well (unlike new Taurus, which looks great on exterior, but too expensive). Accord and Malibu are the final two, and with the current $3k on the hood I can buy a loaded LTZ around $23k. That’s a way better price than anything else–even the Sonata. I’m seriously considering buying that new Malibu now.

  • avatar
    msquare

    I was about to say that Hyundai’s good will doesn’t matter much if the cars aren’t any good, then I corrected myself.

    Good customer service can compensate for product deficiencies and is an absolute world-beater when your product is good. Hyundai is cleaning up because both are going well at the same time.

    If I’m running any of the domestics right now, I’m worrying less about what I can’t control in the short term, like product cycles, and more about what I can fix immediately, which is assembly-line quality control and customer service. It might take a little while to catch on, but can carry you through tough times like it has Hyundai.

    As for the Malibu, it clearly wins on price in the aforementioned case but could win customers even without the discount. I think it’s a better-looking car and goes toe-to-toe with the Accord in other areas as well. Buy it, enjoy it and screw the GM-bashers.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I recall reading that, in June at least, 76 percent of Malibu sales were to fleets. Its numbers are probably artificially inflated. I don’t see that many around here without the barcode on one of the windows.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      I’d be shocked if the Malibu were that dependent on fleet sales. Maybe it’s 76% private, 24% fleet, though I think the percentage fleet is probably closer to 30-40%. The Malibu’s still a good enough car to sell on its own merits, just not in the amounts we’re seeing. It’s too bad, too, because GM promised (again) that this gen ‘Bu wouldn’t be as dependent on fleets…

  • avatar
    Wagen

    I just don’t get people who buy Camrys. Not when the Accord, 6, and Sonata exist. Maybe I can understand buying a ’91-’96 Camry before the decontenting, but not today’s.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It’s not really surprising. The Accord and 6 ride harder, are noisier and have fussier ergonomics than the Camry; the Altima was about as good, but more cramped. The prior Sonata wasn’t a bad car, but it doesn’t have the nameplate equity; the new one is a better Camry than the Camry.

      The Camry is a good car for what most people want out of a car. Those things that the Accord (or 6, Fusion or Malibu) does better aren’t important, and the things the Accord does less well are.

      The acid test will be the next Camry iteration. Toyota used to be pretty good at iterative improvements, but the Corolla and Sienna were arguably steps backward. It will be interesting to see if the black eyes they’ve gotten on those two resonate with Toyota’s management.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      psar – “Those things that the Accord (or 6, Fusion or Malibu) does better aren’t important”

      Well, unless you’re talking about a modicum of driving fun, which the Accord has and the Camry does not. That’s important to me, at least.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      That’s exactly my point: people don’t, by and large, care about “driving fun”. They want a car that rides well, is quiet, roomy, reliable and fuel efficient. The Camry does all that better than the Accord. About the only complaints are some of the trim pieces and the typically-Toyota-short front seat cushions.

      Hyundai and Nissan have gotten a little closer to the mark than Honda.

      Side note: If you want fun, well, Toyota will sell you a Camry SE, which is more highly tuned and actually a more amusing drive than any Accord sedan. I always found that odd, but since Honda dropped the EX-V6 with a stick it’s been mostly true.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Are you writing Toyota’s ad copy now? I will grant you that the Camry rides better and is quieter than the Accord – much better in fact. However, the Accord has more passenger and total interior volume than the Camry, and I would argue that reliability is a wash – they are both at the top of the heap. The Camry just nips the Accord in fuel efficiency – close to a wash. To characterize the Camry as having it all over the Accord in every aspect is comical.

      Unlike you, I recently cross-shopped and drove the Accord, Camry and Fusion. I am not a fanboy of any particular marque, so I judged each car on its merits. They are all exceptional in their own way, but the Accord offered a roomier cabin with more comfortable seats, better steering, a firmer ride and a more refined powertrain. The kicker was the availability of a manual transmission. Although theoretically available, the two Toyota dealerships looked at me as though I was asking to test drive a yak when I asked to see a manual-equipped Camry.

      And, I did drive the SE Camry. Although far better than the LE in terms of steering feel and ride, it is decidedly not sportier than the Accord. You need to drive these cars back to back, as I did, before making such blanket assertions.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I wouldn’t go as far as psarhjinian in rating the Camry as superior to the Accord, but I do believe his basic premise is correct. Most buyers are not looking for a “fun” car, and the Camry does give them the attributes that they want.

      Remember that people who bought Chevrolet Impalas, Caprices, Bel Airs and Biscaynes in the 1960s weren’t looking for a fun ride, either. The Super Sport Impalas were the exception, not the rule, despite what you see at classic car shows today.

      The Camry has evolved into the “standard” 1960s Chevrolet, updated for the 21st century.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I point to TTAC’s own review of the Camry SE. I didn’t believe it at the time, either, but it is true.

      I also defer to my own experience: the Accord is more fun—mildly—while the Camry rides better, has less fussy ergonomics and is quieter in non-SE trim. The Accord’s firmer ride (and the accompanying road noise) that you value isn’t important to most people, and is exactly the reason the Camry sells better.

