The past year has seen an interesting development in the arena of exotic and ultra-luxurious cars – the emergence of smaller-engined versions of cars that were previously available only with super-high-output 12-cylinder options. First was the facelifted Ferrari FF, now called the GTC4 Lusso, which in addition to the all-wheel-drive V12 version became available as an “entry level” model with rear-wheel-drive, powered by a turbocharged V8 engine taken from the 488 GTB and California T. Then Bentley released the oft-rumored Bentayga powered by, the sacrilege, a V8 turbodiesel seemingly taken straight out of the Audi SQ7. Are they a sign of things to come, smart decisions by the brands from a marketing perspective, or foolish endeavors to chase short-term profits at the expense of the brands’ long-term allure?
The exotic car segment in Europe grew at double the overall market growth in 2016, at +12%, helped by a handful of new products. But the leader of the segment remains unchanged, even though the Bentley Continental GT gains just 5% and therefore loses 2 percentage point of share. In Q4, the Continental GT was even down a worrying 11,5%. The Ferrari 488 continues where its predecessor 458 Italia left off: in 2nd spot, ahead of chief rival Lamborghini Huracan, which also gains just 5%, but had a more positive Q4 at +64%. The Ferrari F12, about to be replaced by the 812 Superfast in 2017, almost doubles its sales in the fourth quarter to finish the year with a 31% gain. 2016 has been a great year for Italian V12 supercars, because Lamborghini Aventador does even better at +135% in the fourth quarter and +48% for the year.
Sales of exotic cars in Europe grow at double the overall market in the first three quarters of 2016 with an increase of 15% to 4.773 units, compared to +7,5% of the rest of the market. More than half of those sales are for just two models: the Bentley Continental GT / GTC and the new Ferrari 488. The Ferrari was the segment leader in Q2 but the Bentley outsold it in Q1 and Q3. That means the British coupe and convertible is likely to celebrate its 5th consecutive year as the best selling exotic car in Europe, with either the 488 or its predecessor Ferrari 458 Italia not far behind for most of that time. The Lamborghini Huracan consolidates its third place thanks to the arrival of the Spider version. The Rolls Royce Dawn was the #4 of the segment in Q3 and moves to 7th place year-to-date with a good shot at moving up one more place by year end, trumping the Aston Martin DB9, which is being replaced by the al-new DB11.
Sales of exotic cars in Europe outgrow the overall market in the first half of 2016 with an increase of 15% to 3.182 units. More than half of those sales are for just two models: the Bentley Continental GT / GTC and the all-new Ferrari 488. The Ferrari was the segment leader in Q2 but the Bentley still leads year-to-date. This will be an interesting battle for the segment pole position by year-end, the British coupe and convertible having led the segment since 2012 with the 488’s predecessor Ferrari 458 Italia not far behind for most of that time. The Lamborghini Huracan recovers in third place after a dramatic Q1, now that the Spyder version is fully available as well.
Sales of exotic cars in Europe outgrow the overall market in Q1 of 2016 with an increase of 11% to 1.459 units. About one third of those are for the Bentley Continental GT, which still comfortably leads the segment despite the arrival of the Ferrari 488 GTB in showrooms. Last year’s #3, the Lamborghini Huracan, suffers from the new competitor and drops to fifth place, even though deliveries of the Spyder started this quarter. We’ll have to wait and see how sales develop in the next quarter, when the drop-top version reaches its full potential, before jumping to conclusions about the Gallardo replacement. The third podium position is now held by the Aston Martin DB9, up 38% despite being in the final stages of its life cycle and its replacement DB11 ready to take over.[Read more…]
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.
The exotic car segment in Europe slightly recovers from its slowdown in the first half, as Q3 sales were down 4%, lifting the year-to-date score to -11%. Much of the lost volume is due to the changeover from the Ferrari 458 Italia to the new Ferrari 488 GTB, which is happening very slowly. The outgoing 458 is already down 28%, losing 326 units of volume, while the 488 is off to a slow start, at 62 units this quarter. That means the Bentley Continental GT is able to take undisputed control of the segment, with sales down only 2% so far this year. [Read more…]
Sales of exotic cars in Europe are down sharply in the first half of 2015. The segment was flat in 2014, but lost 15% of its volume this year. Please note that I’ve decided to no longer classify the BMW i8 as an exotic car, and have moved it to the large sports car class, as it competes more directly against the Porsche 911, Jaguar F-type and Mercedes-AMG GT. That means the Bentley Continental GT continues where it finished 2014: on top of the exotic car segment, thanks to sales down just 6%. Its closest competitor the Ferrari 458 Italia is down 29% as its replacement has already been revealed: the Ferrari 488 GTB. We now find the Lamborghini Huracan in third place with sales up tenfold on its introduction year. The Huracan still sells just over half of the volume of the 458, but that’s the closest it or its predecessor the Gallardo have ever been to the Ferrari 360, F430 or 458 Italia. The freshness of the Huracan and the model changeover at Ferrari are to be credited for this, but also the Huracan’s softer, less polarizing design. Although I still think Lamborghini’s are supposed to have extreme design, it’s what makes the brand stand out from Ferrari. [Read more…]
It’s happened. As predicted, the BMW i8 sweeps the exotic car segment, knocking down the previous leaders Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari 458 Italia off the top spot with a 37% share of the segment. In its introduction year, the i8 already managed to climb onto the podium, not far behind the 458, and its sales in the last few months of 2014 already indicated that the Plug-In Hybrid BMW sports car would be ultra-dominant this year.
With an average of 250 units a month in Q1, and with sales restricted by supply, BMW could easily sell more than 2.000 units this year, something no exotic has achieved since the Continental GT and the Ferrari F430 did so in 2008. [Read more…]
Sales of exotic cars in Europe have accelerated their growth curve in the fourth quarter, and almost all of that growth can be attributed to a single model: the BMW i8. The i8 was already the best selling exotic car in the third quarter, but in Q4 its sales shifted up another gear, as BMW’s Plug-In electric hybrid took a commanding 41,6% share of the segment with 612 sales. As a result, the i8 has come within 150 units of the Ferrari 458 Italia in the full-year ranking, even though customer deliveries didn’t officially start until June. In 2015, look for the i8 in first position of the segment from day one.
This would push the Bentley Continental and the 458 Italia down into second and third place after these two models have controlled this segment for the past three years. And while the Ferrari threatened the Bentley as the 458 Speciale was the hottest product in the first half of 2014, its sales have started to thaw in the second half, when rumors of the 2016 launch of its replacement started to surface. That model, the 488 GTB is due in 2016 and will be Ferrari’s second turbocharged sports car after the recent California T. [Read more…]