I must be missing something: who ever said that sports cars were substitutes for 4-door sedans, station wagons, SUVs, CUVs, whatever? They aren’t and never were.
A sports car is a toy and, therefore, a luxury. Even for a single person, a sports car makes a very poor only car.
The problem with sports cars is that they’ve gotten too expensive. They are now fully luxed-out. BMW is as guilty as anyone. Compare the interior of my ’01 Z3 with whatever it is that BMW is selling now as a 2- seater. They are also overdone, in terms of performance capabilities, which costs money.
It’s true that an increasingly large portion of the population in the U.S. (and perhaps elsewhere) lives with congested roads and heavy speed enforcement. Moreover, if you’re driving a car that doesn’t come alive except at extra-legal speeds, you’re also missing out on the fun. While is may be more fun to “drive a fast car fast” than to “drive a slow car fast,” the problem is that the opportunities for driving a fast car fast are very limited.
Finally, the scale economies that make high-volume cars (or CUVs, if you will) such a great deal are absent from sports cars. So even something like the FRS, which appears to be the kind of “sports car” that I’m saying should be made by more companies costs a fair amount of money. For less money, you can buy a “hot hatch” that is, in some ways, more fun to drive . . . and it’s cheaper because it’s based on a high-volume car with lots of scale economies, e.g. GTI, Focus ST, Fiesta ST and so on.
And, sure, the 2008 recession killed the demand for all kinds of “middle-class” luxury items: second home, etc.
Source : http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/quote-day-sports-car-dead/