This year is almost gone, and we think it's time to make some calculations. First of all, it's not a secret that sedans almost died in 2016, while trucks and SUVs were at the sales peak. Here's a list of the most unlucky cars in 2016.
Acura RLX and ILX- Apparently, Acura is really only good at selling crossovers these days. The Japanese luxury brand will sell around 50,000 units of the MDX and RDX in 2016, which is a decent showing, but sales go south quickly when you look at the rest of the lineup.
Acura’s best-selling sedan is the TLX, which is the brand’s mid-level model. The ILX serves as Acura’s entry point, and that model is on pace to deliver a 19-percent drop versus the previous year. Things are even worse for the flagship RLX. Acura will be lucky to sell 1,500 RLX sedans in 2016, which is a massive 37-percent year-over-year decline.
Alfa Romeo 4C
There are no more excuses for the Alfa Romeo 4C’s dismal sales figures. Alfa may have initially pinned slow sales on limited supply, but the coupe version has now been on sale for two model years. You (or Alfa dealers) could have also argued that the lack of a convertible model at launch hurt the numbers, but the topless Spider model failed to ignite a sales boom.
Alfa may sell 500 4Cs in America in 2016, but only if the brand has a good December. For some perspective, Porsche is on pace to sell 3,500 Caymans and 2,700 Boxsters. And while the 4C is not a direct competitor to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, that car’s 9,000 sales this year show that there are buyers out there for two-seat sportscars. Just not the 4C.
BMW 3 Series, 4 Series, and X4
Not even the vaunted BMW 3 Series is immune to a sales slowdown. Through November, BMW’s mainstream model’s 64,000 sales represented a nearly 30-percent decline over 2015. The 4 Series, which BMW chose to split out from the 3 in 2014, hasn’t fared much better, with a 20-percent sales decline so far in 2016.
Sure, crossover sales have helped prop up the German marque’s bottom line, but not enough to overcome the poor performance of its sedans. Through November, the X4 was down 17 percent, and the X5 was down 15 percent. On the positive side, at least X1 and X3 sales are good.
We almost forgot about the Cadillac ELR, and apparently, so did pretty much everyone else. GM’s flagship division stopped production of the slow-selling ELR in 2014, and had enough leftover inventory to keep selling them through 2015 even though there wasn’t an actual 2015-model-year vehicle.
Cadillac brought the ELR back for 2016 with a powertrain tweaked for better performance, revised suspension settings, and a big drop in price. It didn’t help. Just over 500 total ELRs had been sold in America through November, which amazingly was a 40-percent decline over 2015. And remember, there was no 2015 ELR – all the ELRs sold in 2015 were leftover from 2014. It doesn’t get much worse than that.
Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart
FCA’s struggles in the compact and midsize sedan segments are well documented, so we won’t go too far in depth here. Suffice it to say that Sergio Marchionne knew what he was doing when he announced that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart would be put to pasture after the 2016 model year (there were apparently a few 2017 200s built, but production has since stopped).
Dodge is likely to sell fewer than 45,000 Dart models through 2016, which represents a 50-percent drop from last year. The 200’s sales are even worse. Through November, Chrysler had sold almost 55,000 200 sedans, a 65-percent decline.