Tell your grandparents to save the sports car one Corvette at a time.
The recent shutdown of Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant that happened in order to keep from over producing Mustangs may be the proverbial canary in the coal mine that enthusiasts and automakers alike have been dreading. That would be the predicted decline in sports car sales that may not see a full recovery until decades into the future once the industry has already shifted to alternative power sources and autonomy. According to Bloomberg, the slide has begun thanks to aging baby boomers.
As America’s previous largest generation goes from the years of post-child freedom responsibility and hefty financial investment and into a decline of health, automakers are seeing the two-door sports car get dropped. The usual boomer dream involves the kids getting a decent job, moving out of the house, and leaving the ex parents with leftover money and time. To fill the void, enthusiasts in the boomer age group would go out and buy something with two doors and plenty of power. Now, those same boomers are finding themselves at an age where their bodies cannot tolerate the harsh ride of a sports car. To save their backs and live out the rest of their years in comfort, these buyers are spending their money on luxury cars.
Meanwhile, Gen Xers are in the child rearing stage and though research shows that millennials have a high interest in performance cars, they are too broke to afford them. However, not all types of performance cars are suffering. Mercedes’ AMG division and BMW’s M brand are seeing sales spike. The main reason why is that most of those boomers who have forgone harsh sports cars for luxury cars are finding that they can now have both types of vehicle characteristics in one car. An E63 AMG offers all the comfort a boomer needs to ride free of back pain but it still packs a weapon of mass destruction under the hood. The result is that SUVs and sedans with M and AMG badges are flying off lots while Mustangs and Corvettes sit idle.