General Motors claims the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Corvette are responsible for one-third of sports car sales in the U.S. during 2011. Chevrolet sold 88,249 Camaros and 13,164 Corvettes in 2011. The most interesting bit of GM’s claim is the models it compares its two sports cars with.
In the sports car class, the Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang by 17,811 units and the Dodge Challenger by a whopping 48,715 vehicles. Fair enough. According to GM the Mustang garnered 29 percent of the sports car market and the Challenger 16 percent.
But here is where GM’s claims get interesting: the automaker also compares sales of the Honda CR-Z front-drive four-cylinder hybrid and the front-drive four-cylinder Hyundai Veloster to the Camaro. Call us crazy, but those strike us as two cars that few buyers would truly cross-shop with the Camaro (in fact, compare the Veloster - a car on sale less than half of the 2011 calendar year. - to other funky small coupes, like the CR-Z, and it does quite well). GM claims the CR-Z and Veloster took five percent and four percent of the market, respectively. In total, the sales figures provided by GM to illustrate Camaro sales and its competition only adds up to 91 percent.
But, what about the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Nissan 370Z – two rear-wheel-drive sports cars that are more likely to be viewed as credible competition to the V-6 Camaro in terms of both cost and power? Nissan 370Z sales amounted to 7328 cars in 2011. Hyundai unfortunately doesn't break the 32,998 Genesis units sold in 2011 between Genesis Coupe and Genesis sedan models, making that comparison a little difficult to orchestrate. Many enthusiasts would rank the Mazda MX-5 Miata and now discontinued Mazda RX-8 among sports cars long before the Veloster and CR-Z. Mazda sold 5674 Miatas and 759 RX-8s in 2011.
GM says the Corvette was the number one selling model in the luxury sports car segment selling 13,164 units or 28 percent. The Corvette was compared to the Porsche 911 (6016 units, 13 percent), BMW 6 Series (3903 units, 8 percent), BMW Z4 (3479, 7 percent), and Mercedes-Benz SLK (3220 units, 7 percent). In total the percentage points provided by GM only add up to 63 percent.
Interestingly, GM left the Nissan GT-R and do comparable models from Audi off the list of luxury sports cars. Nissan sold 1294 GT-Rs in 2011. Audi sold 1145 TTs and 2236 R8s in 2011.
From the numbers provided by GM and those we researched, the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Corvette clearly out sell many of its competitors. But we still wonder why GM would include the CR-Z and Veloster among sports car sales against the Camaro while omitting class stalwarts such as the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Nissan 370Z.
Also, GM included grand touring cars and small roadsters against the Corvette in the luxury sports car class, including the BMW 6 Series, BMW Z4, and Mercedes SLK, but did not include the Audi TT, Audi R8, or Nissan GT-R, which all offer at least one trim level on par for performance and price with one of the four Corvette models.
The numbers do indicate GM sold more Chevrolet Camaro and Corvettes than many of their direct and indirect competitors, but the one-in three claim should be left open to interpretation. GM’s list follows below:
Top 5 Sports Cars by 2011 Total Sales and Market Share
- Chevrolet Camaro 88,249, 37%
- Ford Mustang 70,438, 29%
- Dodge Challenger 39,534, 16%
- Honda CR-Z 11,330, 5%
- Hyundai Veloster 9,284, 4%
- Chevrolet Corvette 13,164, 28%
- Porsche 911 6,016, 13%
- BMW 6 Series 3,903, 8%
- BMW Z4 3,479, 7%
- Mercedes SLK 3,220, 7%