US sales 2017 Q3: Mid-sized Sports segment

The segment and the new Ford Mustang continue their double-digit declines

US Small Sports

Sales in the Mid-sized Sports segment continued falling in the third quarter of 2017 as they had so far this year, resulting in a YTD fall of 14.9%. As we had mentioned before, while the headline figure is mainly the result in falling popularity for the segment leader Ford Mustang, in fact most cars in the segment, even the newest ones, have seen their popularity fall in 2017 so far. Clearly the allure of alternative “emotional purchases” such as 4-door “coupes” (BMW 4-series GranCoupe, Audi A5 Sportback) and sporty SUVs (BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Porsche Macan) is eating into the traditional segment in which rich 50- and 60-year-olds used to treat themselves.

Highlights for Q3 2017:

Ford Mustang
  • Sales of the segment-leading Ford Mustang once again fell by almost a third in the third quarter of 2017, a worrying outcome for the model whose recent facelift got a rather frosty reception
  • As a result, the Mustang once again barely outsold its arch-rivals, Chevrolet Camaro and the evergreen Dodge Challenger, and even though the two models could not repeat their good performance from Q2’17, they still saw their sales decline by only 3% and 1%, respectively, in the third quarter
  • The fate of the rest of the segment looks more like that of the Mustang, with all models but the Porsche Cayman seeing their sales fall by more than 20% in the third quarter – this is understandable for aging models such as the Nissan 370Z or the Mercedes-Benz SLC, or the now-discontinued BMW Z4 and Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but is more worrying for newly-updated models such as Porsche Boxster and Audi TT
  • At the end sales of the Alfa Romeo 4C continued fallings, with the model clearly failing to benefit from the reverse-halo effect of the new Giulia and Stelvio stablemates