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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Hatchbacks Could Be Bucking the Downward Trend In Passenger Car Sales

    The bright spot in the passenger car market could be the hatchback

    Hatchbacks have never sold well in the U.S., but that could be changing thanks to new entrants and hotted-up models. According to a forecast done by IHS Markit, sales of hatchbacks are projected climb 19 percent this year. By 2020, the firm projects sales of 567,000 hatchbacks. What has changed?

    Some of this comes down to hatchbacks finding a niche market. Michelle Malcho, spokeswoman for Chevy cars and crossovers tells The Detroit News that active, urban buyers who are wanting a bit more functionality with their vehicle are turning to hatchbacks.

    “I think the U.S. likes the functional thought. The hatch for some people offers that without stepping up to that next level ... It really does fit what you need to do on a daily basis,” said Malcho.

    Helping out are new models and hotted-up versions. The Chevrolet Cruze hatchback made up 10 percent of the model's total sales in January. Over at Ford, the sales of hotted-up versions of the Fiesta and Focus grew 21 percent last year.

    But Stephanie Brinley, senior analyst with IHS Automotive cautions this will only cause a slight spur some growth in the compact class.

    “Hatchback sales have not traditionally been good in the U.S. It’s a relatively small opportunity ... they should help stem the losses in the (small car) segment,” said Brinley.

    “The cars are just so much better than they were, and it’s no longer a penalty (to drive a hatchback). It’s taking a while, but people are starting to understand.”

    Source: The Detroit News

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    This totally makes sense, those that want the flexibility of a CUV interior but not the tall riding position will move to the Hatchback. Makes one wonder if we could see the ugly mid size Coupe 4 door sedan become a midsize 4 door hatchback?

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    2 hours ago, Stew said:

    Love hatches.  Would love to se Chevy come out with higher power, maybe 2.0 Turbo 4 Cruze Hatch preferably with AWD.  i would be right there. 

    I'd like to see a Malibu hatch...it already has a fastback roofline, a hatch could make it more practical w/ the same styling..

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    The hatch will still have a hard row to hoe. 

    Americans are just becoming anti car in general be it coupe, sedan and hatch. 

    They do love the versatility of a CUV but most also like the higher ride height and the option of a AWD at not a large cost. Many hatches either do not add it or it takes the price beyond what it should be for a car like a Cruze. 

    Lets face it the small Buick CUV is doing better than a if it were a hatch sedan. 

    Just look at the HHR as it was nothing but a Cobal wagon but it sold generally 5 times what a Cruze wagon would have sold. 

    I love a hatch but in America make it look like a truck or SUV and it sells. This is a truck/SUV driven market as people just like them and feel they are getting more for their money. It is going to be difficult to change this with more CUV models coming sucking all the oxygen out of the market for the hatch. 

    At least with the global market now you will get small volumes of hatches here that you never would have gotten other wise so all is not lost. 

    Same applies to the wagon if not for global sales and Opel we would not be seeing the Regal wagon. Sad how good it looks and it will still sell in small volumes. It looks better than the sedan. 

     

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    Diesel baby... 52 MPG!  :smilewide:  < what is going on with this site?  I hit the "new comment" button and it dredges this up.

    Anyhoo, are you saying hatches in America need to be outfitted like this little bugger to be appealing?

     

    chevrolet-spark-active-2016-desempeno-respuesta-auto-compacto-rendimiento-980x316.jpg

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Diesel baby... 52 MPG!  :smilewide:  < what is going on with this site?  I hit the "new comment" button and it dredges this up.

    Anyhoo, are you saying hatches in America need to be outfitted like this little bugger to be appealing?

     

    chevrolet-spark-active-2016-desempeno-respuesta-auto-compacto-rendimiento-980x316.jpg

    Yup, they do. :)

    Welcome to the new Revolution! :metal: 

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    Now use care when reporting hatch sales as you will see an increase in sales but they will report percentages. The true number of increases will be limited.

    Lets face we will have more models that never existed.

    Kind of like them saying Alfa sales doubled in December. While true the real numbers went from 23 to 52 models sold. This is why I hate them reporting percentages with lower volume models as it can be very misleading. We see it at Cadillac when they report a 15% drop but in sales but if you look it is 75 units of one model.

    The worst thing for Cruze hatch sales are all the new CUV models GM is introducing. Their worst competition will be from within.

