After a booming first quarter of 2017, sales of exotic cars in Europe have stabilized with a 2% decrease in the second quarter. First half sales are still up, but by “only” 18%, to 3.951 units. We already had a new segment leader in Q1 with the all-new Aston Martin DB11, but in Q2 we crown yet another new leader, as the Ferrari 488 has topped the charts for the first time in its career. Ever since it replaced the former segment leader Ferrari 458 Italia, the Bentley Continental GT had topped the charts. Until this year, that is. After a stable Q1, the Continental loses 23% of its volume in Q2, which leads to an 11% loss year-to-date. The next generation will be revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in a few weeks time and will arrive in Bentley showrooms next year. The DB11 slows down slightly in the second quarter and was even outsold by the Continental GT in Q2 (by just 6 sales), but is expected to rebound later this year when deliveries of the AMG V8 twin turbo engine pick up steam. The only other model in the segment to sell more than 100 units per quarter is the Lamborghini Huracan in fourth place with a 12% increase in the first half.
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Like the segment as a whole, the Aston Martin Vanquish stabilized in Q2 after a huge first quarter, but the British top model remains firmly in the black with a 23% increase year-to-date. It was outsold in the second quarter by two other V12-only models, the Ferrari F12 and the Lamborghini Aventador. The F12 will be replaced by the new 812 Superfast later this year, which should storm up the charts next year. At Rolls Royce, the Dawn convertible now outsells the Wraith coupe and both are up in the first half despite double digit losses in the second quarter. The Honda NSX sold an average of 10 monthly cars in all of Europe, giving it a top-10 position in the segment, ahead of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. Of the remaining players, only the Bugatti Chiron (logically) sold fewer models, with 4 deliveries in the second quarter to make it 6 year-to-date.
Sales of large sports cars are down again in the first half of 2017, after being stable in 2016. A loss of 11% in Q1 was followed by a decline of 15% in Q2. The dominant segment leader Porsche 911 declines slower than the rest of the segment in the second quarter and also the half. As a result, it improves its share of the segment to over 55%. The Jaguar F-type improved 16% in Q1 but lost 14% in Q2 to sell exactly 1 car less than in the first half of 2016. The Mercedes-Benz SL remains on the year-to-date podium despite being outsold in the second quarter by the Mercedes-AMG GT, but both are down by large double digit figures in Q2: -28% and -30% respectively. The latter kicks down the Audi R8 to 5th place, even though the R8 is relatively stable at -4% in Q2 and -8% in the first half. The BMW i8 is losing ground, but the upcoming roadster version should stop its slide. Behind the Aston Martin Vantage, stable despite its age, the three Italian players in this segment have a horrid second quarter with a 30% loss for the Ferrari California (which had its first quarter of sales for the updated California T a year ago), and even worse scores for the Maserati GranCabrio and GranTurismo at -33% and -74% respectively. The two Maseratis are aging quickly but aren’t due for a replacement for another few years. A facelift has done little to keep them fresh.
The small sports car segment does better at +1% in Q2 and -1% in the first half, as we see big differences in the fortunes of individual models. The same 3 models still occupy the top-3, but the top spot of the Audi TT is under severe threat of the Mazda MX-5, helped by the addition of the RF version with the retractable hardtop. In fact, the MX-5 was Europe’s best selling sports car in March and June, and missed out on the Q2 top spot by just 22 sales. In January and April, the Ford Mustang was the best selling sports car in Europe, but it’s still down 12% year-to-date. The Mustang’s direct rival Chevrolet Camaro is way behind in volume as it has a much smaller dealer network, but it does improve its volume more than sevenfold on last year to claim 7th place, up from 9th in Q1 and 17th in the first half of last year. The MX-5’s platform sibling Fiat 124 Spider is closing in on the fourth place of the Mercedes-Benz SLC and even outsold the Mercedes roadster in Q2. Still, it sold about half the volume of its Japanese twin.
Now that the Cayman has been updated and renamed 718 as well, the Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman duo is up 36% in the second quarter and reduces its year-to-date loss to just 2%. The Japanese rear-wheel drive coupes Toyota GT86 and Nissan 370Z are both in the top-10 with the clone of the former, Subaru BRZ, also knockin on the door. However, since the Mercedes-Benz SLK is a niche model for most dealers, it will take some time for all remaining stock models to sell out, even more than a year after it was facelifted and renamed SLC. The same goes for the BMW Z4 which has already been out of production for more than 9 months, and is only now seeing its final handful of stock models registered. Its successor is slowly starting to show itself to the world and promises yet again striking design. Lotus had a good second quarter with stable sales for the Elise and double digit growth for the Exige and Evora.
2017 first half small sports car sales Europe
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