Luxury Car Brands
Luxury cars has always been a hot topic, so we decided to enlist the top 10 luxury car brands in the world. Luxury car sales account for roughly 18% of the total unit overall cars sold around the world. Over the last 10 years, premium car sales growth has surpassed that of non-premium cars. However, experts think luxury car sales will lose steam in the coming years as buyers are starting to prefer petrol cars instead of diesel cars. This trend has resulted in car makers shifting their focus towards SUVs, which outsold luxury cars for the first time in 2016. However, luxury car buyers around the world are often loyal to the brand and the persistent economic polarity in almost all parts of the world will keep the market share of Tier 1 luxury cars undamaged, as the rich are getting even richer every year. Luxury car brands are giving revolutionary features in their latest cars, including the much-awaited “connected car” systems, advanced infotainment apps, security systems, Wi-fi, real-time location services and routing based on traffic conditions.
Luxury Car Brands
SUVs from the luxury marques grew at almost 40 percent to more than 430,000 vehicles, excluding SUV-only brands like Hummer and Land Rover, while luxury car sales in the U.S. during 2003 suffered a 1% decline, and non-luxury SUV sales were flat. By 2004, 30 percent of major luxury brands’ U.S. sales are now SUVs. Luxury brands in particular led the development of crossover SUVs (as opposed to body-on-frame SUVs), making it one of the fastest growing segments in the market, as the forecast for 2002 was approximately 240,000 vehicles and that could double by 2006. Research data showed luxury SUV buyers are compared those vehicles to SUVs of mass market brands, and not shopping around luxury cars, thus the SUV is becoming the key to bringing new customers to the luxury dealerships.
Luxury Car Brands
Photo: Porsche Cars North America, Inc. / U.S. News & World Report › 1 of 16 › See How the Top Luxury Car Brands Rank Car shopping can get a little overwhelming, particularly when considering a new luxury vehicle. There might be a little less competition in the upper echelons of the car market, but higher prices and more features can really complicate the decision-making process. We recently announced the winner of our Best Luxury Brand awards for 2017, a process that takes numerous objective factors (such as safety and reliability data) and subjective factors (such as critics’ reviews) into account. We’re not suggesting you should limit your new vehicle search to these brands, though — there are plenty of other good options on the market, and we’ve written up a quick overview of each luxury brand we review, based on how each manufacturer’s vehicles score in our rankings. Take a look at all the luxury brands we review, wrapping up with the one we’ve named the Best Luxury Car Brand for 2017. Read the 2016 Porsche 911 Full Review See 2016 Porsche 911 Photos See Luxury Sports Cars Rankings
See How the Top Luxury Car Brands Rank Car shopping can get a little overwhelming, particularly when considering a new luxury vehicle. There might be a little less competition in the upper echelons of the car market, but higher prices and more features can really complicate the decision-making process. We recently announced the winner of our Best Luxury Brand awards for 2017, a process that takes numerous objective factors (such as safety and reliability data) and subjective factors (such as critics’ reviews) into account. We’re not suggesting you should limit your new vehicle search to these brands, though — there are plenty of other good options on the market, and we’ve written up a quick overview of each luxury brand we review, based on how each manufacturer’s vehicles score in our rankings. Take a look at all the luxury brands we review, wrapping up with the one we’ve named the Best Luxury Car Brand for 2017. Read the 2016 Porsche 911 Full Review See 2016 Porsche 911 Photos See Luxury Sports Cars Rankings
The SUV models generated higher-profit-margins than ordinary automobiles, and automakers introduced new luxury models during the late 1990s, starting with Lincoln Navigator in 1997, besides traditional models like Range Rover. For some manufacturers such as Porsche and BMW, luxury SUVs were the first SUV models they produced. Luxury SUVs catered particularly to the U.S. market where station wagons were unpopular, often being produced in North America (such as BMW Spartanburg) instead of the luxury marque’s home country. Some of these models were not traditional SUVs based on light trucks, rather they are classified as crossovers using unibody constructions. SUVs from non-luxury brands had experienced a surge in popularity through early 2000s, causing the traditional luxury marques to follow.
