In our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes we move from the car culture in Morocco to that of Monaco, the wealthy principality on the other side of the Mediterranean, the contrast couldn’t be bigger. Whereas the streets of Morocco are filled with cheap and practical transportation, sometimes decades old, living a tough but grateful life as daily workhorses, the cars in Monaco serve a much different purpose. The densely populated city-state which is enclosed by France and the Mediterranean Sea covers only 2 square kilometers (0.78 sq. Mi) and is built on a hillside. That means it doesn’t really make sense for its inhabitants to drive supercars, hypercars and top-of-the-line sports versions of regular cars, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.
The exotic car segment is up an encouraging 8% after the first nine months of 2014, thanks to an excellent third quarter, as total segment sales were down after the first half. This recovery is entirely due to the incredibly successful launch of the BMW i8, BMW’s new electric sports car with gasoline range extender. I had already predicted that the i8 would lead the segment in 2015, but in fact it already was the best selling exotic car on the market in the third quarter of this year, enabling it to shoot up into third place year-to-date. What a remarkable performance of such a groundbreaking new vehicle!
The Bentley Continental GT has overtaken the Ferrari 458 Italia to take back its leadership of the segment in the third quarter. These two models combined account for almost half of all exotic car sales in Europe, making you think whether they still classify as exotics. [Read more…]
Sales of exotic cars in Europe are down again in the second quarter of 2014, leading to a 1% decline for the first half. Almost all models are down, while the Ferrari 458 Italia is up 4%, and as a result it moves back into the segment top spot for the first time since 2011, pushing the Bentley Continental GT down into second place.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is down 30% in the second quarter, as final deliveries of the car take place before it is replaced by a smaller model, the AMG GT which should compete with the Porsche 911. As a result, the Ferrari F12, despite sales down 33% for the first half, is closing back in on the third position it held last year. [Read more…]
Sales of exotic cars in Europe are up slightly in the first three months of 2014, growing 5% after a similar 5% decline over the full year 2013. The compact sports car segment is down again as well, just 2%, while the Jaguar F-type is pushing sales of large sports cars up 13%.
The top of the exotics ranking is stable, with the Bentley Continental GT still in the lead, although the Ferrari 458 Italia is gaining ground, up 12% thanks to the “Speciale” version, compared to an increase of just 3% for the Continental GT.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is also up, despite being in run-out mode until the introduction of the AMG GT “Porsche 911-fighter”. It passes the Ferrari F12 which is down 40% compared to the first quarter of 2014 when it was just introduced and customer deliveries were at full steam. [Read more…]
Sales of exotic cars in Europe are down slightly more than “regular” cars, at -5% vs. -2% for the whole market. Compact sports cars are down even more, at -8%, while large sports cars (the “911-segment”) are up 6%, but only thanks to the introduction of a new model into the segment.
In the exotics segment, the Bentley Continental GT and GTC keep their lead, despite sales down 10%, as the segment’s number 2, the Ferrari 458 Italia is down even more, at -17%. The introduction of the 458 Speciale should help it stabilize its sales before an update in 2015 to keep the car fresh.
2014 will be an interesting year for Lamborghini, as the Gallardo replacement Huracan will reach showrooms is spring this year and should be able to get 400+ sales by the end of the year. [Read more…]
Sales of exotic cars in Europe are relatively stable in the first three quarters of 2013, and no changes at the top. Bentley Continental GT and GTC increase their combined lead over Ferrari 458 Italia. It must be because of their engine downsizing, adding an optional V8 to the V12. Some updates in 2014 and the introduction of the 458 Speciale should help the Italian model to take the lead next year. Mind you, sales of McLaren MP4 are not published, but they don’t come close to Ferrari 458 Italia, with 1.400 annual MP4 sales worldwide.
Mercedes SLS AMG has taken a huge hit, down 55% year-on-year, which has given Audi R8, Aston Martin Vantage and newcomer Ferrari F12 the chance to storm ahead.
Aston Martin is on a roll anyway, with Vanquish relaunched successfully and DBS sales up over 250%. Introduction of Vanquish Volante next year will help sales even further. You’d think Aston Martin is owned by VW Group, since all its models look alike and are hard to distinguish from each other, while still being successful. [Read more…]