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An Automotive Minute - A Shift to Mid-Sized Vehicles with Stephanie Brinley

19 March 2021 Stephanie Brinley

An Automotive Minute: A Shift to Mid-Sized Vehicles - with Stephanie Brinley

Americans may be shifting to mid-size vehicles, based on IHS Markit US total light-vehicle registration data for January 2021, as compared with January 2020. Mid-size vehicles of all types captured more share of registrations this January than did compact vehicles, a first for recent years. The compact segment share erosion is largely on compact car declines; the compact utility segment remains the largest in the US.

Of course, utilities also dominate mid-size registrations, and are also growing. In January 2021, mid-size utility vehicles were 60% of mid-size vehicle registrations, up from 56% a year earlier, while sedans dropped 5 points to only 20%.

The interest in comparing these two months is that January 2020 was ahead of the COVID pandemic, while in January 2021, US consumers had been living with restrictions and economic impacts for about 10 months. This data suggests consumers may be shifting preferences from compact to mid-size offerings.

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