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    14 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I'd like to see a Malibu hatch...it already has a fastback roofline, a hatch could make it more practical w/ the same styling..

    That wiould look good.  The way 6o get people into hatches, sadly, is to make them look like CUVs. 

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    14 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I'd like to see a Malibu hatch...it already has a fastback roofline, a hatch could make it more practical w/ the same styling..

    Has there ever been a hatch that large that wasn't a wagon or CUV?

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    2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Has there ever been a hatch that large that wasn't a wagon or CUV?

    Several.  Not US GM, but midsize hatches are common in Europe..such as the current Mondeo, Insignia, etc..Audi A7 and Panamera are two big ones in the US, for example.  

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    3 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    There was that awful Malibu Maxx thing from a few back. 

    Disagree with you as the Malibu Maxx had awesome rear space. You could be comfy or fit a ton of stuff in it. Style sucked, but the over all space was right on for big people.

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    3 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Disagree with you as the Malibu Maxx had awesome rear space. You could be comfy or fit a ton of stuff in it. Style sucked, but the over all space was right on for big people.

    It may have had good space. But that generation of Malibu was horrible. 

    Squeaks, creaks, and groans ( interior and exterior ), shoddy front ends ( steering and suspension ), numerous electrical issues...

     

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    3 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    It may have had good space. But that generation of Malibu was horrible. 

    Squeaks, creaks, and groans ( interior and exterior ), shoddy front ends ( steering and suspension ), numerous electrical issues...

    That I would totally agree with you on.

    The Malibu Maxx was a great idea with poor execution.

    Take that size and space with today's quality of built auto's and make a hatch out of it and there will be plenty of people who would love it.

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    47 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Several.  Not US GM, but midsize hatches are common in Europe..such as the current Mondeo, Insignia, etc..Audi A7 and Panamera are two big ones in the US, for example.  

    The A7 and Panamera are technically hatchbacks but they don't reward the owner with the space of a "conventional" hatchback like a Focus, Mazda3, or Golf.  They are "coupes" because that's about all the space behind the driver there is(exaggeration but the sloped roof line leaves the back tighter than the cars footprint would suggest).

    20 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    The Malibu Maxx was a great idea with poor execution.

    That sounds like it summed it up perfectly.

    Heck, I'm just curious what a mid size sedan would look like morphed into a real hatchback(not that A7/Panamera crap).

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    See those hatchbacks like the Mondeo don't really add much utility to the car outside of a truck. Yes, there is a little more space and versatility but not a whole lot.

    Why don't companies do a "short wagon" version of wagons and they would then look like a "normal" hatchback? Eliminate the rear overhang and it is no longer a wagon that people seem to be afraid of and is now a hatchback that less are afraid of and like.

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    51 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    ford-mondeo-hatchback-wallpaper-hd-15335

    FordMondeo20TDCi1501214Int(4).jpg

    Above is the Euo Ford Mondeo hatchback...Below is the Wagon

    Ford-Mondeo_Wagon-2015-ig.jpg

    ford_mondeo_titanium_wagon_9.jpeg

    Do they come in AWD? :D

    29 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    That's about the only different between a wagon and a hatch is the rear overhang.

    Focus Hatch.jpg

    FordMondeoWagon.jpg

    Not that much difference in overhang. What 6-8 inches maybe 10?

    I would and feel all Hatches need to change one thing, the C pillar, that angle forward kills entry  and exit. I would rather have it go straight up and give maximum entry into the back seat.

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    24 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Do they come in AWD? :D

    Focus Hatch.jpg

    FordMondeoWagon.jpg

    Not that much difference in overhang. What 6-8 inches maybe 10?

    I would and feel all Hatches need to change one thing, the C pillar, that angle forward kills entry  and exit. I would rather have it go straight up and give maximum entry into the back seat.

    No there really isn't a whole lot of difference in a wagon vs hatch and that's why I was thinking a mid size hatch would sell because wagons just don't over here but hatches seem to do well enough. Yeah I can see what you're talking about on the C pillar. It's never bothered me but I'm also only 5'8" and not 6'6" and if they're going to make a mid sizer they would have to cater more to larger folk.

    Does anybody here photoshop? I'd love for somebody to chop 8-10 inched off of the Mondeo Wagon just to see what it would look like.

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