Midsize Sedan Deathwatch #4: September Sales Plummet 11%, a 21,000-Unit Drop
This is the fourth overall edition of TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch. The midsize sedan as we know it — “midsizedus sedanicus” in the original latin — isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but the ongoing sales contraction will result in a reduction of mainstream intermediate sedans in the U.S. market. How do we know? It already has.
As more proof of a struggling midsize sedan sector, September 2016 sales tumbled 11 percent year-over-year, a loss of more than 21,400 U.S. sales for a segment that was already losing an average of 21,600 sales per month during the first two-thirds of 2016.
The Toyota Camry, America’s top-selling midsize car and the most popular car in America over the last 14 consecutive years, was outsold by its own compact sibling in September. Yet the Camry’s sales decline, in line with the segment average, was by no means unusual in September. Aside from a modest Nissan Altima increase and a jump in sales of the new Chevrolet Malibu, every midsize nameplate generated fewer sales this September than last.
Camry volume slid 11 percent, a loss of 3,780 sales, as the smaller Corolla sedan jumped 17 percent, outselling the Camry on a sedan-to-sedan basis by nearly 1,600 units. (Toyota also linked an additional 1,105 Scion iM/Corolla iMs to the Corolla nameplate’s tally in September, strengthening its grip on September’s number one position.)
The Camry’s loss of the top overall position marked just the second time this year America’s favourite midsize car wasn’t America’s favourite car overall. But the Camry’s decline wasn’t as consequential in real volume terms as the decreases felt by the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and the dying Chrysler 200.
The Fusion’s 18-percent drop translated to 4,372 fewer sales. (Compared with 2015, Ford’s company-wide fleet volume was loaded to the front end of 2016, causing the second-half to appear worse.)
A 19-percent decrease in Honda Accord volume equals 6,437 lost sales.
The Chrysler 200, soon to disappear, is struggling to clear out remaining examples. September volume tumbled by 6,759 units, year-over-year, to only 3,185 sales. Heading into September, Chrysler had around 20,000 200 sedans in stock.
But even without the Chrysler 200’s sharp drop, U.S. sales of continuing midsize cars fell 8.0 percent in September 2016, slightly worse than the 7.3-percent decline felt by the overall passenger car market. Year-to-date, even excluding the 200, midsize volume is down by 105,000 sales.
And it’s based on these numbers that we predict the Chrysler 200 will not be the last midsize sedan to kick the oil-stained bucket; it will not be the last midsize sedan to give up the ghost of midsizers past: Sebrings, Avengers, Milans, Galants, Kizashis, Auras, and G6s. There are no automobile manufacturers on the outside of the midsize sedan sector looking in. There are some on the inside, however, that won’t bother to be inside for the long haul.
More by Timothy Cain
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate financial adviser at Arthur Andersen and CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become Chase Center the home of the Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
- RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
- Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
- Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
- IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.