A new year provides an opportunity to reflect, and for Australia’s car market in general, the reflection reveals a slow 12 months of sales.
If you’re interested in the market in general, WhichCar has covered that off in a neat summary, but here MOTOR aims to look solely at the key performance models and brands, and pick out and odd findings along the way.
In a “tough” year according to Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, the new car market copped a 7.8 per cent decrease in sales, but performance cars are often purchased for reasons other than simply as transport or necessity.
It should be noted that sales data never specifies a badge, only a model, so it’s impossible for us to determine the sales of cars such as BMW M3s or AMG C63 Ss, as they’re grouped with 3 Series and C-Class sales figures. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the numbers.
Australia’s most popular sports car took a huge, albeit expected, hit in 2019 after a strong year based on its newest update launching in 2018. ‘Only’ 3948 units were shifted in 2019 compared to 6412 the previous year, a 38.4 per cent decrease. This still puts it literally thousands of sales ahead of others in the ‘Sports under $80K’ category.
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Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ
The Toybaru twins have, unsurprisingly, both followed the same trend with a 42 per cent (BRZ) and 40.6 per cent (86) decline in sales since 2018. The twins sold a total of 967 units in 2019, 568 being Toyota 86s and 399 Subaru BRZs.
MOTOR comparison: 86 Performance Pack v BRZ tS v MX-5 RF Limited Edition
The Porsche 911, likely helped along by the launch of a new generation, has stayed rather steady and fought to decline in car sales to lose only 1.4 per cent of its 2018 sales figures for the 2019 calendar year. Porsche shifted 504 911s in 2019, though how many of those were 992s and how many were residual 991.2 models is not specified.
The ‘entry level’ sports cars from Stuttgart have copped a decline in sales, with the Cayman down to 156 after 229 units shifted in 2018, while the Boxster sold 89 units in 2019 after 106 the previous year. These are respective drops of 31.9 and 16 per cent.
Porsche’s four-door has seen the brand’s worst decline, with only 51 sales following 2018’s 105 units. Only four Panameras sold in December.
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Another of the world’s more popular sports cars, the Mazda MX-5’s sales are slowing as the ND generation ages. Only 442 sold in 2019 here in Australia, which lags behind 2018’s figure (835) by 47.1 per cent.
MOTOR feature: Bob Hall on the Mazda MX-5
Mercedes-AMG’s GT range, specifically when it comes to coupes and convertibles, has taken a 9.5 per cent hit with 67 sales in 2019. The good news, for AMG, however is that the AMG GT 4-Door seems to have more than made up for that loss with 68 sales in its debut year.
Renault’s pure sports model, as a rival to the Porsche Cayman, hasn’t quite made the same sales as its German opponent. But with 35 sales in 2019, it bested its 2018 sales by three units.
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The TT is in a spot of trouble as it nears its demise – less than half its sales for 2018 were realised in 2019, with only 79 cars having been shifted. That’s a 57.8 per cent drop from the 187 in 2018.
MOTOR comparison: TT S v Cayman
Unlike much of the list so far, it’s been a good year for Maranello here in Australia. With 257 Ferraris having sold in 2019, a 6.6 per cent increase on 2018, the brand will have made a healthy few dollars, with more eventually on the way once its SUV arrives in a couple of years’ time.
The Raging Bull racked up a 9.7 per cent increase in 2019 over its 2018 figure, with a huge helping hand from the Urus SUV. That model sold 77 units in its first full year on sale, 7 more than the rest of the Lamborghini range. A total of 147 Lamborghinis sold in 2019, compared with 134 from 2018.
Aston shifted 129 coupes and convertibles, down from 161 in 2018, marking a 19.9 per cent decrease year on year. It also saw no sales of the Rapide, meaning its listing under the ‘Upper Large Sedan above $100K’ category posted a 100 per cent decrease in sales after six sold in 2018.
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Strangely enough, McLaren’s sales total for 2019 was exactly the same as 2018. 88 cars were sold by the brand both years.
As far as low-volume sports car sales go, Lotus has had a rather good run in the last couple of years. It sold 57 cars in 2019: 15 Elises, 10 Evoras, and 32 Exiges. This is up one in total from 2018, with 56 sales, though the mix that year was 24 Elises, 11 Evoras, and 21 Exiges.
Alfa Romeo 4C
Yep, Alfa Romeo is still selling enough 4Cs for us to notice, though we’re only pointing it out because it sold more 4Cs in 2019 than in 2018. The baby supercar was snapped up 29 times in 2019, 31.8 per cent up from the 22 units sold the year before.
MOTOR comparison: 4C Spider v A110 v 718 Cayman
Finally, Honda’s halo car is often the subject of the question ‘is anyone actually buying them?’ It turns out, yes. Three NSXs were sold in Australia in 2019, up 50 per cent from the two sold the year before. Good luck if you’re out to spot one on the street.
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