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.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off
The Ferrari F12 shows an impressive gain and so do the Aston Martin DB9 and the Lamborghini Aventador. The Aston is about to be replaced by the all-new DB11 and production has already ended, but the last few DB9’s are being snapped up. Contrastingly, the top-of-the line Aston Martin Vanquish is down by a quarter. At Rolls Royce, the newly arrived Dawn convertible cannibalizes sales of the Wraith coupe, but combined sales of the two models are still way up. The Ferrari FF is in run-out mode to make room for the GTC4Lusso.
2016 first half Exotic car sales Europe
Exotic car segment
Bentley Continental GT/GTC
Ferrari 488 GTB
Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin Vanquish
Rolls Royce Wraith
Rolls Royce Dawn
Ferrari 458 Italia
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Large Sports car segment
Sales of large sports cars are up 8% in the first half, almost similar to the overall market. If it wasn’t for the alpha male of the segment, the Porsche 911, the segment would actually be down. The updated 911, now with turbocharged engines as standard, commanded a 56% share of the segment in Q2 and shows a 19% increase in the first half while its nearest competitor Jaguar F-Type shows stable sales and therefore loses share. The next intended “911-killer” Mercedes-AMG GT is still up 36% in the first half, but that’s solely thanks to a good first quarter, as Q2 sales are actually down 7,5%. Not a positive outlook for the still very fresh AMG. The new generation Audi R8 also slows down a little in the second quarter after an excellent Q1. It is outsold by both the facelifted Mercedes-Benz SL (by a large margin) and the BMW i8.
2016 first half large sports car sales Europe
Large sportscar segment
Aston Martin V8/V12 Vantage
Small Sports car segment
The small sports car segment is enjoying a strong revival with sales up a booming 42% in the first half of 2016, helped by a few new and updated models. And what’s even more interesting is that the segment leader is under increasing pressure from an unexpected rival. The Audi TT grabbed the segment top spot from the Mercedes-Benz SLK early 2015 when the third generation TT was launched. It has held on to that position so far, but the all-new Ford Mustang is closing in quickly, just 1.000 units behind in Q2. This is the first generation of the American muscle car that’s officially imported to Europe and it proves a hit with sports car buyers. The new Mustang has a loyal fanbase in its home market and the new EcoBoost four-cylinder engine makes it efficient enough to be competitive in the old world, but can it actually become Europe’s best selling sports car? That would be an impressive performance! It has already got the new generation Mazda MX-5 beaten, even though that almost quadruples the volume of its previous generation last year. The facelifted SLK is now renamed Mercedes-Benz SLC, but that won’t be enough to propel it back into the segment top spot. In fact, it may not even be able to return to the podium against these three strong competitors. At least the SLC outsold the Porsche Boxster and Cayman in the first half, but when deliveries of the updated 718 Boxster start, that may no longer be the case either.
We welcome the Fiat 124 Spider to the ranking, with 811 sales in just one full month of sales which means it already outsold the two Porsche models in its first month, a very promising start and an indication the MX-5 should be worried about internal competition. Despite being built on the same platform and rolling off the same assembly line, the 124 Spider is larger than the Mazda and has its own turbocharged engines vs. the MX-5’s SkyActive naturally aspirated engines. And then there’s the retro (but very modern at the same time) design of the new Fiat roadster, which may help it challenge its Japanese sibling in Europe. FCA’s other sports car, the Alfa Romeo 4C is still improving after a somewhat slow start and outsold the Toyota GT86 in Q2. Production of the former segment top-3 player Peugeot RCZ has ended and there won’t be a replacement.
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