The average price of 2010 to 2014 model year subcompact vehicles dropped 26 percent in May to $6,683, well above the 17 percent decline experienced in all of the other segments.
Lower resale values are attributed to weak demand, inexpensive gasoline and a glut of off-lease vehicles coming on to the market.
According to Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds.com, a combination of factors leads consumers to be drawn towards vehicles that they desire. “Gas prices are low, the job market is good and the economy is pretty good. When left to our own devices, we want big vehicles,” she said.
The reduction in the price of used subcompacts has made it challenging for automakers to make new small cars competitive. On June 1, General Motors began offering 20 percent discounts on certain models of its 2016 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact and Spark minicar.