We all know that the modern age isn’t exactly primed for peak sports car sales, despite the fact that they remain the cars we lust after most of all. However, the actual figures in Europe make for some pretty grim reading – with a few exceptions.
Twitter account CarIndustryAnalysis has released a trio of tweets showing sales figures for sports and supercars in Europe over the first half of 2019, along with percentage changes versus the same period in 2018. The sheer scale of the falls is pretty alarming for anyone whose heart drives a sports car but there are a few silver linings to this cloudy outlook.
The all-conquering Porsche 911 coupe recorded a massive 48 per cent plummet, dropping to 4533 cars sold. The 991.2 car was on the way out, though, and a lot of buyers were holding off in wait for the 992. We expect a sales rebound this time next year once the 992 range has filled out. The Bentley Continental had already been reborn anew, though, and was up 316 per cent on 866 cars.
In the Sport Small category the mighty ND Mazda MX-5 is down nine per cent on 7745 units sold, while its cousin the Fiat 124 Spider has fallen off a cliff with 33 per cent fewer cars shifted; 2943 found owners from January to June this year.
The Lotus Elise has actually grown in sales volume by a useful 16 per cent versus the first six months of 2018, making it the moral winner in the Sport Small sector. It’s coming from a low baseline, though, and still only saw 162 examples leave Norfolk.
In the Sport Compact Coupe category, home of the Toyota GT86, the big winner is the Alpine A110, up by 304 per cent over January to June 2018. It only went on sale part-way through the same period last year, which makes the vast leap somewhat misleading, but with 2533 cars bought, it’s still a big deal and has almost doubled the sales of the Jaguar F-Type. The only rival that sold more was the Audi TT, which itself was down 29 per cent to 4318 cars.
Elsewhere in that sector the Porsche Cayman 718 has crashed by 40 per cent to 1601 cars, the GT86 has fallen 24 per cent to 531 cars and the Lotus Evora has plummeted 40 per cent to a mere 53 cars. On the convertible side the BMW Z4 has utterly dominated the opposition, selling 5838 cars – which bodes well for the Toyota Supra. Everything else around it has taken a big hit, though, from the 26 per cent lower Mercedes SLC to the 23 per cent drop seen by the Porsche 718 Boxster and the 59 per cent dip of the ageing Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.
Interestingly, it has been a good six months for American muscle. The Ford Mustang is up nine per cent, the Chevrolet Camaro is 17 per cent better off and the Camaro soft-top is up some 30 per cent.