The Large Sports segment in the US stayed pretty much the same size as it was in the first half of 2014 – it did not fall but it did not rise either, broadly reflecting the composition of the marketplace – most cars are recent enough, a few are new and a few are on the way out. As a mature segment it is also likely to stay like that in the forthcoming future, although there are a few notable new models just around the corner: Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe and the Porsche 911 facelift.
Chevrolet Corvette remains the segment leader, as it has been for the past two centuries… ok, maybe not that long, but the ‘Vette has always had a special place in american customers’ hearts, and as an extension a direct link to their wallets – it outsells the second-placed Porsche 911 almost 4-to-1. It should be emphasized, though, that this dominance is in large part due to the latest version of the car being particularly well received by the marketplace – it sold twice as many units in 2014 as the old model did in 2013.
The Porsche 911 itself has been doing very well too, retaining its popularity despite the facelifted model being just around the corner. Or could it be that the impending demise of the of the naturally-aspirated model is actually spurring customers to buy more of the current model before the new all-turbo lineup arrives? Either way, the 911 outsells the third-placed Mercedes-Benz SL by a factor of two, partly because the big Merc lost some 13% of sales compared to the same period in 2014. In fact, in the first half of 2015 it outsold the fourth-placed Jaguar F-Type by fewer than 50 units. With the British roadster and coupe firmly on the rise, it is only a matter of time before the two switch spots.
In sixth place is the Nissan GT-R, enjoying a surprising renaissance with a 36% rise in sales year-on-year. Such a performance put clear air before it and the Audi R8, thought the big Audi still did well for itself given it’s been on the market since 2007, and the new model has already been shown and is about to go on sale. The final two spots are occupied by two runout models – the Jaguar XK, killed off by its F-Type younger brother, and the Mercedes-Benz CL, about to be replaced.