Crossovers Outsell Sedans For The First Time Ever

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
crossovers outsell sedans for the first time ever

For the past decade, midsize sedans have been the most popular segment in America. But data from Polk and IHS Automotive suggests that might be changing.

According to Polk, the first two months of 2014 saw compact crossovers take the top spot in terms of market share. As Polk’s Tom Libby notes

We may now be at an inflection point in the U.S. automotive industry – IHS Automotive data based on Polk new vehicle registrations indicate that in the first two months of 2014 U.S. drivers purchased more small crossovers than any other type of vehicle, car or light truck. Non-luxury compact crossovers’ share of the industry has jumped almost six share points in the past five years, including more than three points in the last year alone.

We’ll know more as more sales data emerges today and in subsequent months. While many observers tend to focus on individual nameplate sales races (Camry vs. Accord, Ram vs. Silverado) and brands (BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz), the moment when CUVs eclipse regular passenger cars would be a true game changer for the American auto market.

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  • Tt3Sheppard Tt3Sheppard on May 01, 2014

    I guess this explains the amount of SUVs/CUVs on the highway now a days. All I can see is other vehicles around me when driving my low sports car, what happened to the good old days of sedans/wagons.

  • TW5 TW5 on May 01, 2014

    I think its down to the perverse consumer behaviors encouraged by manufacturers in the sedan segments. The high-level trim options on sedans, like 17-18" alloy wheels, low profile tires, and firm sport suspension are not compatible with US roads. The top CUV trims usually retain tire sidewall and suspension travel, while adding 4wd as well. CAFE 2025 is not kind to CUVs so manufacturers will have to make some changes in vehicle sales mix.....or hybridize the entire CUV lineup.

    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on May 01, 2014

      "CAFE 2025 is not kind to CUVs" This is a good point. The good old days of wagonizing a car and classifying it as a truck are gone.

  • Offbeat Oddity Offbeat Oddity on May 01, 2014

    I'm one of the people who traded my car for a CUV April 2014 (an '07 Accord for an '11 CR-V) I loved my 2007 Accord and didn't plan on buying a CUV, but with the horrible Minnesota winter we've had this year, it made sense. Surprisingly, the driving experience of the '11 CR-V compared to the '07 Accord isn't much different. The CR-V rides and handles pretty well, and the steering offers similar feel and response. It's also a foot shorter, so it's fairly maneuverable. The only thing I had to adjust to was the somewhat sluggish acceleration. It's not to say I won't go back to a car- I took a long look at the new Accord- but after driving the CR-V for about a month, I can see why CUVs are so popular.

    • Jdspielman Jdspielman on May 02, 2014

      I too own a 07 Accord SE and a 08 CRV EX. The 2013/14 Minnesota winter was the worst I have ever seen in my life. The 21 plus days below zero was awful when the ice on the roads would not melt. I have thought about getting a second CRV or maybe buying a Pilot.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on May 02, 2014

    My wife bought a new CRV last year. We had a 2000 Taurus loaded which was a great car but having a wagon like vehicle has more utility and the AWD is better in the snow. Yes I would like something like a tradition wagon, but they don't make very many of them anymore and at least the CRV is close. I like sedans, but I like the utility of a crossover much better. Big Al was not referring to the lack of choice in midsize cars or crossovers (plenty of choice in the USA of both) but to the lack of choice in the midsize pickup market.