Sales of sports cars in the US are up 1% in the first three quarters of 2021, in an overall market up 13%. Sports cars now account for 1.5% of the total US car market with just over 171,000 deliveries, of which 73% were one of the four American muscle cars Mustang, Challenger, Camaro and Corvette, up from 71%. 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 now in the third quarter of 2021 the Challenger is doing exactly what it name implies: challenge the Mustang for the title. With nearly 14,000 sales in Q3 vs the Mustang’s 9,100, the Dodge has taken over the top spot of the class. If it manages to hold on to that position, it will be a historic win as it will be the first time ever that Dodge has the best selling muscle car in America. Sales of the Challenger are up 1% to increase its share of the compact sports car segment to 35%, while the Mustang is down 14% and the Camaro is down 32%. In fourth place we find the Mazda MX-5 Miata, up 44%, followed by the Toyota Supra, up 53% and the Porsche 718, up 62%. The Audi TT in 11th place is the only remaining other model to improve its sales, as all others are down by double digits. The Hyundai Veloster loses 74% of its sales, the BMW Z4 is down 21% and the Toyota 86 is down 47% as it’s due for a major redesign together with its twin Subaru BRZ.
The Fiat 124 Spider and Mercedes-Benz SLC are on the way out, while the Nissan 370Z is about to be replaced by the all-new 400Z.
US compact sports car sales 2021 – Q1-Q3
Compact sports car segment
2021 – Q1-Q3
2020 – Q1-Q3
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Fiat 124 Spider
Alfa Romeo 4C
In the large sports car segment, which accounts for just 26.3% of total US sports car sales (up from 18.5% in the first nine months of 2020), the Corvette is still king with a 54.8% share, thanks to nearly doubling its 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. In Q3, it had a 65.6% share of the large sports car class. The Porsche 911 is up 5% and therefore loses more than 5 percentage points of share of the class. It was outsold in Q3 by the BMW 8-Series, but still holds a strong enough advantage to be able to hold on to the #2 spot for the year. The Mercedes-AMG GT is up 9% but it no longer looks able to set a new annual sales record. The major reason for that slowdown could be that the AMG GT roadster version will soon be renamed to become the next generation Mercedes-Benz SL. The SL is now already down 66% in preparation for the new generation and sold just 14 units in Q3. This allows the Lexus LC to jump into fifth place with sales up 220% thanks to the addition of a convertible version. That moves the LC even ahead of the Jaguar F-Type, up 26%. The Audi R8 sees a nice jump in deliveries, up 26% to distance the Nissan GT-R, down 31%. The Acura NSX jumps back ahead of the Ford GT but both remain niche players in an already small class.
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