The Late-2000s recession was the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s that the luxury car market suffered considerably, something not seen in previous economic downturns. Many such customers saw their net worth decline following the collapse in financial markets and real-estate values. For example, some of the steepest dropoffs came at the high end, including the BMW 7 Series and Rolls-Royce Phantom, and Mercedes-Benz unexpectedly dropped the starting price of its all-new 2010 E-Class. The unusually sharp decline in luxury car sales have led observers to believe that there is a fundamental shift and reshaping of the luxury automotive market, with one industry official suggesting that the marques no longer command the premiums that they used to, and another saying that conspicuous consumption was no longer attractive in poor economic conditions. Additionally, mainstream brands have been able to offer amenities and devices such as leather, wood, and anti-lock brakes, previously found only on luxury cars, as the costs decline.
This category is known as the compact executive car in Britain where it specifies both the price range and vehicle dimensions. In the U.S., there is a broader category called entry-level luxury, which includes the bottom vehicles in the line-up of luxury brands as well as the top-of-the-line models of some non-luxury brands. Dimensionally, compact executive cars are smaller than Mid-size cars and sometimes even smaller than compact/Small family cars. Mass market compact cars typically use the economical front wheel drive transverse engine layout, well suited to the inline-4 engine, which also maximizes interior room. Most compact executive cars are rear-wheel drive with longitudinal engines, for improved stability and handling, and in order to accommodate the larger size of higher-performance engines (straight-6, V6, rarely V8), with four-wheel drive often being available. Compact executive cars also tend to have more complicated independent suspensions, sportier transmissions, and high revolution engines that may require premium gasoline. The more complex powertrain and mechanical layouts of compact executive cars comes at increased cost and reduced interior passenger and trunk space. Compact executive cars include the Acura ILX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Jaguar XE, Volvo S60, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q40, Saab 9-3, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class which particularly emphasize sporty handling.
Bentley and Rolls-Royce have recently moved into more affordable price brackets with new models priced considerably lower than their traditional offerings (Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Phantom and Maserati Quattroporte). These new cars, the Bentley Flying Spur and Continental GT sister cars and Rolls-Royce Ghost, created what Car and Driver described as the “entry-opulent segment”. Bentley, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce vehicles share platforms and derivatives of engines with other luxury brands from their parent auto company, however Rolls-Royce and Bentley are assembled in England (separate from the rest of BMW and Volkswagen Group’s production plants) and this ‘exclusivity’ has helped to make these British marques a sales success. By comparison, Maybachs were built alongside the Mercedes-Benz S-Class which partly explains why they have not fared well in the market and were discontinued in 2012. Furthermore, the Maybach’s brand pedigree was virtually unknown outside of Germany unlike its British rivals which have long enjoyed fame worldwide. A Bentley executive was quoted as saying “that the brand’s exclusivity, history and obsessive luxury help to convince customers that a Bentley is worth the price” which is at least twice that of a flagship luxury car from BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Although Rolls-Royce and Bentley have traditionally been considered “as a purveyor of boxy British land yachts”, newer offerings such as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Bentley Continental GT have “upended the super-premium auto segment, making Bentley for the first time a plausible choice for younger Hollywood and music stars”.
Since the 1980s, a host of new manufacturers have entered the luxury market to challenge the traditional players. The three major Japanese auto manufacturers, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, created their respective luxury brands particularly for the US. As a result of voluntary export restraints imposed in 1981, these manufacturers were limited to a number of vehicles they could export. While these companies sidestepped this by establishing US production facilities for mass market vehicles, their home factories soon begun producing higher-priced cars as they carried a greater profit margin per car. Acura was launched in 1986, while Lexus and Infiniti were unveiled in 1989. By 1992, these three divisions had sales of over US$3.5 billion, using lower prices and innovation to take market share from both domestic (Cadillac, Lincoln) and the European (Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW, Audi and Jaguar) luxury car makers.