In a Twist, Small Sports Car Sales Are Up in 2017

Despite an overall sales slump in the industry, compact sports cars are doing well.

byEric Brandt|
In a Twist, Small Sports Car Sales Are Up in 2017

The auto industry saw a 4.7 percent drop in overall US sales in April. However, sales figures for compact sports cars have risen by 3.4 percent so far in 2017, according to an Automotive News analysis of the data.

Leading that charge is one of the standard-bearers for small sports cars: the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Miata is enjoying a 35 percent increase in sales this year so far in the US. Even the related Fiat 124 Spider is seeing some impressive growth. Sales of the “Fiata” almost doubled between January and April 2017.

Although it ended production last August, the BMW Z4 even saw impressive growth of 42 percent in 2017, albeit in low volumes. The Toyota 86 got a modest bump as well.

The good news for sports cars pretty much ends there. The pony car segment, although selling in higher volumes than compact sports cars, isn’t doing so hot going into its peak season. The Chevy Camaro passed up the Ford Mustang in sales in April for the first time this year, but the segment is down 16 percent. The muscular Dodge Challenger dropped 0.5 percent staying in third place surprising no one. Even sales for big sports cars are down. Sales of the Chevy Corvette have dropped about 10 percent this year.

While the slump of most sports car sales is unfortunate, the rise of the compact sports car is encouraging for enthusiasts. The more fun cars we buy, the more it secures their future.