Swapping coupes and convertibles for high-po SUVs.
Baby boomers are purchasing fewer sports cars, according to a new report from Automotive News. Although they have more disposable income than other age groups, the eldest of the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are approaching 70 years. Not only are they passing the “mid-life crisis” stage, but many are finding it more difficult to climb into a low-slung sports car.
Many baby boomers are moving into high-performance SUVs from BMW M and Mercedes AMG. Over at Porsche, sales of passenger cars are down 8 percent, while sales of the new small Macan SUV are up 30 percent this year to become the brand’s number one selling model.
Earlier this month, the Flat Rock, Mich., plant that builds the Ford Mustang was idled in order for demand to catch up with existing supply. Sales of the Ford Mustang were down 32 percent in September compared to the same month last year and 9 percent year-to-date. According to the report, baby boomers made up half of total Mustang sales in 2013. This year, they account for about 40 percent. Younger buyers are picking up some of the sales slack – but not all. Today, 22 percent of Mustang buyers are in their 20s and 30s – that’s up from 15 percent in 2013. About 25 percent of Mustang sales through the first seven months of the year were corporate fleet sales including some to car-rental agencies.
Other sports cars are feeling the pinch too. Sales of the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro are down 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively. According to GM, retail sales for the Camaro are only down 1 percent. The remaining sales decrease is attributed to the automaker selling fewer Camaros to fleet customers. The automaker is also trying to lure in younger buyers with the Camaro’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 and availability of aftermarket high-performance parts.
Despite automaker’s efforts to attract younger buyers, there are less Gen Xers (35-50-year-olds) than there are baby boomers. While the sports car segment won’t go away, it is expected to shrink. Additionally, Millennials buyers don’t have the income to purchase a sports car. Base Mustang and Camaro coupes start in the mid-$20,000 range, while the Corvette starts above $55,000 and can top over $110,000 with options.
Source: Automotive News