Car sales statistics for the compact sports car segment in the US, updated every quarter.

US sales 2017 first half: Mid-sized Sports segment

Ford Mustang keeps losing sales as Chevy Camaro rebounds

US Small Sports

Sales in the Mid-sized Sports segment fell by 14.5% so far in 2017, a reflection mainly on the dwindling popularity of the mighty Ford Mustang. However, while the headline figure is bad but not horrible, what should be more worrying is the fact that the segment has plenty of new cars such as Chevrolet Camaro, Audi TT, or the Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman twins, after an early rise their sales have all declined recently. What’s more, Dodge seems to be doing wonders with the Challenger, given how old that model is, but even that can’t last forever. 

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US sales 2017 first half: Small Sports segment

Mazda MX-5 almost takes the segment lead, as RWD cars soar and FWD cars crashThe Small Sports segment lost an astonishing 31.6% sales in the second quarter of 2017, a bad performance second only to that of the Minicar segment that lost almost half its sales over the same period. Combined with the slower decline experienced by the segment in the first quarter of the year, sales in the segment were 22.8% smaller in the first half of 2017 than in 2016. Although there is some hope in the form of the new Hyundai Veloster, that car won’t arrive until sometime in 2018 – until then, it’s likely sales will continue declining.

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US sales 2017-Q1 Premium Small Sports segment

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The Small Premium Sports segment accelerates its rate of decline as sales in the first quarter of 2017 are down by 11.6% to a mere 3,001 sales. In 2016, the smallest segment in the industry already shrank by 1.8%, despite a still very fresh line-up of contenders and three updated models: the facelifted Mercedes-Benz SLK, now renamed SLC, and the facelifted Porsche Boxster and Cayman, now renamed 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman. 2017 is expected to bring a new BMW Z5, co-developed with Toyota, which will launch its new Supra on the same platform, but I’m doubtful if that can turn the segment around, also because it’s unlikely to arrive in showrooms long before the end of the year.

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US sales 2017-Q1 Small Sports segment

US Small SportsThe Small Sports segment accelerates its decline in the first quarter of 2017 with a loss of 16.8% after already losing  6.5 percent in 2016. Sales of small sports cars dropped to 69,938 in Q1 as 9 out of the 13 models lost volume, of which 7 with double digits. The top-3 are the American muscle cars, which hold more than three quarters of the segment and they lose slightly faster than the rest of the segment. And keeping in mind sales of muscle cars have traditionally proven to be a bellwether for the entire US car market, this could be yet another indication that car sales have hit their peak. Hopefully the facelifted Ford Mustang can breathe some much-needed new life into the segment. The only other sports car news in 2017 will be the new Toyota Supra, co-developed by the Japanese brand with BMW.

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US sales 2016 Premium Small Sports segment

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Sales in the Small Premium Sports segment fell yet again in 2016, this time by 1.8 percent, making it one of the segments that have seen the most consecutive years of decline (others that share this dubious distinction are the Large and Alternative Power segments). All in all, the segment is only about half of the size it was a decade ago, when BMW Z4 on its own sold almost as many as the combined number of sales in the segment 2016. The prospects for this segment in 2017 now rest on the incoming BMW Z5 (returning to a soft-top setup), and how well the customers will take to the newly-facelifted Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman (now with the “718” prefix), and whether the new Audi TT can continue growing its sales.

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US sales 2016 Small Sports segment

US Small Sports

Sales in the Small Sports segment fell by 6.5 percent in 2016 to 319,406 – a useful 40 percent higher than during the sector’s low in 2009, but still some 30 percent below where the segment was a decade ago. The decline is faster than for the Premium Small Sports segment, but almost identical to that for the Premium Large segment. The segment’s prospects don’t look that great for 2017, either: the big-selling new muscle-cars are losing customers (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro), many of the models are getting on in age but are unlikely to be replaced anytime soon as manufacturers put their efforts and resources into SUVs (Dodge Challenger, Nissan 370Z, Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ), while the demise of the Scion brand will see the end of the well-selling Scion tC. Probably the only truly new model that will arrive in 2017 will be the new Toyota Supra, co-developed by the Japanese brand with BMW.

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US sales Q1-Q3 2016 Small Premium Sports segment

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Sales in the Small Premium Sports segment fell by 9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, bringing the overall sales growth for the year down to 3 percent. Still, this is a much better performance than either the Sports Small segment (down 6 percent) or the Sports Large segment (down 13 percent). The prospects for this segment rest on how the public will like the newly-facelifted Porsche Boxster and Cayman (now with the “718” prefix), as well as the continued increase in popularity of the new Audi TT.

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US sales Q1-Q3 2016 Small Sports segment

US Small Sports

Sales in the Small Sports segment declined by 4 percent in the third quarter of 2016, a recovery after the 15 percent decline recorded in the second quarter of the year. This means that the segment did better than the Sports Large segment but not as well as the Small Premium Sports segment, the only one of the three to record a rise in sales so far this year.

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US sales first half 2016 Small Premium Sports segment

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Sales in the Small Premium Sports segment in the US rose by 18.4% in Q2 of 2016 for a first half increase of 11.4% to 7,435 vehicles. This is the exact opposite of the mainstream Small Sports Car segment, where sales plummeted 15% in Q2. The segment leader Mercedes-Benz SLK, in the process of being facelifted and simultaneously renamed SLC loses its pole position to the Porsche Cayman, and barely manages to stay ahead of the new generation Audi TT.

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US sales first half 2016 Small Sports segment

US Small Sports

Sales in the Small Sports segment in the US declined by 7% in the first half of 2016 to 172,040 vehicles. After showing a 3% growth in Q1, sales in the segment plunged by 15% in Q2. Shock and horror in the model ranking: the Chevrolet Camaro, leader of the American Muscle cars from 2010 till 2014 before relegating that title to the new generation Ford Mustang, has been outsold in Q2 of 2016 by the Dodge Challenger for the first time since the launch of the fifth generation Camaro in 2009. The Challenger, whose current third generation was launched in 2008 has edged out the Camaro in two separate months before (March and October 2015, each time by less than 160 sales), but in the second quarter the Challenger beat its rival in both May and June for a total advantage of 1,360 sales, giving it a Q2 advangate of 315 sales. The Camaro had built enough of an advantage in the first four months to stay ahead for the first half, but Dodge has smelt blood and the battle is on for second place in the segment.

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