People still wants wagons, sort of.
Buyers can’t get enough of crossovers like the Nissan Rogue and full-size trucks like the Ford F-150. Those were two of the best-selling vehicles in 2018. While companies like Ford make way for more of these well-selling trucks and SUVs almost exclusively, one segment is seeing a slight uptick: Station wagons.
Station wagon sales are up 29 percent from 2012, according to Edmunds, making it one of the few growing segments over the past five years, and among the most improved. Stations wagons are fourth only to compact crossovers (75 percent), entry luxury SUVs (71 percent), and mid-sized pickups (60 percent), which command the market. But that number doesn’t paint an entirely accurate picture.
Of the 211,600 station wagons companies sold 2018, it was actually a down year. In 2017, station wagon sales were at a five-year high of 237,600 units, and in 2016, that number was at 219,000. Even the wagon’s retail share dropped from 1.9 percent in 2013 to just 1.4 percent last year, according to Tyson Jominy of J.D. Power's Power Information Network.
Of course, some companies – like BMW – are ditching wagons in the U.S. entirely. Even Volvo is scaling back; the Swedish marque moved just 491 examples of the V90 in 2018, due in part to its special-order-only sales process. But Buick Marketing Director Sam Russel believes wagons could still be the SUV alternative some buyers are looking for.
"There’s a group of consumers who are greatly interested in the versatility and capability of an SUV," Buick Marketing Director Sam Russel said in an interview with Bloomberg. "But they don’t want to be seen as someone who just goes with the flow. They are almost violently opposed to being mainstream."
Source: Edmunds, Bloomberg