Combing through sales data reveals plenty of intriguing nuggets of information. One of the major trends is the passenger car market, which once reigned supreme in the United States. These days, sedans and compact cars sit stale on dealership lots, while crossovers and SUVs find plenty of homes.
Amid the passenger car downturn, there’s one sliver of good news: performance cars.
The Detroit News reports sales of sports cars have actually risen, despite a lackluster performance from more pedestrian offerings. Hot hatchbacks and muscle cars saw an overall uptick in sales from Chevrolet, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler. These high-profile, sometimes “halo” vehicles, perform well with more affluent and wealthy buyers. Best of all, they’re youngsters.
For example, passenger car sales have tanked 11.4 percent during the first quarter of 2017, but sales of the Ford Focus ST and RS rose 25 percent. Overall, regular Focus sales dipped 24.6 percent while the hotter versions found plenty of driveways. Even more intriguing? The Ford Fusion Sport further boosted Ford sales, itself a sleeper sedan.
Dodge sales slipped considerably, but in the meantime, younger buyers scooped up plenty of high-performance Chargers and Challengers, specifically Hellcats, marking a four percent increase during 2016.
As mentioned, buyers of these vehicles not only hail from the oldest pocket of millennials, but they’re making money, too. The average household income of a Focus RS owner is $169,000.
This, in turn, brings us back to an argument we’ve detailed before: is Chevrolet missing out on the hot hatch segment? If Ford’s offerings have had anything to say, there’s a niche market to be had.