The Sports Car Small segment grew by 13% in 2015 to 341,924 sales, as two all-American muscle cars showed nice improvements. The Ford Mustang has finally reclaimed the segment leadership it lost to the then-new Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, as the Mustang has just been completely renewed and the Camaro was due for a facelift. The Mustang enjoyed a 48% growth to over 120,000 sales, its highest volume since 2007. Meanwhile, the Camaro was down 10%, dipping below 80,000 sales for the first time since its introduction year 2009. That has given the Dodge Challenger the opportunity to close in, as it scores a record volume in its 7th year on the market. The halo-effect of the 707-hp Hellcat version is to thank for turning this into a three-horse race now, after having trailed the other two ever since its launch.
Behind these three muscle cars is a large gap to the next batch of mostly Asian small sports coupes, led by the weird yet funky Hyundai Veloster, down 12% and the Scion tC, down 8%. For the 2017 model year, which should start in September of 2016, the tC will be rebadged as a Toyota, as the Scion brand will be killed. The same thing goes for the FR-S, which loses a quarter of its volume in 2015, but its clone Subaru BRZ is hit even harder at -29%, the biggest loss of the segment. The new fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata has boosted sales of the small roadster 81% to 8,591, moving it past the BRZ and the Nissan 370Z. The Volkswagen Eos stays dead last with a loss of 12%. The introduction of the Buick Cascada convertible won’t help the business case to keep the Eos alive and I think VW has enough to worry about in the United States than to keep such a low-volume niche model in the line-up.
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