Sales of sports cars in the US are down 2% in the first three quarters of 2022, in an overall market down 13%. Sports cars now account for 1.6% of the total US car market with just over 168,500 deliveries, of which 73.1% were one of the four American muscle cars Mustang, Challenger, Camaro and Corvette, up slightly from 73% in 2021. The first three of those have been in a continuous battle for the title of America’s best selling sports car and last year the Dodge Challenger shockingly took the lead from the Ford Mustang which had been on top since 2016. This year the Mustang started back on top in the first quarter but the Challenger fought back in Q2 and Q3, retaking the top spot year-to-date in dominant fashion. The new, seventh generation Mustang has just been revealed but it won’t be delivered to customers until next summer as a 2024 Model Year, meaning it will be difficult for the current generation to recover its top spot this year. The Challenger is down 5% this year, while the Mustang is down 11%. The #3 of the class Chevrolet Camaro showed a strong 52% improvement in the third quarter, making it the best performing Big Three musclecar so far this year at +27%, but it’s still at just over half the sales of the Mustang. Best of the rest and best performer overall is the Toyota GR86 thanks to the new generation. Its clone Subaru BRZ also shows triple digit growth and moves up to seventh place. In contrast, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is down by more than half and the Toyota Supra is down by more than a third this year. The Porsche 718 loses almost a quarter of its sales, the BMW Z4 is down 30% and the Audi TT is down by more than half. The only other compact sports car to improve on last year is the Hyundai Veloster at +3% after a 75% growth in the third quarter. We welcome the all-new Nissan Z to the class at #12 with its first 86 deliveries.
US compact sports car sales 2022 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 26.2% of total US sports car sales (down slightly from 26.3% in 2021), is down 2% on last year. The Corvette is still king and improves its share of the class to an ultra-dominant 57.4%, thanks to a 3% jump in deliveries. That means the ‘Vette even outsells its smaller sibling Camaro, although they were level with each other in Q3 when the Corvette was down 22%. The Porsche 911 remains in second place but grows its share of the class to 16.8% thanks to sales up 10%. The 911 was the best performing top-6 large sports car with sales up 38%. In third place we find the BMW 8-Series, down 1% while the Mercedes-AMG GT is down 14% as the convertible version is going to be relaunched as the next generation Mercedes-Benz SL. As a result, the SL was up by a huge margin in Q3 in fourth place and is already up 80% so far this year despite virually zero sales in the first half of the year. The Jaguar F-Type recovers in the third quarter with sales up 27% but is still down 29% so far this year. It leapfrogs the Lexus LC which was down 80% in Q3 and down 58% year-to-date. In contrast, the Acura NSX makes a surprising recovery at +52% in Q3 and +79% YTD, but remains a niche player at 0.5% share of the already small segment.
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