While both models have seen better days, they were still relatively popular with consumers. According to Carsalesbase data, Chevrolet sold 142,617 Cruzes in the United States in 2018, while Ford moved 113,345 Focuses.
Without direct replacements for the Cruze and Focus, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not customers would remain loyal to these brands. Edmunds (PDF) looked into the issue and found Cruze and Focus owners are abandoning Chevrolet and Ford.
According to the study, there have been “record low levels of owners, trading in the Focus and Cruze, staying in the Ford and Chevrolet brands.” In just the past three years, the loyalty of Focus owners has dropped 7%. Edmunds expects that number to fall even further in the future as Ford is also planning to eliminate the Fusion.
On the GM side, the number of customers trading in Cruzes for another Chevrolet model dropped 13% from 2016 to 2019. That’s a big decrease and Edmunds also noted 9% of Cruze trade-ins this year have been used to purchase another Cruze. That won’t be an option much longer as the last Cruze was built in March and dealer inventory is dwindling.
However, Chevrolet might be in a better position to retain Cruze customers as the company isn’t abandoning sedans altogether. Instead, the company will continue to offer the Malibu and Sonic.
Regardless, the study found that 42% of Cruze and Focus owners trade-in their cars for another sedan. With the elimination of these models, customers will likely embrace the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in greater numbers. That trend is already visible as the Edmunds found “Cruze trade-ins for Civics and Corollas nearly doubled from 2016 to 2019.”
Another interesting finding from the study is that compact cars were responsible for 9.1% of new vehicle sales this year. That means they’re even more important than midsize sedans which have seen their market share plummet to just 8%.