SPORTS CARS SOFTEN

Large cars, fast cars slow in the sales race

–Daniel DeGasperi

EIGHT months into 2018 and the two segments in the largest decline are the ones enthusiasts have traditionally loved the most. The first, the large car class, is unsurprisingly down 48 per cent year-to-date given the wipe-out of the local Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion. Volume among those contenders tallied 21,159 by August last year, versus just 11,010 sales to the same month this year.

But the second segment to suffer the most sizeable fall isn’t even the medium car class (down 25 per cent from 43,522 to 32,624) or the upperlarge car class (down 22 per cent from 1036 to 806), but rather the three-tier (based on pricing groups) sports-car class.

As a total cohort, two-door coupes and convertibles sunk by a third, or 33 per cent to be exact, plummeting from 19,518 sales by the eighth month of 2017 to 12,945 by that same time in 2018

So, who is to blame? The Hyundai Veloster fell 70 per cent from 1436 to 425 sales, the Toyota 86 suffered a 44 per cent loss from 1227 to 688 units, and the Ford Mustang left a gangbuster year behind by dropping 37 per cent from 6715 to 4202 cars.

Two-door Mercedes-Benz C-Classes continue to lead the $80K-plus grouping, but also drag it down by falling 40 per cent from 2071 to 1246 sales. Two-door BMW 4 Series models also capitulated by 35 per cent from 792 to 512 sales, while by contrast the two-door Audi A5 lifted by 33 per cent from 335 to an almost-Bimmer-beating 446 haul.

And what of exxy models? Bentley two-doors are down 73 per cent (69 to 19 sales), Benz SL-Class dropped 60 per cent (42 to 17 units) and BMW’s 6 Series halved (97 to 47 cars).

–Daniel DeGasperi