CNBC takes a deep dive on why Japanese car companies aren't giving up on sports cars despite the rise of crossovers and SUVs.
I think in Mazda's case the MX-5 kind of serves as a halo car for them. It might not be the most expensive Mazda but it appeals to enthusiasts and shows that Mazda can make fun cars.Years ago sports cars primarily were the purview of the Europeans and the Brits. We had lower priced Fiats and Alfa Romeos, Triumph, MG, Lotus, Capri's, lower priced Porsches, Lancias, the Volvo P1800. Of course there were higher end cars like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini. The higher end sports cars have not changed. What has changed is that Europe has abandoned the lower priced sports cars for sale in America. Europe considers hot hatches the affordable sports car market. They are practical in that they are taller, can carry more people and have larger cargo areas. Japan was clearly influenced by Europe and Korea has been clearly influenced by Japan. Both are able to offer the RWD sports cars at a lower price than the Europeans. And it has appears now they can offer hot hatches at a lower price than the Europeans as well. On the Europe side with
FCA(now Stellantis)discontinuing the Fiat 500 Abarth and now 124 Spider there is only the Golf GTI and the Mini Cooper S that you can still buy below 30K. Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mazda all offer either RWD, AWD and FWD sporting cars in the 20 to 30 K range. Out of all of them I can only question Mazda as to why they still offer the Miata. For them it history that has been built up. However they still have to share a platform with someone. Now that Stellantis is out of the picture for the next version of the Miata(fi there is one) they will still need a partner to share with. Subaru and Toyota share a platform. Other then Mazda all of these companies sell in high volume to the US. A lot of them have plants in the US. But there is clearly a time limit on affordable sportscars and hot hatches with the advent of electric cars. They can generate excitement but as an EV it may be a harder sell then larger family oriented vehicles that suit EV's better. They may be little to none in the way of low priced hatchbacks let alone RWD sports cars in any country by 2030 and beyond.