Can it be saved?
Less than a decade ago it appeared that sales of big trucks and SUVs, mainly the latter, would never recover in the face of high gas prices and a general mentality to spend less following the Great Recession. That's all in the past and not only has the economy recovered but so have SUV and truck sales. So much so, in fact, that automakers like GM are discontinuing once popular models such as the Chevrolet Impala, Volt, and Buick LaCrosse. The Chevy Sonic hatchback and sedan may soon be added to that list because the latest sales figures are troubling.
As GM Authority noticed, Sonic sales took a 25 percent nosedive in the first quarter of this year compared to the same time in 2018. Sales last year weren't so hot either, so this downward spiral is an ongoing issue.
Compared to its competitors, the subcompact Sonic's sales performance is also bleak. Numbers don't lie. Only 4,460 units were sold in Q1 of this year. Compare that to the Nissan Versa (24,992), Ford Fiesta (15,943), Toyota Yaris (7,894), Mitsubishi Mirage (6,242), and Kia Rio (5,844). Yes, that means the Chevy Sonic came in dead last. Interestingly, despite the fact that Ford already announced the Fiesta's discontinuation, its sales for this first business quarter were up by an impressive 29.64 percent. This can likely be attributed to enticing incentives and other discounts. The Sonic last received a major update for the 2017 model year with freshened exterior styling and packaging improvements.
Unfortunately, it didn't do much to boost sales. The Sonic's best sales year was in 2014 with 93,518 units sold in the US. Sales had been steadily increasing since 2012. In 2015, however, the sales plummet began and has never recovered. Last year, only 20,613 units were sold. A lot changed in only four model years.
Currently, Chevy is offering pretty good Sonic incentives, including $299 a month for 39 months with $3,069 due at signing. If you prefer to buy, you can get up to $2,000 in customer cash. The Sonic sedans begins at $15,420 and the hatch at $18,020. Neither price includes destination fees.