Sales collapse of segment-leading Chevy Corvette leads segment to unexpected Q3 sales dropSales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics suffered an unexpected collapse in the third quarter of the year – after declining by around 5% in the first two quarters of the year they fell by 23% in the third quarter. Time will tell if this is a sign of tough times ahead, or possibly a temporary correction after two strong quarters. The lack of new metal won’t help – while the new Lexus LC is proving a big hit with buyers, many of the segment stalwarts are rapidly moving past their “sell by” date (Mercedes-Benz SL, Maserati GranTurismo).
With the Frankfurt Auto Show almost upon us, Bart and I figured we’d run one of our customary Good, Bad and Ugly features ahead of the actual show, just to make sure we’re not swamped with the debuts once the doors open. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Bart and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.
Bentley Continental GT
Lexus LC enjoys a strong market debut to rank fourth in Q2’17 standings, while Porsche 911 continues to lose salesSales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics fell by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2017, a slower pace of decline than the 10.4% registered in 2016, or the 5.5% registered in the first quarter of the year. Could this be a sign that the segment is going through a bit of a resurgence? As we previously mentioned, this segment had undergone a huge growth in years past, so the recent declines come from a heady height, and suggest the segment may simply be stabilizing at a sort of “good times” average size, before once again shrinking drastically when the next recession hits (such is the fate of a segment where most cars sell for well over $100,000).
Sales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics fell by 5.5% in the first quarter of 2017, following a 10.4% decline in 2016. Total volume in this segment stood at 11,370 in Q1. And there’s not a lot of product news expected this year, so the decline is expected to last throughout the year. Then again, keep in mind the segment peaked at over 60,000 sales in 2015, when it almost doubled up in just 3 years time, so small declines after such an impressive growth curve are nothing to be ashamed of, especially on the lack of product news, as mentioned. We do welcome two newcomers to the segment compared to Q1 of last year, but both are still at the bottom of the ranking: the second generation Acura NSX and the all-new Ford GT.
Sales in the Sports Large and Exotics segment fell by 10.4 percent in 2016 to 54,994, about a third lower than they were a decade ago. The segment’s prospects for 2017 are rather bleak: not only right now it seems that there will be no big new debuts in this segment in the coming year, the early indication is that customers are not very keen on the new, turbocharged iteration of one of the mainstays of the segment: Porsche 911.
Note: going forward, the segments Sports Large and Exotics have been merged, partly to align the US reporting with that for Europe, and partly because data for the old Exotic segment became very thin ever since sales estimates for the truly exotic brands (Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini) became unavailable.
Sales in the Large Sports segment kept level in the third quarter of 2016, which combined in the saled declines in the first two quarters resulted in a 13 percent fall in sales so far this year, making it the worst performing from among the Sports segments.