Two American carmakers lost customers to Japanese rivals

After Chevrolet and Ford stopped making small models of Cruze and Focus, many customers turned to Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.

As customers shift to crossovers / SUVs, some automakers begin to cut sedans from the product portfolio. The result was the death of Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus in the US.

Meanwhile, both models still maintain close relationships with a certain number of customers. According to Carsalesbase data, Chevrolet sold more than 142,000 Cruze units in the US in 2018, while Ford delivered more than 113,000 Focus units.

Without a direct replacement for discontinued models, Chevrolet and Ford lost their loyal customers, because not everyone liked the high-rise cars. They look to other brands to buy their favorite cars.

According to Edmunds research, the market recorded a very low level of owners when exchanging Focus and Cruze cars while remaining with Ford and Chevrolet. In just the past three years, the loyalty of Focus owners has dropped by 7%, and is expected to decline further when Ford is planning to kill the Fusion midsize sedan.

For GM, Chevrolet’s parent company, the number of customers who change from Cruze to another Chevrolet product decreases 13% from 2016 to 2019. In 2019, only 9% of the transactions with Cruze are to buy another Cruze. . But this is no longer an option when the last Cruze was produced in March.

However, Chevrolet’s situation is probably better when it holds a certain number of customers by not giving up sedans completely. The company still offers other 4-door models like Malibu and Sonic.

Looking at the fact, despite the general trend of the market is moving from small cars to crossovers and SUVs, still 42% of those who ever owned Cruze and Focus sold cars and switched to other sedans. With the disappearance of these products, customers will target the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in small numbers. Both Civic and Corolla are among the top 10 best-selling cars in the US, where the tastes for SUVs are world famous.

The trend was clear when Edmunds noticed “Cruze changes to Civic and Corolla almost twice as much from 2016 to 2019”.

The other fact shows from the research that small cars account for 9.1% of new car sales in 2019. Which means these products are even more important than mid-sized sedans, which are dominating the market share only at 8%.