When I reference the luxury market, this includes the following Polk-defined vehicle segments and their respective top volume models:
- Basic Luxury (Nissan Maxima and Infiniti G37 competitors)
- Mid Luxury (Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class competitors)
- Prestige Luxury (Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus LS competitors)
- Prestige Sporty (Porsche Panamera and Porsche 911 competitors)
- Roadster (Mazda MX5 and BMW Z4 competitors)
The U.S. luxury car market is dominated by the Basic and Mid Luxury segments who collectively represent 82% of the U.S. luxury car market. The Cadillac CTS is the top selling luxury car in the U.S. through the 1st quarter of 2011 with approximately 7% of of the luxury market share.
So why are Americans shying away from luxury car purchases? Could it be one or more of the following:
- High cost of luxury cars?
- Rising gas prices?
- Are Americans still in the grips of post-recession fears and not spending on luxury items?
- Could it be the significant improvement in styling and amenities available in non-luxury cars that is slowly eroding the luxury market share?
Thus, I will pose a final question to each reader and the industry as a whole as follows:
- What must the luxury industry do to retain the attention of the current luxury buyer and continue to differentiate itself from the balance of the market?
Posted by Marc Bland, Product Strategist and Multicultural Marketing Lead, Polk (05.18.2011)