German car makers – Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen Audi, have been dominating the market. The Japanese three of Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti which are the upmarket brands designed by the three Japanese carmakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan are left behind in spite of their best efforts. The three German companies mentioned above have 70% of the luxury car market while the Japanese have only 10l%. And Jaguar Land Rover, which is a British but Indian owned company, has overtaken them. They sold half a million cars just after the Lexus.
The Japanese trio is trying hard to overcome the German Trio by advertising that their cars have a more passionate Latin feel about them compared to the cold and clinical look of the German Cars.
Lexus is launching a mini SUV to rival Range Rover Evoque and other similar cars from BMW and Audi. Acura has pinned its hopes on the new RLX which is a sleek and long saloon car.
For the three Japanese car makers their premium divisions are much more than mere sidelines. This is because in the highly competitive mass car market profits are less compared to those in the luxury car segment.
In fact, the profit on luxury car models comes to thousands of dollars per vehicle. According to Andy Palmer, an executive at Nissan says that the premium models make up 12% of the sale and 50% of the profit for any car maker.
Initially, Japanese car makers targeted their premium cars for the American market, and Lexus was the best-selling luxury car brand in America for over a decade. Europeans don’t give much for style, and hence the luxury models did not fare well in this region. However, Japanese luxury models are doing well in the American market.
The Craze For Super-Luxury Suvs
There is a race among luxury car makers to make beefier models, and this is an attempt to broaden their appeal. These cars with a price tag of over $200,000 are unlikely to be tried on a muddy track, but still, SUV enthusiasts are spending millions to own these sporty SUVs. China is the world’s largest car market and a third of the cars sold here are SUVs. The urge to own an SUV is equally powerful among the wealthier sections of society. Global sales of SUVs rose from 400,000 in 2000 to 1.2 million last year, and this is likely to grow.
However, all sports car makers don’t think alike because Ferrari and McLaren say that they don’t have any plans to make an SUV shortly. They are worried that an SUV which would be tough looking and bulky would not look good aside from their racier models. However, even the rich people look for a mixture of the exotic brand and practicality. The race-bred cars have two seats usually, and there is not much regarding comfort.
At the same time, there is little space for luggage. Maybe the wealthy people need a car which can both have breakneck speeds and be able to accommodate the week’s shopping. In this case, it makes sense to have a Lamborghini and an SUV if money is not a concern then just buy them both. Whatever be the real reason behind the craze of wealthy people for SUVs, they are going great guns in the luxury car market.