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