      And yes, the manual SE is a rare beast. A co-worker owns one that he had a long-wait special order on, but you’re right that dealers flat-out never stock them. That said, manual-transmission Accord sedans aren’t exactly common, either.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know in what world Accord is “more fun” than Camry. It was the case years ago, when Accord kept getting CnD’s “10best” awards, but not anymore. If you want fun, you probably want Fit.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      PZ – I’m sure the Fit is fun, but we’re talking about mid/full sized sedans here. In that realm, the Accord is more fun than the Camry (and others) because it was engineered with a smidge of sport (firmer ride, more precise steering). Drive both back-to-back and get back to me.

      By the way, the current-generation Accord was included in C&D’s 10 Best.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Looks like a lot of Accord buyers may be switching to Sonatas. Interesting, I would have thought that the Camry would be hurt the most, but then again, the Accord does have a bit more personality than the bland Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      Yeah. I made that prediction too and got proven wrong. It turns out the Camry and Sonata only overlap so much as the ride/drive style are starkly different. One’s quiet and comfy while the other one’s sporty and peppy. The Accord falls into the latter category.

      For long commutes, I’d go with a Camry or similar car. But for the usual 10-20 minute drive to the office, I’d jump aboard the Sonata.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Chryslar has no where to go but up in this segment. If revised Sebring/Avenger are as good as Ralph Gilles says they are, Chrysler could really pick up marketshare.

  • avatar
    86er

    Bland sells.

    Not to mention, the Camry is about the best 55 Chevy you can buy, and about the same size, to boot.

    Now that I’ve gotten that sacrilege out of my system, I agree with combining the “mid” and “large” categories, as the “mid” are now “large”, and judging by these sales numbers, that’s exactly what people want.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I would agree; the large cars are pretty much an afterthought. Only the Maxima and Taurus seem to sell well (to average people) and I don’t think they’re sustainable.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Avalon go away and the Impala become the next fleets-only special once the Crown Vic is finally, mercifully put down.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Supposedly the next-generation Taurus and Fusion will share a platform, which would make the Taurus viable at lower volumes.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    Sonata is helped by having a brand new model to sell. The current Camry and Altima have been around since the 2007 model year. Malibu and Accord since 2008.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    geeber,

    I agree with his basic premise also. “Most” is not “all” though, and there are some, like me, that want a modicum of driving fun baked into their work-a-day family/commuter car.

    The Accord offers the best attributes for someone like me, but I would never argue with someone who buys a Camry to meet their needs. Like I said, they’re both exceptional in their own ways.

  • avatar
    segfault

    1. Chrysler is in serious trouble.
    2. Can’t believe the GM models are selling as well as they are. Does no one remember the billions of dollars our spendthrift government has pissed away keeping them afloat?

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Have you ever driven a Malibu with the 6-speed auto? I had an LTZ 4-cylinder rental back in 2008 and I was blown away with how good of a car it is. I’m not surprised by the sales at all.

      I also had a rental Camry in 2008, is on my worst rental cars EVER list. Losers on that list for me include the V6 Buick Lucerne, a 4-cylinder base stripped Ford Fusion, and a 2008 Ford Taurus, which was, beyond a doubt, the WORST rental car I have ever had in my life. The car was so awful I stopped at a different Avis on the road trip and asked for it be swapped out. I got a Hyundai Azera, which was only OK.

      I would put the Malibu LTZ I had as a rental squarely in my biggest surprise pile, shared with the Pontiac G8 and the Hyundai Sonata. All three cars really shocked me. The Pontiac G8 so much so, I went out and bought one.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Been reading all the comments here. I never thought I would see the day where the Accord/Camry were bloated compared to the GM and Ford offerings. Times have changed. I do a ton of business travel and have driven almost all of the cars on the extended list:

    1) Toyota Camry. Truly puzzled on why anyone would buy one of these. I had a LE as a rental and it was horrible. The ride, brakes, and steering could best be described as completely numb. The steering wandered and required constant input even on straight highway. Climbing up a mountain pass flooring it resulted in a lot of engine noise, and not much else. The smell of out gassing plastics was ready to knock me out, fit and finish was horrible on the interior with cheap materials. I really, really, don’t get it. Maybe I got a car built on the Tuesday after Memorial Day with a bunch of hung over Kentuckians putting it together.

    2) Honda Accord: Full-size, and not the Accord it use to be, put for me, it blows the Camry away. The interiors are “different” and some of the Honda offerings are a bit more spartan (kind of like the difference between a Ford Fusion (spartanish) and a Chevy Malibu (softer). But darn it, this is a better car, bad rear brakes aside, than the Camry. It is still fun to drive, its comfortable, it is built well. Not a fan of where Honda’s industrial design is going as of late, I hope in the refresh they take a bit of ugly out of the entire line up.

    3) Chevrolet Malibu: Had a LTZ 4-cylinder 6-speed. I say that because I want to point out I had the best of all worlds. I was stunned by this car. Was not happy when I was walking out but after living in one, this is a GREAT deserving of the accolades. The interior feels a lot tighter than the Camry or Accord, and I know the car is smaller. Was nice to drive, but under powered, the V6 would be the way to go IMHO. But the praise on this car is well deserved.

