Hangovers from New Year’s Eve may be just subsiding, but premium and sports car manufacturers have more celebrating to do following an overwhelming upswing in sales.
Australians purchased a record 1.55 million new vehicles in 2015, 3.8 per cent above 2014. Only a single premium manufacturer recorded backward growth – Rolls Royce sold 30 cars, down from 39 last year – while 13 others soared by a minimum of 10 per cent.
Comparing 2014 to 2015, Ferrari moved 47.8 per cent, from 113 to 167 cars. Lamborghini tripled its total, from 27 to 84 vehicles. Even McLaren moved from 26 to 36 units for a 38.5 per cent increase. We have a feeling fresh ‘entry’ models – California T, Huracan, 570S – may have helped things along.
Maserati went from 401 to 519 units for a 29.4 per cent increase, Bentley leapt from 135 to 158 for a 17 per cent increase, while Aston Martin pounced from 107 to 130 vehicles, rising 21.5 per cent.
Porsche secured the biggest yearly increase, moving from 2812 to 4090 sales, a boost of 45.4 per cent.
The reason is obvious: the Macan compact SUV tallied 2004 sales for the year to become the brand’s top seller ahead of Cayenne (1263, up 12.3 per cent). In fact, in a sign of the times, the 911 (377) is only up 3.0 per cent, while Boxster (191) and Cayman (199) went backwards by around 10 per cent (almost pipped by the Alfa Romeo 4C’s 149-unit tally).
Cousin Audi (a record 23,088 units, up 21.5 per cent) is posing a bigger threat to BMW (25,022 sales, up 10.1 per cent) behind an unbeatable Mercedes-Benz – its 36,374 tally is up 14.0 per cent.
Other rivals Lexus (8691 sales, up 24.2 per cent) and Jaguar (1292, rising 10.7 per cent) also did well, while even Infiniti (574, up 30.2 per cent) is improving off a low base.
Special mention to Lexus RC coupe with its decent 587-unit tally not far behind the Audi A5 (651) if not the C-Class coupe (1409) and 4 Series (1921). Likewise to the new C-Class (9373) and CLA-Class (3659) that dominated 3 Series (4166) and 2 Series (1902) respectively.
Subaru’s WRX dominated the affordable sports car arena with 3551 units sold, a record 1037 of which were made up of WRX STi models. The Toyota 86 dropped 29.4 per cent, but still tallied 3006 units ahead of the Hyundai Veloster, also down 21.1 per cent with 2685 sold.
Despite only being on-sale for the latter months of the year, the Mazda MX-5 flaunted a seven-fold increase on the year prior, posting 917 sales. It’s enough to pip a surprise performer in the revived Holden Astra GTC/VXR (763) and also the 86’s twin, the Subaru BRZ (607 sales, down 45.4 per cent).
We may have shed a tear over the loss of the Kia Proceed GT, however it still notched up 378 sales ahead of a tightly bunched sporting-elite crew of Volkswagen Scirocco (367) and Renault Sport Megane (362).
And in the fading stoush between Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, the former Camp Red posted 27,770 sales, down 8.1 per cent, versus the latter Camp Blue with a mere 5938 tally, down 6.5 per cent.
Light certainly shines brightest at the top end of town these days.