Hatchback Demand on the Rise, Sedans Not so Much


Hatchback sales are predicted to significantly increase over the next few years, while demand for sedans will likely slide.

The prediction comes from IHS Automotive, which says hatchbacks will be the fastest growing body style in the U.S., with a 37-percent jump in sales from now to 2020. That means hatchbacks should account for about 1.1 million units in 2020, approximately 6.6 percent of total vehicle sales in the U.S. (compared to 4.8 percent in 2015).

Up to now, only a handful of automakers have consistently offered hatchbacks in the U.S. The Volkswagen Golf is one, and the Ford Focus is another. But that is about to change with the introduction of the Chevrolet Cruze and the Honda Civic hatch. In an interview with Automotive News, Honda’s general manager Jeff Conrad spoke about the Civic hatch and said “there is a growing market for that, so we want to be on the forefront.” Conrad said many consumers told the automaker they want something that “can carry my stuff.”

Meanwhile, sedans are headed for a different trajectory. According to IHS Automotive, sedans accounted for 33.1 percent of total U.S. car sales in 2015. That number is expected to drop to 29.3 percent in 2020.

SUVs and crossovers, however, will continue to dominate sales through 2020. SUVs were responsible for 36.8 percent of vehicles sales last year and IHS Automotive says that figure should increase to 39.8 percent in 2020.
From a consumer standpoint, hatchbacks make a lot of sense versus a sedan if the price difference is negligible. For a minor increase in weight, a hatchback gets you additional practicality in the form of additional cargo space.

It might not seem like much, but when you are trying to muscle say, a guitar amplifier into your car (just as an example) would you rather:

A. try to get said amp (or large cargo item) into the back seat through a door frame

B. try to wedge it into the trunk through a trunk lid opening (potentially having it not fit and having to bungee-cord the lid down)

C. open the hatch and set it in the back, worst case having to fold the rear seat down

I know I would go for option C.

I personally welcome the influx of hatchbacks!

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