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.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is bounced off the podium by the i8, and isn’t likely to return, as the model’s life cycle is coming to an end. The Rolls Royce Wraith looks set to leapfrog its British rival Aston Martin Vanquish by the end of the year, as it outsold both the Vanquish and the Ferrari F12 in the third quarter, though with a minor margin. The Lamborghini Huracan has already outsold its predecessor the Gallardo year-to-date and was the best selling Lambo in the third quarter with 95 sales. At the bottom of the ranking, the Bugatti Veyron continues to sell an average of 1 unit per month as it nears the end of its 450-unit production run.
Bentley Continental GT/GTC
Ferrari 458 Italia
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Aston Martin Vanquish
Rolls Royce Wraith
Aston Martin DBS
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
Sales of large sports cars continue to boom, increasing the improvement to 10% year-on-year after three quarters. Almost all of this growth can be attributed to the Jaguar F-type, as the addition of a coupe version and the continued success of the roadster help the Jag take almost 20% of the segment. This is quite an achievement if you consider that more than half of the sales in this segment are already picked up by the Porsche 911. The 911 sees its sales advance 9% but that means it loses half a percentage point of segment share.
Besides the Jaguar XK, benefiting from increased showroom traffic at the brand and possibly run-out pricing, no other models are able to increase their sales year-on-year. The Mercedes-Benz SL and Audi R8 suffer from the increased competition from Jaguar, with sales down 19% and 20% respectively, and as do the Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio, which are down more than 20% combined.
The Aston Martin Vantage is down just 4 units and the Ferrari California may be able to finish the year in positive territory as customers start to take deliveries of the new generation. The California already was in 6th place in the third quarter, outselling the Vantage and the GranTurismo.
SPORTS CAR LARGE
Aston Martin Vantage
The compact sports car segment continues to slide, increasing its loss from 12% after the first half to 17% after nine months, as sales in the third quarter were down a horrid 29% on 2013.
No existing model in the top-12 is able to increase its sales, as the Alfa Romeo 4C can be counted as a newcomer, now also passing the Chevrolet Camaro to move into 9th place. As the top two positions remain stable for now, with the Mercedes-Benz SLK leading ahead of the Audi TT, the Mazda MX-5 has leapfrogged the Peugeot RCZ to move into third place, a position it hasn’t held since 2008. Thanks to the run-out mode of the outgoing model, the MX-5 was in second place of the segment in the third quarter, as the TT was down into 6th place due to the model changeover. As a result, I expect the Audi to take back the crown of the segment in 2015 as deliveries of the third generation will be up to speed by the beginning of the year.
The critically acclaimed Toyota GT86 is passed by the Porsche Cayman year-to-date, to leave it in 8th place with sales down more than half on last year. Its sibling Subaru BRZ fares slightly less bad, down just over a third, to less than 500 sales.
The comeback of Lotus has a clear effect on the brand’s sales, with both the Exige and the Elise up a third on the abysmal sales of 2013. Even the Evora has improved in the third quarter.
SPORTS CAR COMPACT
Alfa Romeo 4C
Hyundai Genesis coupe
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2013 and monthly sales in 2012, 2013 and 2014, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site. Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.
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