It’s a fact that Americans love big vehicles. The best-selling vehicle for the past three decades has been the F-150 pickup. So it should come as no surprise that small car sales are still slow in America.
The best-selling sub-compact in America, the Nissan Versa, sold just 6,724 units in November. Meanwhile, the outgoing Ford Focus sold over 13,000 units, almost twice as many as the cheaper Versa. It seems as though Americans gravitate towards the largest car they can afford. Big incentives on the Focus brought the price down substantially I reckon, and even though the car will soon be replaced, Americans decided they’d rather have more car.
Just 3,473 2011 Ford Fiestas were moved from dealer lots last month, despite the car debuting to rave reviews and an intensive social-media campaign. It gets 40 mpg highway compared to the Focus’s 35 mpg (and that’s with a manual transmission compared to the Fiesta’s automatic). By all accounts, the Fiesta is a far better car than the old Focus, but Ford sold three Focuses’ for every one Fiesta. In March of 2010, Ford sold over 68,000 Fiestas in Europe. That’s more than twice the total subcompact sales in all of the U.S. in the month of November. In fairness though, December is traditionally the best time to buy a new car, and incredible incentives might have convinced some people to wait a few weeks to make their automotive purchase.
We’ll revisit this topic in a month, though something tells me getting Americans to rock smaller cars isn’t gonna be easy.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.