SUV sales look slug­gish up against resur­gent sports cars

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - NEIL DOWLING neil.dowling@cars­

Hyundai’s swoopy Veloster three-door coupe is the top seller as sport­sters be­come the driv­ing force in car sales

THE funky Hyundai Veloster is lead­ing a sports car surge in show­rooms around Aus­tralia.

It’s also out­selling the Toy­ota 86 and Subaru BRZ, de­spite the two Ja­panese cars cre­at­ing wait­ing lists across the coun­try and surg­ing to early favouritism for this year’s Cars­guide Car of the Year award.

Sports car sales are up by more than 55 per cent this year, with a 70 per cent jump last month alone over the num­ber of de­liv­er­ies in 2011.

Lat­est re­sults from Vfacts show 13,000 peo­ple bought a sports car priced up to $80,000 in the first 10 months of the year, up by 112.7 per cent over last year. Last month the num­ber of de­liv­er­ies was up by al­most 136 per cent.

In com­par­i­son, the over­all pas­sen­ger car mar­ket is up by only 1.7 per cent and even sup­port for the boom­ing SUV sec­tor is up by a rel­a­tively lack­lus­tre 28 per cent.

Drilling into the de­tail, the Veloster— helped by a $23,990 start­ing price and its asym­met­ri­cal three-door body— is the clear sports car leader with 3281 de­liv­er­ies to the end of last month.

That com­pares with 1960 for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe range and 1485 for the Toy­ota 86. Any­one on the wait­ing list for an 86 can ex­pect good news soon, with an ex­tra 1500 cars on the way from Ja­pan over the next three months and no change to the $29,990 start­ing price.

Subaru re­ports that its on­line-only BRZ coupe sales have reached 188 this year with 40 recorded last month.

But like Toy­ota, Subaru Aus­tralia is push­ing hard to get ex­tra sup­plies from Ja­pan.

The BMW M6 sports cars have just landed and will spark a slight surge at the very top of the seg­ment, thanks to prices strad­dling $300,000.

Mazda de­liv­ered 21 MX-5s last month, up from 12 a year ear­lier, helped by the runout of the su­per­seded model.

Porsche sales are also up as own­ers jump into new 911s and Boxsters.

There have been 207 de­liv­er­ies of the 911 this year, with 15 last month. And Boxster sales are up 73 per cent, with 19 sales last month.

The Cay­man coupe, which gets re­newed next year, failed to trou­ble the scorer as Porsche fans also wait for the first lo­cal de­liv­er­ies of the Car­rera 4 in Fe­bru­ary.

Fol­low the leader: The funky Hyundai Veloster is way out front in the sports car sales surge

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