US: performance vehicles are cool and the new sales champions image

Even as the US government is imposing tougher fuel economy standards, the deliveries of high-performance vehicles in the US are off the chart, rising faster than the global increase in demand after they fully recovered from the last Great Recession.

Analysts and industry experts, as well as automaker officials are signaling the manufacturers have started a performance race to meet the upbeat demand for the performance car and trucks. “Performance vehicle sales around the world continue to grow — with sales up 70 percent in the United States and 14 percent in Europe since 2009,” comments Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance. And demand for some of them is so great it manages to outstrip supply – Dodge had to suspend orders for its astonishing 707-hp Challenger and Charger Hellcat duo until it could fulfill backlog demand. And the recent New York auto show, usually a venue for luxury autos, actually showcased the automakers bringing performance models across almost every segment – from the new Ford Focus RS to the McLaren 570S supercar. Automakers and analysts argue the upbeat demand is coming as they understand it’s not all bout the 0 to 60 figure – performance vehicles are great good business overall. They have wider profit margins then the models they are based upon, lure a younger audience and lift the brand’s overall appeal.

The models can also be a way to rouse the creativity of the engineering base and research and develop new technologies: they “serve the much larger, far more important goal — which is to drive innovation throughout our entire company,” says Pericak. The Dodge and SRT brands have both been surprised somehow by the incredible demand for the Hellcat duo, while the traditional segment fight between Ford and Chevrolet is now reaching critical mass – both the Mustang and Camaro models have been refreshed with new generations.

Via Automotive News