    4) Ford Fusion: This is now my “go to” rental car. I love Microsoft Sync. Every car should have this system. I’m not a fan of the 4-cylinder Fusion and I’ve been lucky to have a number of V6 SEL models. The interior is nice, very “Ford,” and does have a, “we dove into the parts bin and got what was laying around,” feel. But power is good, comfort is good, it is very fun to drive, with nice pedal, steering and road feel. It doesn’t “feel” big and is outright tossable. This would be the sedan I would buy in this group today.

    5) Ford Taurus: I had a 2008 Taurus, need to clarify that. Worst – rental – car – EVER. HATED IT. The seat was the softest most uncomfortable piece of crap I’ve ever sat in. The headlights were useless. The ergonomics was horrible. The ride was like a ’76 Oldsmobile with bad springs. Steering feel? What steering feel. On center feel? Made the Camry feeling an IRL car. This car was so awful, so unlivable, I stopped at a different airport while driving and made them swap it out.

    6) Hyundai Sonata: This was probably the biggest shocker I’ve ever driven in this class. Had the V6 (previous gen as the 2011 has just come out). Engine and tranny were paired perfectly. This car reminded me of Honda, but a few years ago, which was a good thing. It was amazingly tossable. I can’t really say enough on how blown away I was. To think I argued at the rental desk that I wanted anything other than a Hyundai Sonata or a Pontiac Grand Prix and only begrudgingly took the keys to the Sonata. This would be the number two car on my list in this class today.

    7) Chrysler 300: Again in the interest of full disclosure, I had a stripper, rental grade Chrysler 300. I would call this car just OK. It didn’t leave me feeling, oooooh, I need to go get one. I’m a fan of RWD and I did like the handling and ride overall, but it wasn’t inspiring with the base rims and tires and suspension set up. Steering was OK, the brakes made it feel like a land yacht.

    8) Nissan Altima: This is another nice surprise. My first experience with an Altima was in 1998, and it was awful. The brake and gas pedals were hopelessly too close together and my size 12 came down on both pedals during braking more than once. It was tinny, cheap, and reminded me of the God awful Chevy Malibu of the same era. Boy have things changed. I think the Altima has the nicest interior of all the cars here. Nice layout, good visibility, nice brakes, steering, and handling. The 2.5 under the hood gets great MPG and can still run without sounding like an angry lawnmower. Huge trunk, and just a darn nice car. This would also be on my list in third place of sedans I would consider buying today. And shoot, you can get it in a two door version too!!!

    9) Chevrolet Imapala: Ahhh, the GM W-Body. Squishy, squeaky, flexible, the 3.5L V6 under the hood buzzing away. With all that said, given the price point, and the fact that Jesus himself rode a W-Body GM into Jerusalem (OK, it had a L67 3.8 under the hood but still) is the Impala “that bad” of a car? Well when compared to the above, yes. When looked at on its stand alone merits and price, the awesome mileage the noisy and weak GM 3.5 V6 gets (baby one and you can get 40+ MPG on the highway). Electric overboosted steering. Check! Brakes that are not capable of stopping the car resulting in endless warped rotors? Check! But the GM W-Body can’t be killed. It is reliable. I would never own one, I would put this toward the bottom of the pile, but unlike the Camry the Impala doesn’t leave me going, “why would anyone buy one of these,” but it does leave me going, I would never buy one of these because it is just outdated, outclassed, out everything. But for what it is, a Wonder bread and store brand butter sedan of the day (think the 1985 equivalent of the Ford Tempo) the Impala does it well. And lets face it, most of those sales are likely to salesmen, taxi companies and police forces, I doubt many Impalas are actually sold to end users at the end of the day. I guess I’m giving faint praise, but I don’t see it as that bad. It’s bad, but not “that” bad.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Perhaps TTAC and its B&B can help me.
    I like getting these numbers and the expert analysis has a purpose, I suppose.
    But what REALLY is behind these numbers?
    If in fact lots of things and these can be other than consumer demands, then for what purpose is the exercise?
    The reason I bring this up is this little feature on AutoSpies.

    http://www.autospies.com/news/Ford-to-boost-production-of-Lincoln-vehicles-in-the-fourth-quarter-56606/

    IF reasons sales have lots more to do with production decisions/capabilities, distribution nightmares or dealership shortages…whatever…then we shouldn’t get to far into it without at least admitting we don’t have all the facts.

    It’s all speculation.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The tragic figure in all of this is the Kizashi.

    It is a good enough car to be selling around at least Legacy numbers, but with Suzuki just about to blink out of NA existence, it doesn’t even warrant a place on the sales chart.

    Honestly, VW should just rebadge the Kizashi as the new Jetta for the US and destroy the new de-contented/cheap 2011 version.

  • avatar
    Rain

    The Sonata has excellent exterior styling. It looks like a very expensive 4-door coupe, Mercedes-like.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    What about a similar chart, but with fleet sales EXCLUDED? I’ve always been more interested in what actual private consumers buy than what Hertz/Avis/Enterprise, etc. buy….

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