Sales of exotic cars in Europe have exploded in the first quarter of 2017, with a growth of 45% to over 2.100 units. And after years of domination by the Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari 458 Italia, we have a new segment leader, straight out of the box. With almost a quarter of total segment sales, the all-new Aston Martin DB11 has stormed to the top of the ranking, ahead of the Ferrari 488 which maintains its second place thanks to a sales growth of 35%, while the former segment leader Continental GT is kicked down to third place with stable sales. Never before has an Aston Martin topped the exotic car segment in Europe, but the DB11 is an obvious hit with affluent buyers. It has turned the two-horse race at the top of the ranking into a three-way, as the top-3 dominates the segment with 68,3% of total sales as the #3 sells more than triple the volume of its closest rival.
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
Aston Martin is on a roll this year, as the Vanquish also grows by almost 50%, closing in on the 4th place of the Lamborghini Huracan, which improves with double digits but slower than the segment as a whole. The Ferrari F12 is down as the new 812 Superfast will arrive later this year, promising even more speed and improved handling. The Rolls Royce Wraith coupe rebounds from a loss in 2016 and reclaims its position above its convertible version Dawn. We have another newcomer in the top-10: the all-new Honda NSX with 53 sales, while the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is already close to matching the volume of its predecessor Ferrari FF in the same period last year. Bugatti has sold 2 units of its latest hypersports Chiron.
Sales of large sports cars are down again in the first quarter of 2017, after being stable in 2016. The dominant segment leader Porsche 911 declines faster than the rest of the segment and dips below 50% share again. Even though the Jaguar F-type increases its sales 16%, it’s still a very distant #2 to the 911. Behind it, the Mercedes-Benz SL returns to the bottom step of the podium with sales up 35% after its facelift. Its distant relative Mercedes-AMG GT loses more than half of its volume as customers awaited the top-of-the-line GT R as well as the GT Roadster. As a result, the Audi R8 moves up to fourth place despite sales down 10%. The BMW i8 is also down, but the launch of a Spider version should give the nameplate a boost again. The two Maserati models are finally showing their age and losing more than 30% of their volume.
The small sports car segment does slightly better at -4% 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. In January, that title went to the Ford Mustang by a single unit ahead of the small Japanese roadster. Now that the novelty of the Mustang has worn off, it will be interesting to see if it can maintain its momentum or if it’s been a one-day fly. The Mustang’s direct rival Chevrolet Camaro is way behind in volume as it has a much smaller dealer network, but mroe than quintuples its volume of last year. The MX-5’s platform sibling Fiat 124 Spider is closing in on the fourth place of the Mercedes-Benz SLC as both distance the Porsche 718 Boxster.
The Japanese rear-wheel drive coupes Toyota GT86 and Nissan 370Z are both in the top-10 as the latter is closing in on its lighter and less powerful rival. The GT86’s clone Subaru BRZ shows impressive growht from its low base. The BMW Z4 has already been out of production for more than 6 months, but dealers are still selling off their stock models, keeping it in the top-10 for now.
2017-Q1 small sports car sales Europe
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