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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sales in the Small Sports segment in the US rose by 3% in Q1 2016 to 82,328 vehicles – exactly the same rate of growth as the Small Premium Sports segment, as well as the industry as a whole. With the new Mazda MX-5 gaining sales, and the entry of the Buick Cascada, the growth rate would have been higher were it not for the falling sales of the two Scion models, ahead of the brands closure later this year. As the brand stops selling cars sales in this segment will probably fall later in the year, though that may be partially offset by sales of the new Chevy Camaro coming fully on stream.
The Sports Car Small segment grew by 13% in 2015 to 341,924 sales, as two all-American muscle cars showed nice improvements. The Ford Mustang has finally reclaimed the segment leadership it lost to the then-new Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, as the Mustang has just been completely renewed and the Camaro was due for a facelift. The Mustang enjoyed a 48% growth to over 120,000 sales, its highest volume since 2007. Meanwhile, the Camaro was down 10%, dipping below 80,000 sales for the first time since its introduction year 2009. That has given the Dodge Challenger the opportunity to close in, as it scores a record volume in its 7th year on the market. The halo-effect of the 707-hp Hellcat version is to thank for turning this into a three-horse race now, after having trailed the other two ever since its launch. [Read more…]
The Sports Small segment grew by 13% in Q3 2015, just a bit slower than the 14% growth rate it managed in the first half of the year. [Read more…]
The Small Sports segment grew by 14% compared to the first half of 2014, a much better performance than either the Large Sports or Small Premium Sports segments, which did not grow and shrank by 20%, respectively. The headline statistic is deceiving, however, as all the growth came from two cars, with sales of the other cars in the segment shrinking quite a bit. It is clear, though, that a large part of the segment is made up from cars which are quickly aging or about to be replaced, and so I would not be surprised if the growth picked up even more in the next year with the release of the new MX-5 and Camaro. [Read more…]