Sporty models are shov­ing sales trends

Motor (Australia) - - HOT SOURCE. FAST CAR GUIDE - – Daniel DeGasperi

WITH THREE quar­ters of 2018 through, and three months to go, pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales are down 13 per cent (all fig­ures Septem­ber 2017 ver­sus Septem­ber 2018 year-to-date) and even a de­cent SUV up­swing of 9 per cent hasn’t off­set a to­tal market de­cline of 0.9 per cent. Yet there are sporty makes and models turn­ing around a whole lot of oth­er­wise down­ward-point­ing ar­rows. The sharpest soarer is the MercedesAMG GT, which has cap­i­talised on its ex­panded range to de­liver 42 per cent growth from 101 to 143 units. And that’s in a $200K-plus sportscar bracket down 0.5 per cent, no less. Porsche’s 718 Cayman is up 23 per cent from 168 to 206 sales in the sub-$200K sportscar class, although its 718 Boxster sib­ling fell 20 per cent from 119 to 95 road­sters over the same pe­riod. Which leaves the Audi A5 the clear­est star per­former, up 24 per cent and from 384 to 475 of now both the coupe and con­vert­ible vari­ants. That class is down 26 per cent, too, yet it has gone the other way. Among sub-$80K sportscars, down by a hor­ren­dous 40 per cent, only the Subaru BRZ is hold­ing up by a scant 0.4 per cent, idling from 569 to 571 sales. Once upon a time it was out­sold 10-to-one by the Toy­ota 86, but its coupe near-twin has plum­meted 43 per cent from 1317 to 757 sales, clos­ing the gap be­tween the duo sub­stan­tially. Among sporty sedans (and wag­ons) the Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia is up 6 per cent from 463 to 490 sales, inside a pre­mium medium class down 18 per cent, while the Skoda Oc­tavia is up 14 per cent from 1319 to 1503 sales and with RS be­ing the most pop­u­lar, all in a main­stream medium seg­ment tum­bling by 30 per cent.

TOO COOL Subaru WRX Peren­nial all-paw sedan has this year out­sold BRZ three-to-one, yet it’s still down 9 per cent from 1862 to 1704 sales. Mean­while, and quite lit­er­ally speaking vol­umes about mod­ern Su­bie buy­ers, 7510 units of the boggo Im­preza have moved this year. -9 PER CENT

PIP­ING HOT Volk­swa­gen Golf Both GTI and R make up a quar­ter of all Golfs sold, so a 15 per cent rise from 13,126 to 15,066 units is sig­nif­i­cant. The small-car class is down 4 per cent. 15 PER CENT

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