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The Mazda Miata has long been recognized as the best-selling sports car and it’s easy to see why. Lightweight, fun, and cheap, the Miata possesses the three magic ingredients of what makes a sports car excellent.
True, Miatas don’t sell in volume like trucks and SUVs do, but Miata sales actually managed to be positive last year over 2019 sales numbers, thus reversing a generally negative sales trend since 2017.
The numbers don’t lie
In particular, Mazda’s end-of-year sales data yielded an interesting trend: 2020 saw Mazda’s highest December Miata sales since 2016, the model year of the newest generation of the car.
According to Mazda’s own sales data, the automaker sold 706 Miatas in December 2015. That number rose slightly to 733 Miatas sold in December 2016, fell to 493 in December 2017, rose very slightly again to 511 in December 2018, dropped to 439 in December 2019, and increased pretty significantly to 694 Miatas in December 2020.
As Insider has previously reported, many people with disposable income who were forced to stay home this year because of the pandemic didn’t spend the money on vacations or trips like they otherwise would have. Instead, many turned to buying a fun car, such as a sports car or something vintage.
Analysts weigh in
“We’ve seen sports car and convertible sales and prices spike over the past 12 months,” Karl Brauer, iSeeCars.com executive analyst, told Insider. “It’s a reflection of people wanting to take back some level of control in their life during the pandemic, and many of them want to do this in a fun, life-affirming way.
“It doesn’t get much more fun and life-affirming than buying and driving a convertible, especially for consumers who have always wanted one but couldn’t justify it on a rational level. The past year has led plenty of consumers to redefine what’s rational.”
iSeeCars also reported that used Miata sales declined 29.4% in December 2020 over December 2019, with a 13% increase in average price.
“The December decline in [used] sales represents people with Miatas holding onto them, and the higher prices reflect the lower supply and the increased demand for these vehicles,” an iSeeCars representative added.
The agency pointed to a study it conducted in October, which found that convertibles experienced the biggest price increase across all segments.
An Edmunds spokesperson agreed, saying its analysts also saw a trend of consumers “opting for pricier and sportier vehicles during the pandemic,” though they couldn’t say for sure what caused it. The person said since roadsters already sell in such low volume, “anything from good incentive programs or inventory shipments could easily move 100 or so units.”
A spokesperson with Cox Automotive, which owns Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, said Miatas aren’t the only convertibles buyers flocked to. The Fiat 124 Spider and Porsche Boxster both experienced stronger December 2020 sales than in previous years.
“It is possible that disposable income has been reallocated to sportster/roadster type cars due to cancellations in recreational activities,” …read more
Source:: Business Insider