Automakers hurry to introduce new luxury vehicles as markets reaches record highs and the housing value continues to increase.
In 2011 luxury sales accounted for 11.2% of total US sales, while in 2012 the percentage dropped to 11.1%. Southfield-based R.L. Polk predicts that this year luxury sales will go up 11.7% and 13.1% in 2014. GM prepares to introduce its Cadillac CTS, VW comes with the Audi A3 and Hyundai unveils its new Equus. BMW will not lose ground in this segment and has prepared a diesel version of its 3-Series, the 328d, and Honda has its Acura MDX.
Nissan’s Infiniti is unveiling its QX60 hybrid SUV, Daimler shows its Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and Jaguar Land Rover introduces the Jaguar XJR, the Range Rover Sport and a third new model.
“There’s a lot of competitive activity there, but when you see all of our new, refreshed product line, we’re very well-positioned,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales USA’s senior vice president for automotive operations, referring to the Lexus brand.
In 2011 and 2012 the crown as top-selling luxury brand in the US was held by BMW, which sold almost 350,000 vehicles in 2012, with 60,000 more than Mercedes-Benz. For 11 straight years, until 2009, the crown was owned by Lexus, which was hit by the natural disasters from Japan in 2011 and lost the first spot. But the brand comes quickly from behind, with 244,000 vehicles sold last year, an increase of 23%.