California Autos Examiner

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Small Cars Sales Slumping

The small car in America is like the often forgotten friend whom you only call when down on your luck. You know he'll answer the phone and provide a sympathetic ear, but after a few visits you member why he pisses you off so easily. When the good times roll around again, he's off the speed dial.

Last year when gas prices skyrocketed, small cars flew off the lots like nobody's business. Good luck finding a Honda Fit! Now that gasoline has settled back down again, you can have a Fit any which way you like. And to be honest, the Fit has it relatively easy with a 125 days supply. Chevrolet has 427 days' worth of Aveos in inventory.

The argument goes that Americans are a big people and they like their cars equally big. Certainly there is some truth to that. However, I see long term trends changing. The Mini Cooper has show that a competitively fielded small car can be more that a flash in the pan. Mini has consistently posted terrific sales numbers. I think the Ford Fiesta will also be a winner. The Fiesta has great styling and given Ford's recent track record, the car will offer a wide slate of electronic goodies that appeal to many modern customers. You buy cars like the Mini and Fiesta, not so much because they are small, but because they have appealing styling and tons of features.

So it is true that small car sales are slumping, but that is more a function of the economy than anything else. I don't believe that small cars will rule our marketplace like they do in other countries, but there is plenty of the room at the table for well thought out models.

source: Industry's Big Hope for Small Cars Fades -

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