In a shrinking phase more and more dominated by two longstanding nameplates, the battle for gross sales supremacy is shortly resembling a U.S. election. Two fundamental gamers, plus a handful of also-rans. (In Europe, this may be a really totally different — and doubtless fairly complicated — affair.)
For all gamers within the U.S. midsize sedan market, it’s actually a battle to carry on to market share, to maintain gross sales from sliding additional, as an increasing number of clients look elsewhere for household transportation. Two Japanese choices, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, loom over all different challengers. In November, one among these nameplates started placing some severe distance between it and its fundamental competitor.
In the event you have been rooting for the Accord, sorry. November was the next-generation 2018 mannequin’s first full month on sale, however the Accord completed the month down 15.four p.c, year-over-year.
Among the lower could possibly be on account of sluggish deliveries of the brand new mannequin to sellers, coupled with the disappearance of discounted 2017 fashions. 2018 Camry gross sales began not less than a month earlier. So, we’ll have a clearer image of this rivalry going ahead. Nonetheless, the Accord’s trajectory was 180 levels reverse that of the Camry’s, which closed the month with a 24.1-percent improve, year-over-year. By way of quantity, Camry’s 34,991 models beats the Accord’s 22,998 by almost 12,000 autos.
Over the primary 11 months of 2017, U.S. Camry quantity tops that of the Accord by simply over 43,000 models. Perhaps consumers will fall in love with the stick shift over the vacations, resulting in an Accord buy within the New 12 months. That’s an enormous possibly. Design and dealing with is way extra more likely to play a task in any buy.
Over at Hyundai, the model’s refreshed 2018 Sonata simply can’t discover any traction. Regardless of edgier entrance and rear styling, Sonata gross sales sank 48 p.c in November, year-over-year. Over the primary 11 months of 2017, that interprets right into a 33.6-percent drop in quantity. Gross sales of the Kia Optima have been down 33.9 p.c, year-over-year.
The Ford Fusion, which provides extra drivetrain alternative than some other midsize sedan, noticed a 15.1-percent year-over-year gross sales drop in November, and a 22.1-percent drop in quantity in calendar 12 months 2017. Chevrolet Malibu gross sales dropped 27.eight p.c in November, year-over-year, and the Buick Regal’s recognition dropped 55.three p.c as sellers await supply of the next-generation 2018 mannequin.
At Volkswagen, U.S. gross sales of the long-in-the-tooth Passat dropped simply over 51 p.c, year-over-year. Mazda’s 6 noticed its worst gross sales tally since 2012 in November, with gross sales dropping 45.eight p.c, year-over-year. It stays to be seen if the introduction of a turbocharged four-cylinder (due in 2018) can reverse the mannequin’s gross sales slide.
Nissan’s Altima, nonetheless a high-volume sedan, recorded a way more modest YoY gross sales decline of four.eight p.c in November.
All in all, not a terrific month for any midsizer, with the apparent exception of the Camry. The gross sales efficiency of sedans from automakers not named Toyota or Honda provides credence to the speculation that in a shrinking phase, probably the most well-known nameplates will survive the longest.
[Images: Honda, Toyota]