HALF-TIME SCORE CHECK

Mid-year passes with clear winners and losers

Daniel DeGasperi

CHART ATTACK

LAST MONTH IN NEW PERFORMANCE CAR SALES

PIPING HOT

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

After some tough times in the upper-large segment, a cheaper S-Class has bounced back and almost doubled sales from 80 by June 2017 to 153 now.

91 PER CENT

TOO COOL

BMW 5 Series

All-new 5 Series went in hard after E-Class last year, but both German sedans have fallen in a heap. By June last year the Five had reached 795 sales; this year it has tallied 432 units in the same period. Even the E-Class has plunged from 1107 to 781, period on period.

-46 PER CENT

THE WHISTLE has blown on half-time for 2018, so itís time to chalk up the winners and losers of the sports car and SUV market, placing sales numbers aside and looking mainly at trends.

Performance cars over $200K are steady, up 1.9 per cent, on the back of Ferrari, Maserati, and Porscheís 911 two-doors all being up by around a quarter year-to-date, but offset by McLaren falling by about the same, and Aston Martin and Audiís R8 holding steady.

However, the $80K-$200K bracket has sunk 20 per cent, mainly due to the Mercís top-selling two-door C-Class wiping 35.4 per cent off last yearís volume. The two-door E-Class is up by about the same, but Jaguar F-Type is down by one-fifth and BMW 4 Series by a third.

Then thereís the sub-$80K class. Oh dear. It is down by 42.4 per cent, owing to Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5 and Toyota 86 falling by almost exactly that percentage, and dragging the class with it. Abarthís 124 Spider is trending even worse, down 55.9 per cent.

About the only sadder segment is the large car class. Not only are 5 Series and E-Class sedans down by at least a third after a stellar 2017, but Holden Commodore, Jaguar XF and Lexus GS sales have halved. Meanwhile, Hyundaiís Genesis is on pause, leaving the 1084 units of Kia Stinger as a lone bright light.

And best not summarise that SUVs are all the rage, either. While Audi Q5, BMW X3, Merc GLC and Volvo XC60 have added half to their volume this year, the larger Q7, X5/X6, GLE and XC90 have tumbled by between 12.1 and 46.2 per cent. In short, premium medium SUVs win and premo-large SUVs lose out.

Daniel DeGasperi