Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Driving along the roads of California, it seems like little ever changes.
The cars that mosey by all seem like the cars I saw last year.
Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention. Perhaps I’m just numbed.
It seems that some cars that seemed almost ubiquitous aren’t selling as well as they used to. Very famous cars.
In as much as data can ever be glorious.
Here, then, are a few cars that I thought were doing well and apparently aren’t.
1. BMW 3-Series.
This used, I thought, be a staple of the young and reckless. But year-on-year sales are down more than 20 percent. What are the young and reckless buying now? Or are they just getting an Uber instead?
2. Toyota Camry.
You could fill a whole inside lane with these things, surely. Yet the numbers insist that sales are down almost 10 percent. Come to think of it, sales of Toyota Corollas are down 8.8 percent. Indeed, every so-called popular sedan seems to have become a little more, well, unpopular. The Nissan Altima, for example, has gone 14.7 percent the wrong way.
3. Jeep Cherokee.
But everyone’s buying SUVs, right? Not quite, it seems. The Jeep Cherokee is down 20 percent. But that’s nothing compared to the Jeep Compass, which is down 42 percent. Or the Jeep Patriot, down 52 percent. I knew that patriotism was in a little trouble, but this? At least the Jeep Grand Cherokee is up 16 percent. I suppose everyone thinks they’re grand these days.
4. Toyota Prius.
Has sanctimony had its day? Or is it being more evenly spread across different brands? I ask because the Prius appears to be down 19.5 percent. Toyota Prius C sales have plunged 38.6 percent. Toyota Prius V is down 29.5 percent. Can we blame the fact that the US is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement?
5. Ford Mustang.
The Mustang appears to be sallying out of here. Come to think of it, I get the impression that everyone who drives one came from Europe and rented it at the airport. The Mustang is off 29.9 percent this year.
6. Mini Cooper.
I keep being told that these are lovely. I keep explaining that they were lovely in 1962. Or so I hear. Here, now, is the evidence for my artistic opinion. The Mini Cooper’s sales have de-Mini-shed by 15.3 percent.
7. Porsche 911.
Why, I thought the economy was doing so well. For those who had a lot of money already, at least. This car used to be one of the rich and thoughtless’s biggest indulgences. But no. It’s down 14.6 percent so far this year. The Porsche Cayman is down 40.9 percent. Have all these people bathed in guilt and bought a Tesla?
8. BMW i3.
Talking of guilt, wasn’t this thing the best of all worlds? Yes, it’s an electric car, but it’s a BMW. So you can still tell yourself you’re young and reckless. Yet here I see that sales of this ego-hybrid are down 17.6 percent. How can this be?
9. Volvo XC90.
Oh, the automotive journalists loved this car. It won so many awards. Why, the New York Daily News declared it the best Luxury SUV last year. Oh, perhaps real people thought this was fake news. For XC90 sales are down 23 percent so far this year. And this at a time when SUV and crossover sales are supposedly buoyant.
10. Chevy Impala.
Somehow, you’d think the Impala would live forever. Sadly, it’s being slowly impaled. It’s down 44.1 percent. What is happening to our nation?