Both General Motors and Ford had banked on former Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus owners moving up to one of their small crossover vehicles like the Chevrolet Trax or Ford EcoSport after they discontinued their respective compact offerings, but not all are willing to move away from the segment, it seems.
According to a new report from Edmunds, the number of Cruze owners trading their car in for another Chevrolet vehicle fell from 57% in 2016 to 45% in 2019. The situation may get worse for Chevy going forward as well, as 9% of Cruze trade-ins so far in 2019 have gone toward another Cruze. This won’t be an option in the future, as Chevy will eventually run out of new Cruzes in stock, so more buyers of the vehicle may be set to flock from the brand.
The Edmunds report, called Shuttered Car Lines, also found that Focus owners trading in their car to buy another Ford vehicle decreased from 40% in 2016 to 33% in 2019. Ford may also see customer loyalty decrease even further in the future as it prepares to discontinue virtually all of its cars, apart from the Mustang.
Additionally, the report found that while compact-car sales are trending downward for the entire industry, many current compact-car owners are still buying another one when they go to trade their vehicle in. About 22% of Cruze trade-ins go toward another compact-car purchase, it found, while 21% of Focus trade-ins go toward a new compact car.
Many Cruze and Focus owners will trade up to a similarly sized crossover, however. Crossovers are the most popular vehicles that Cruze and Focus owners trade in for, the study found. Both GM and Ford’s respective compact and subcompact crossovers are the most popular vehicle choices for those trading in either a Cruze or a Focus as well.
Edmunds data for the study was compiled using retail sales transaction numbers. In a statement made to Autoblog, an Edmunds spokesperson said that “compact cars account for more than 9% of the new-vehicle market, and it’s not likely to drop to 0%, especially given the fact that the average price of a new car is in record territory.” Therefore, GM and Ford will no matter what lose some market share by not offering any compact cars – though how much of an impact this will have on both companies’ business remains to be seen. A large part of cancelling compact cars was to get customers into more-profitable crossover variants, and this does seem to be at least partially working at the moment.
You can read the entire Edmunds report at this link for further insights on the topic.
Source: Ford Authority