Sales of sports cars in the US are up 12% in the first half of 2021, less than half the market growth of 29%. Sports cars now account for 1.5% of the total US car market with just over 121,000 deliveries, of which 71.5% were one of the four American muscle cars Mustang, Challenger, Camaro and Corvette, up from 70.4%. These first three of those 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 fact, the Challenger is now closing in on the top spot with sales up 37% while the Mustang is down 5%, and the Challenger outsold the Mustang by nearly 400 units in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Camaro is a distant third, selling fewer than a third of the volume of the Challenger due to sales down 29%. The Challenger was even outsold in Q2 by the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Toyota Supra. The Miata is best of the rest in terms of compact sports cars, with sales up 55% while the Supra almost doubles up into 5th place. The Porsche 718 almost triples its sales, while the Hyundai Veloster is one of the big losers of the class at -68% but still it manages to leapfrog the Toyota 86 in Q2. The BMW Z4 leaps from 13th place in Q1 to #9 after the second quarter when it was 7th. The Z4 is still down 39% year-to-date, though. The Audi TT is also making somewhat of a comeback at +44%, but the Nissan 370Z is finally nearing the end of its lifecycle with the replacement near.
US compact sports car sales 2021 – first half
Compact sports car segment
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Fiat 124 Spider
Alfa Romeo 4C
In the large sports car segment, which accounts for just 24.5% of total US sports car sales (up from 17.6% in the first half of 2020), the Corvette is still king with a 49.2% share, thanks to a whopping 132% jump in deliveries compared to its first year of sales for the new rear-engined generation. The ‘Vette had some catch-up to play after production delays in 2020 due to the pandemic. Now in 2021 it’s even outselling its smaller sibling Camaro. The Porsche 911 is up 6% and therefore loses more than 8 percentage points of share of the class. It managed to outsell the BMW 8-Series by only 50 units in the second quarter. The 911 is still ahead by 1,400 sales year-to-date. The Mercedes-AMG GT is up 28% which means it may be on its way to make 2021 a new record year. The major thing that could keep it from a new record is that the AMG GT roadster version will soon be renamed to become the next generation Mercedes-Benz SL. The SL is now already down 44% in preparation for the new generation and sold just 133 units in Q2. This allows the Lexus LC to jump into fifth place with sales up 280% thanks to the addition of a convertible version. That moves the LC even ahead of the Jaguar F-Type, up 52%. The Audi R8 sees a nice jump in deliveries, up 79% to distance the Nissan GT-R. The Ford GT stays ahead of the Acura NSX even though the latter did better in Q2.
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