Sales of two-door sports cars were up 16 per cent in Australia to the end of August, over the previous year, according to the official industry VFACTS figures. But what are the segment’s winners and losers?
First off, sales trends in the sports car market are much more exaggerated than in other areas of the market, because these status symbols tend to sharply recede once the initial buzz dies down and all the devotees have taken delivery.
Staggeringly, there are almost 60 different models classified as sports cars, across three price-based segments (under $80,000, between $80,000 and $200,000, and above $200,000). Let’s dig a little deeper.
In news that will surprise precisely nobody who follows the car industry, the Ford Mustang is the absolute superstar this year. With 3835 sales, its a mile ahead of any other car in its category, and has a waiting list out to mid-2017 still.
As we discussed here, 80 per cent of Mustangs sold so far have been the V8 models, most of which were coupes.
The sales figure actually has the ‘Stang ahead of the Ford Kuga family SUV by sales, which is both stupid and hilarious considering industry trends.
In fact, without the Pony Car, sales of sports cars under $80,000 would actually be down this year.
Number two in the volume race is that perennial hotcake analogy, the Toyota 86, with 1572 units this year (down 25 per cent as the buzz continues to slow).
Breathing down the rear-drive Toyota’s neck is the much pricier BMW 2 Series with an impressive 1446 sales (up 17 per cent), amazingly ahead of the budget-priced front-drive Hyundai Veloster on 1373 (down an alarming 39 per cent).
Next in the cue are a pair of much more expensive Germans from the next segment up — the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe/convertible range (1292, about even) and the BMW 4 Series coupe/convertible (1148, down 14 per cent).
Both of these slick executive express models (dominated in terms of coverage by their respective C63 AMG and M4 range-toppers) are edging the lauded and bargain-priced Mazda MX-5 (1142, up 330 per cent over the old NC at this time last year. Wow).
Doing strong volumes thanks to razor-sharp deals is the Holden Astra Sport on 677 (up almost 120 per cent), ahead of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe/convertible (488, down 12 per cent as its replacement nears).
Trailing back a little further are the Audi A3 convertible (408, down 26 per cent), Holden Cascada (378, up 73 per cent), Audi TT (366, down 12 per cent), Lexus RC (360, down 5 per cent) and the Porsche 911 from the absolute top end of town on 305 (up 9 per cent).
The iconic Porsche 911 has a dominant 26 per cent market share in the sports car over $200,000 segment, with more than double the volume of its main rivals (Ferrari range on 121, the BMW 6 series on 120, and the Lamborghini family on 104).
Behind the Porsche 911 are the Subaru BRZ (246, down 44 per cent), Nissan 370Z (241, down 23 per cent), Audi A5 (238, down 52 per cent), Porsche Cayman (219, up 56 per cent), Volkswagen Scirocco (216, down 19 per cent) and the Mini Cabrio (161, up 156 per cent).
Next are the BMW Z4 (137, up 211 per cent thanks to huge discounts of late), Volkswagen Beetle (133, about even, and we doubt the veracity of the ‘sports car’ claim, but still…), the Porsche Boxster (132, down 7 per cent) and the Jaguar F-Type on 130 (up 8 per cent).
Are there any cars not mentioned here that you’d like to know the sales of? Ask in the comments and I will track down the numbers for you. You can also read my deeper dive into the sales of exotic sports cars here.