The exotic car segment in Europe takes a small correction after a 16% increase in 2014, as sales are down 4% in 2015 to 5.267 units. The Bentley Continental GT leads as comfortable as ever because its closest competitor Ferrari 458 Italia is being slowly phased out to make room for its successor Ferrari 488 GTB. The 458 is down 27%, but even with sales of the new 488 added to its year-end total, the two Ferrari’s are still down 11%. Lamborghini has benefited from that and has more than doubled its sales of the Huracan compared to its first partial year on the market, also helped by the Spider version. That moves from 9th to 3rd ahead of two Aston Martins.
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Aston Martin has had a good year with sales of the Vanquish and DB9 both up around 13% in fourth and fifth place of the segment, passing the Ferrari F12, which loses 31% and is under threat from the Lamborghini Aventador. The Rolls Royce Wraith is already down 23% as the British brand has started production of the convertible version named Dawn. In the fourth quarter the 488 GTB was already the #2 of the segment and it should be able to give the Continental GT a run for its money in 2016.
Ferrari has another ace up its sleeve as the four-seat, four-wheel drive FF will be replaced by the GTC4 Lusso later this year. Bugatti has probably sold the last few production units of the Veyron before it will return with the Chiron.
2015 exotic car sales Europe
|Exotic car segment||2015||2014||Change|
|1.||Bentley Continental GT / GTC||1.631||1.595||2%|
|2.||Ferrari 458 Italia||934||1.287||-27%|
|4.||Aston Martin Vanquish||365||320||14%|
|5.||Aston Martin DB9||315||280||13%|
|8.||Rolls Royce Wraith||242||313||-23%|
|9.||Ferrari 488 GTB||212||0||New|
|11.||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG||56||407||-86%|
Large sports cars
Sales of large sports cars continue their improvement, growing another 12% to 28.864 units in 2015, after a 9% increase in 2014 and 6% in 2013. The Porsche 911 remains lord and master of the segment even though it drops below 50% share for the first time since 2008 and the second time since 2003. Nonetheless, an 11% increase makes it four consecutive years of sales improvements and the best volume since 2008. The 911 also consolidates its lead over the Jaguar F-Type, which loses 2% of volume but remains comfortably in second place. The Mercedes-AMG GT moves into third place, but AMG’s designated 911-fighter can’t come close to the figures of its target. Porsche sold 6 times as many “Neun-Elfers” in Q4 as AMG sold GT’s.
The BMW i8 moves into fourth place with over 2.000 sales of the plug-in hybrid sports car, more than the Mercedes-Benz SL which loses a quarter of its volume as its design has arguably deteriorated with every update since 2008. The Audi R8 has rebounded 29% from its worst volume ever as deliveries of the second generation have started, and the only way is up as the first generation peaked at almost 3.000 units in 2008. The Ferrari California has benefited from the update with the introduction of a turbocharged engine and almost doubles its volume. The Aston Martin Vantage is stable despite starting to show its age, just like the Maserati GranTurismo, down 18% and GranCabrio, up 2%.
We’ll welcome the Ford GT and Honda NSX to the segment in 2016.
2015 large sports car sales Europe
|Large sportscar segment||2015||2014||Change|
|8.||Aston Martin V8/V12 Vantage||705||712||-1%|
Compact sports cars
The compact sports car segment in Europe adds 23% to its volume of the previous year to sell 65.610 units in 2015. The former leader Mercedes-Benz SLK has been dethroned by the Audi TT, and not by a small margin. After seven consecutive years of sales declines, the new third generation helps the TT to its highest volume since 2008, up 129% on 2014 to sell more than double the volume of the Mercedes roadster. Third place is now occupied by the new fourth generation Mazda MX-5 which also outsold the SLK in the fourth quarter and should be able to sell over 10.000 units in 2016. Its volume of 6.746 makes 2015 the third-worst year for the Japanese roadster in Europe, only beaten by 2013 and 2014.
The MX-5 may have outsold the SLK in Q4, that doesn’t mean it was in second place of the segment, as the all-new Ford Mustang did even better in the fourth quarter, selling more than half of its full-year volume in the last three months alone. This is the first time Ford officially exports the muscle car to Europe, although previous generations were available through grey-market imports. The new Mustang, also available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, is likely to climb onto the segment podium in 2016, perhaps even in second place.
The Peugeot RCZ is kicked off the podium due to a loss of 28% of its volume, and it is now outsold by the Porsche Boxster which is about to be updated and renamed 718 Boxster. The BMW Z4 also loses a lot of volume, but the new generation is on its way. It’s not clear yet whether the name of the successor will be Z5 or if they’ll stick to Z4. What we do know is that it’s co-developed with Toyota, who will build a larger sports car on the same platform, that it will have a soft-top again instead of the folding hard-top of the current Z4, and that it will have a hybrid option.
The Toyota GT86 is the biggest loser of the top-10 at -37%, while its cousin Subaru BRZ also loses 31% from a lower base. The Alfa Romeo 4C stabilizes around the 1.000 units, limited by supply of carbon-fibre frames. The Chevrolet Camaro drops hard, as it was due for a facelift, but also because of increased competition from the Mustang, and because of a shrinking dealer body. Chevrolet will continue to sell the Corvette and Camaro in Europe, but from a limited number of dedicated dealerships, as it has stopped sales of its other models. Lotus enjoys a good year with all three of it models up with double digits.
Expect to find the MX-5’s Italian cousin Fiat 124 in this segment in 2016.
2015 compact sports car sales Europe
|Compact sportscar segment||2015||2014||Change|
|10.||Alfa Romeo 4C||1.047||959||9%|
|17.||Hyundai Genesis coupe||8||66||-88%|
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Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.