September 2017 brings bad news for American makers of minivans as sales plunge by 16%, affecting several automakers. The sale percentage is the lowest since the slump started in January 2015, running for over 32 months.
It has forced GM to cut an entire shift at its SUV factory.
Some decline in sales, however, is strategic. But for the most part, the US Minivan market share is suffering from the sales plunge.
Minivans accounted for 3.1% of sales during the first 8 months of 2017, with new units being sold in America. But September saw a dive in market share by 2.2%, a far cry from the previous decade’s share of more than 5%.
Between 2016 and 2017, FCA and Toyota saw an increase in US minivan market share, but Honda and Kia saw a drop from 21.6% to 19.7% and from 8.5% to 5.2%, respectively.
In the first 8 months of 2017, GM and Ford sales plunged by 19%. This resulted in General Motors sending a layoff notice to their employees in their assembly plant.
In a statement, GM said, “We believe the best way to react…is to reduce output”.
About 1,000 workers will be affected by an overnight shift that will be eliminated. Some of them might be transferred to the component or engine manufacturing side of the plant.
Midsize pickup truck outsold minivans by a 5-to-4 margin. The Toyota RAV4 also outsold 1 minivan by 1.3 sales. The Honda Civic and Toyota Camry also outsold a whole minivan this September.
The total drop in sales of 13% is equivalent to 56,000 sales.
Although FCA still owned the highest minivan market share in the US at 42%, it is down by 6% compared to last year.
The slump in minivan sales in America, however, is just one of the many struggles that automakers have experienced within the year. Overall car sales also fell by 5% last April 2017.
Breaking results down company-by-company showed that GM’s sales fell by 5.8%, Ford by 7.2%, Toyota by 4.4%, FCA by 6.6%, Honda by 7%, Nissan by 2%, and both Hyundai and Kia by 1.9%.