Weak sales might kill cars such as Mazda RX-8 and Nissan 370Z

Article by Christian A., on May 30, 2010

Sales of sports cars have been so low in the first four months of 2010 that there's a risk that we may be saying goodbye to these sports cars for good, according to Bill Visnic of Auto Observer.

Fans worldwide got excited when Nissan revived the Z car and when Mazda created another rotary-powered sports car. Unfortunately, the excitement didn't translate to an increase in sales.

For instance, Nissan revealed that only 952 coupes and convertibles of the 370Z were sold in April, and only 3,419 were sold for the first four months of 2010. This represents a 34 percent drop from 2009. Meanwhile, sales of the Chevrolet Corvette suffered as well. In fact, the company has just had its worst sales year in 50 years.

Chevrolet sold only 1,089 cars in April, with just 3,522 Corvettes being sold so far in 2010. The Mazda RX-8 had an even worse sales record, with 128 units sold in April and 428 cars so far in 2010.

Rumors are flying that the Mazda RX-8 would not be continued after 2011 since its high-revving rotary engine won't meet Euro V emission standards. For the moment, the muscle cars appear to have avoided the sales decreases.

Both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang bring steady sales. The Mustang had a 33 percent drop to 5,415 units for April, but this is only because fans are waiting for the 2011 models.

The Mazda RX-8 is considered as the successor to the Mazda RX-7. Combining the globally sold RX-7 and the Japan-only Cosmo, the RX-8 four-door coupe boasted of a near 50:50 front-rear weight distribution as well as a low polar moment of inertia. It also boasted of lower weight, as achieved by using materials such as aluminum and plastic.

Mazda first unveiled the RX-8 at at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and produced it from model year 2003, while the US version was a 2004 model. It was powered by the 1.3-liter Renesis 13B-MSP Wankel non-turbo engine. The second generation of the RX-8 was released in 2008, and Mazda claims that this version was faster and quicker than the original model.

The successor to the Nissan 350Z is the sixth generation of the Nissan Z-car line. Nissan first announced the 370Z in October 2006. It was first shown at an event in Los Angeles in 2008. Nissan officially unveiled the 370Z at the 2008 LA Auto Show and commenced its sales in North America in early 2009. The Nissan 370Z coupe is known in Japan as the Fairlady Z Coupe, which sale commenced in the country in December 2008.

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