2002 was the year of the sports car, so far as American automakers are concerned. It looks like, maybe, 2011 is setting itself to take the crown though. In 2002, sports cars made up 3.1% of all vehicles sold in the United States, a number that was a high for as long as Edmunds had been tracking the vehicles sales information. Of course, we all know what happened to the U.S. economy, and shortly after 2002 raising unemployment, sky-rocketing fuel costs, and economic uncertainty began to signal what many viewed would be the death of the Sports Car. Thankfully, the Camaro, Mustang, and Dodge Challenger have proven over the last two years just how wrong that sentiment was.
In 2009, sports cars made up 2.9% of all U.S. automotive sales. This is an impressive number, to be certain. What makes that number even more impressive, as far as the American Pony car revival is concerned, is the fact that the American automotives are really leading the charge for the group. Foreign sports cars, such as the Mazda RX-8, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and even the seemingly unstoppable force that is the Mazda Miata, have seen sales declines from year to year, with some models losing as much as 60% of sales volumes between 2009 and 2010. In contrast to that, the Camaro has seen 39.9% sales increases between those years. The Challenger, the biggest gainer in the American Pony market, went up 43.5% year-to-year. The Mustang increased 13.6% in that same period, too. Those numbers don’t look to slow down, either, as each vehicle line is releasing multiple new models and upgrades next year that are certain to bolster already impressive popularity numbers.
In fact, with the upgraded Challenger drivetrains and performance packages, the Mustang’s inclusion of multiple new vehicles in to its line-up, and the release of the Convertible Camaro, 2011 stands poised to potentially beat the 3.1% mark of 2002, and continue trending upward in to the future.