This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our Privacy and Cookie Notice for more details. X

Nearly One in Five Buyers Selected a Small Car in August

Nearly One in Five Buyers Selected a Small Car in August

By Jeff Youngs, September 08, 2012
Fuel efficiency was on consumers' minds in August, especially since the average price of unleaded gas at the pump in late August passed the $4 per gallon mark in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Washington, D.C. Last month, nearly one of every five new-vehicle buyers or lessees in the U.S. market selected either a sub-compact or compact car, which was significantly higher than a year ago. In fact, at least 106,300 more of these smaller new vehicles were purchased this year in comparison to August 2011.*

There was particularly good news for General Motors Co. in August. GM's flagship Chevrolet brand scored big with its smaller car models. Although the most popular sub-compact model remained the Nissan Versa sedan, as in July, the second-most-popular sub-compact was the Chevrolet Sonic, which has a beginning suggested retail price tag of less than $14,800. According to EPA estimates, the Versa gets 31mpg on the highway and an average 24 mpg in city driving.

The compact car category, which accounts for the second-largest share of industry light-vehicle sales (15.45% of industry sales in August) after the midsize car segment (16.48% of sales in August), also was led by a Chevrolet model. A favorite compact with consumers in August was the Chevrolet Cruze, a relatively new model in the U.S. market and the replacement for the Chevy Cobalt. The Cruze, which according to EPA estimates averages 36 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in city driving, had a little different launch from other GM models because it was first introduced in Europe and Asia to create some buzz before it reached U.S. consumers, according to a J.D. Power preview.

Following the Cruze in sales volume during August were three traditionally popular small car models, also known for their fuel-efficiency ratings. The Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus all celebrated major sales increases in August vs. last year. Also, there were two new models that boosted interest for consumers in August: the new Dodge Dart and the new Volkswagen Beetle--together, both contributed nearly 6,500 unit sales. The new Dart, which is built on a modified platform from Alfa Romeo, part of Italy's Fiat Group, is a first new car developed since Italy's Fiat purchased a majority interest in the Chrysler Group.

When considering overall small-car sales statistics this summer, there were 198,985 compact car models delivered in August and about one-fourth as many sub-compacts (51,011) were sold in the same month. In relation to last year, nearly 55,300 more compacts were sold this year than in August 2011 and more than 17,000 extra sub-compacts were delivered in August this year.

*Sales figures are based on data from J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive, which have a strategic alliance to share data and produce sales forecasts based on J.D. Power's real-time transaction data collected by the Power Information Network(R) (PIN).

Untitled Document

Subscribe to J.D. Power Cars Newsletter

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement