Sales of sports cars in the US are down 17% in the first three quarters of 2020, slightly better than the overall market. Sports cars still accounts for 1.7% of the total US car market with just over 170,000 deliveries in the first nine months of the year, of which just about two thirds (63%, down from 67.4% in 2019) were one of the three American muscle cars Mustang, Challenger or Camaro. These three are in a continuous battle for the title of America’s best selling sports car and the Mustang has been in the lead since 2016 while the Challenger knocked down the Camaro to grab the #2 spot in 2018 and has stayed there until so far in 2020. In fact, the Challenger was the best seller in the third quarter, outselling the Mustang by 2,500 units. Still, Dodge sold 9% fewer Challengers in Q3 of 2020, but the Mustang was down 18% and the Camaro was the biggest loser of the class at -32% in Q3 and -40% for the year so far. Sales figures are on their way to the Camaro’s worst-ever year, even below 2002, which was the final year before a 6-year production hiatus. The Mazda MX-5 Miata is up 5% and distances the Hyundai Veloster, down 37% (-17% in Q3), while the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 are up to a combined 4.3% share of the class. Big winner among small players in Q3 is the Porsche 718, outselling the Z4 and Toyota 86 and jumping 4 spots from #13 in the first half of the year to 9th place. The Subaru BRZ recovers from a terrible first half of the year with an 80% gain in Q3 but it’s still down 12% for the year and still behind the Nissan 370Z.
US compact sports car sales 2020 Q1-Q3
Compact sports car segment
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Fiat 124 Spider
Alfa Romeo 4C
In the large sports car segment, which accounts for just 18.5% of total US sports car sales, the Corvette is still king with a 40.1% share, although that’s down 5 percentage points from last year. The new generation rear-engined Corvette was up 33% in Q3 to reduce its year-to-date loss to -13%. In the third quarter, the BMW 8-Series outsold the Porsche 911 and narrowed the gap to the #2 spot, even though the 911 sees stable sales year-to-date. The Mercedes-AMG GT falls behind in Q3 with sales down 26% and is now in the red for the year. At least it’s still ahead of the Mercedes-Benz SL, which moves past the Jaguar F-Type for 5th place. The Lexus LC recovers from a terrible first half of the year with a 26% gain in Q3, but the Audi R8 does even better at +41% to reduce its YTD loss to -3%. The BMW i8 is all but dead in the US with fewer sales than the limited edition Ford GT, and the same can be said of the Acura NSX with just 83 sales in nine months.
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