Manufacturers want to make money. Making cars is just the means to that end.
If the market isn’t interested in a lot of 2-seat sports cars, “personal” transportation or styling exercises (most of which have been abject market failures), it makes no damned sense to fault the manufacturers for foregoing such “opportunities” and instead just making what sells.
Most Americans aren’t interested in all that other stuff. They want a vehicle that suits their transportation needs, is reliable, is reasonably efficient, doesn’t pollute more than it ought, is reasonably safe for its occupants and comes in at a price they can afford.
(Which does Not mean cheap.)
The individual or family that wants to haul camping gear for a weekend in the mountains is not likely to buy a Miata roadster or a C8, It will buy an SUV or crossover instead, won’t much care about swoopy styling or lots of torque, and will be indifferent to pretty much anything on the outside.
There have been a fair number of low-production number, high-production cost and low-profit margin cars in the past. They lost money. There was a time when those losses could be eaten up in the overall high profits the manufacturers garnered.
Not any more.
And notice how so many enthusiasts suggest things like making cars long since outmoded. The market has passed them by and they won’t/can’t be built again. It would cost too much.
(Remember when Nissan bought up and remanufactured some 240Z’s? Nice touch! Sales disaster. It lost money and abandoned the effort quite shortly.)
I don’t fault the manufacturers for making cars that suit the market.
If some specialty manufacturers want to serve that small niche that calls for fun cars, they can do that, and consumers can pay that price.
If they choose not to, because to be frank even with a “fun” car driving just isn’t all that enjoyable any more given crowded roads and idiot-stick drivers manipulating their smart phones, who can blame them?
I have a fun car that should be finished its five-year restoration sometime come Spring or early Summer.
Neither it, nor anything remotely like it, is going to be that great a sales success again. The market now looks elsewhere. To be frank about it, I don’t want a new 500-700 hp 200 mph car capable of 0-60 times around 3-4 seconds for any purpose. It doesn’t suit my normal driving needs. Even though the C8 is a relative “bargain” at US$60,000 or so for mind-boggling performance, if someone gave me one I’d just sell it asap. It would serve no useful purpose for me. I’d rather have the shop space.
Meanwhile, for utilitarian cars, I buy used SUVs, put them into really excellent mechanical condition, and drive those at a low cost/mile.
I would just never spend ten times as much for a vehicle whose only real purpose is to drive aimlessly nowhere, hauling so little it’s hardly worth the expense.
An old friend from MBA school now retired from the automotive industry once said to my local car club when some enthusiasts complained that manufacturers didn’t make fun cars that they would prefer any more.
“Remember one important thing…YOU are not the market.”