The ever-competitive midsize sedan segment posted impressive sales numbers for August 2012. Nearly all of the major players saw sales increase compared to last August. Although the class is usually a feverish war between entrants from America, Asia, and Europe, the overall sales ranking of the sedans hasn’t changed significantly from last month.
The strong sales results come even as most of the midsize segment is in flux. The Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Camry were redesigned last year. New versions of the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, and Nissan Altima arrive in showrooms this fall.
The three aforementioned cars that are due for overhauls still managed to draw plenty of buyers. Honda’s Accord enjoyed a sales gain of 89 percent, finishing the month at 34,848 units. It’s worth remembering, of course, that supplies of Honda cars were low last summer due to parts shortages caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. That creates an artificially high sales increase this year.The Nissan Altima saw sales climb 12.5 percent year-over-year to 25,889 last month, while the Ford Fusion racked up 21,690 sales, a gain of 21 percent compared to August 2011.
The perennially successful Toyota Camry remained the segment’s best seller, racking up 36,720 sales last month. That’s an increase of 17.1 percent compared to a year prior. The two Korean entrants in the midsize class both fared modestly. The Kia Optima recorded 13,949, while the Hyundai Sonata sedan managed 19,624 sales.
The Chevrolet Malibu saw its sales drop 18.8 percent to just 14,495 units in August. The sales decline is surprising given that the Malibu is all-new for this year; however, until recently only the mild-hybrid Malibu Eco was available at dealerships. That might have put off some buyers who wanted a traditional powertrain, keeping the sales tally artificially low.
The Chrysler 200 was once again second-to-last in the segment, although its monthly sales tally of 11,997 was a ten-percent increase year-over-year. The Volkswagen Passat continues to be the loser of the midsize segment, although its August sales total of 10,090 units is still a healthy volume. That figure can’t be compared to the same period last year, as the current version of the Passat wasn’t launched until September 2011.
Here’s how the midsize sedans stacked up in last month:
|Car||August 2012 Sales|
Sources: Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen