By on July 23, 2010

Our six month sales by brand chart is a bit crowded, so we’ve broken out luxury brands for today’s COTD. Bloomberg assembled a grip of analysts who all say that Mercedes is going to sock it to Lexus this year… and this chart certainly proves that the opportunity is there. But then, the opportunity is there for BMW too, if Lexus so much as stops for a breath. One thing is for certain though: Ford may be ruling the mass market, Lincoln is the last stop before Volvo-ville as you work your way down the luxury volume ranking. That’s not great, but given a choice between a respectable luxury brand and a $2.6b first-half profit, I know what nine out of ten auto executives recommend.

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45 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Luxury Brands...”


  • avatar
    jems86

    Are the Jaguar sales, Jaguar + Land Rover??

    • 0 avatar
      Tstag

      I find these sales charts a bit frustrating. What we really want to see are the global figures. In such a scenario JLR would leapfrog a few places and Lincoln might slip to the bottom. For example Range Rover is a top seller in Europe and China and that doesn’t show up here. The new Jaguar XJ is now the market leader in the UK. These sales charts are only important if your only focus is the US.

  • avatar
    64andahalf

    why is mercedes at the top? they don’t seem to be the biggest in ’09 or ’10 (like bmw, and lexus, respectively)

  • avatar
    SomeDude

    EN, one important piece is missing from your commentary – Cadilliac has shown the highest growth in relative terms.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    How does MINI qualify as a luxury brand?

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      It refers to the Mercedes B-Class, insofar as it is positioned next to the M-Class as “MINI-Me”.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      It’s a luxury subcompact or compact, very luxurious compared to a Nissan Versa or Hyundai Accent.

      Not sure it’s my taste, but not everybody thinks that luxury can only come with a RWD V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Amendment X

      I was wondering the same thing. MINI is the only brand out of place on that graph. They make premium vehicles, not luxury vehicles. There’s a difference.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I agree, the Mini is by no means a luxury car. It’s pretty nicely put together and has some luxury options for its size class, but it lacks the amenities, plush interior, and plush ride that most people associate with luxury vehicles.

      I see many as being along the same lines as Lotus. They are high style vehicles built with lightness and handling in mind, but comfort and luxury aren’t high on the list of priorities. They can command a premium price for their strengths, but still aren’t really luxury cars.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Okay, I’ll just come out and say it. Where would the Hyundai Genesis have landed on this list, assuming it was not of the wrong nationality and contaminated by affordable sports-coupe nomenclature?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Combined Genesis sales seem to be averaging about 2000 units per month thus far, so assuming the Genesis sedan accounts for roughly half of those sales (which is a big assumption, but without any data from Hyundai there is no way to tell) that would put the Genesis right over Jag YTD.

      The big question is will the debut of the Equus add to Hyundai’s premium line sales, will it cannibalize current Genesis sedan sales, or will it become a Korean Phaeton.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Genesis sales have been something like 70/30 sedan/coupe lately.

  • avatar
    MLS

    Um, why is MINI in this list?

  • avatar
    Demetri

    How the hell is Acura selling so well? Soundly beating Audi and Infiniti, and on par with Cadillac? Unbelievable.

  • avatar
    Revver

    SAAB = OUCHY

    How much damage can a brand survive?

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Why is M-B above Lexus in the chart?

    Seeing they’re in 5th and ahead of Infiniti, I don’t feel that bad for Acura anymore.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    I’m surprised Cadillac is fourth above Acura and Audi…

    I’m also surprised the tarted up Fords are as high as they are too. A Just goes to show 43,762 people CAN be wrong…or they really like being overcharged…

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      How much of Cadillac’s volume ends up in the rental fleets these days? I know that once upon a time they were ubiquitous at Hertz and National.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Cadillac is something like 15% fleet lately, which is pretty good by mainstream standards, but a lot higher than the brands it aspires to compete against.

    • 0 avatar

      Compare the money Gov’t Motors dumped into Cadillac in the vain hope of making the CTS a world beater, to the paltry sum Ford has put into Lincoln.

      Seems the latter’s investment has paid off quite handsomely, even with 21,000 fewer sales to date. 43,000 gilded Fusions, Flexes and Tauri are nothing to sneeze at from a profitability standpoint… particularly as those bread-and-butter cars are arguably better than their Government Motors competition right from the start.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Acura is putting forth a surprising strong showing considering how limited its lineup is and the fact that there are two true dogs in the pen (RDX and RL). Acura has a six vehicle lineup, but only the TSX, TL and MDX sell in appreciable volumes. Audi has nine vehicles plus “S” derivatives. Infiniti is hawking seven different vehicles (though three are variations on the “M”, but then Acura builds its whole lineup from three platforms as well).

  • avatar
    drifter

    More examples of TTAC’s anti-Asian bias.

    They put MB on top the chart although Lexus is the top seller.
    Acura kicks Audi’s rearend yet we see more articles here lamenting the demise of Acura. Even Infiniti and Licoln(!) are catching up on Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      “More examples of TTAC’s anti-Asian bias.”

      Make your minds up, lads! TTAC are always being accused of being “anti-domestic”, now they’re “anti-asian”? What does that leave? “Pro-European”…?

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      Drifter,
      Get your accusations right; the Japanese tend not to think of themselves as Asian.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Exactly, Cammy. TTAC has been accused of being anti-everything at one time or another. Anti-domestic, anti-asian, anti-european, anti-Toyota, pro-Toyota, anti-Ford, pro-Ford, the list goes on. It simply the exposes the bias of the accuser.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    “More examples of TTAC’s anti-Asian bias”

    Actually drifter, I have found this website to be exceptionally anti biased. They tell the truth regardless of color, creed religion or ethnicity, and that’s just the way I like it.

    • 0 avatar
      drifter

      With the exception of discontinued GM brands, no large brand has lost more market-share between 2000-2010 than VW . Good luck finding one article about this on TTAC. Just in the last few we weeks they had editorials on how Prius sales has stalled (last time I checked Prius was almost outselling entire VW lineup,RX outsells all Audis) or Pathfinder sales have cratered. In terms of sales, Toureg and Tiguan has been disasters of “Titan”ic proportions.

      If anyone hasn’t been realized that this site hasn’t been big-time p!mps of VW/Audi, you haven’t been paying attention.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Strangelove

      “With the exception of discontinued GM brands, no large brand has lost more market-share between 2000-2010 than VW. Good luck finding one article about this on TTAC.”

      If I’m not mistaken, that loss occurred mostly in the first half of the decade. Ancient history.

      VW has received its share of criticism here.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    +1 more open jaw that is shocked that Acura is selling its polarizingly-styled embellished Honda products in such volumes. Adding a guillotine grill, aluminized plastic trim bits, a few dozen extra buttons, and extra leather to an Accord does not a luxury car make.

    Acura and Lincoln, plus MINI, should be separated into another sub-luxury class, perhaps “premium” in rental car class jargon.

    • 0 avatar
      drifter

      +1 more open jaw that is shocked that Acura is selling its polarizingly-styled embellished Honda products in such volumes. Adding a guillotine grill, aluminized plastic trim bits, a few dozen extra buttons, and extra leather to an Accord does not a luxury car make.

      The fact that Audi trails Acura with all attributes mentioned tells how pathetic Audi’s market performance is.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      +1. No model Acura offers these days qualifies as a luxury car. Also, I think that their current position will soon change – Lincoln will sure get ahead of both Acura and Infiniti. Ford seems to be eager to restore their premium brand while neither Honda nor Renault-Nissan show any interest in doing something about the decline of theirs.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      In that case, neither does Cadillac. The CTS is no more luxurious or premium than the TL, and the SRX is a rebodied Equinox, and no more premium than an MDX. The DTS sells largely to rental car companies and senior citizens who pay no where near sticker for one.

      The STS, like the discontinued XLR, is a complete flop, and not taken seriously as a competitor to the true luxury brands (Mercedes, BMW and Lexus).

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      drifter: The fact that Audi trails Acura with all attributes mentioned tells how pathetic Audi’s market performance is.

      You might want to add Infiniti, Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar, and all the rest, too. The truth is, Merc has always been the gold standard, even when their product was not too good. It’s just brand perception. Besides, if Audi sells 50 thousand cars, that’s not too bad for a brand that was dead as a doornail on or around 1986. Especially in this economy.

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      Wow Wagen, you sound kinda uninformed. If you are claiming Acura’s are just an Accord with a few more buttons, then you come across as grossly misguided.

      In the USA, no Acura and Honda share body work. No Acura and Honda share powertrains……

      Compare and contrast that to Audi/VW, Caddy/Chevrolet, Lexus/Toyota, et al….

    • 0 avatar
      Wagen

      Uninformed? Perhaps. I’ll let each reader of TTAC decide for him/herself if the TL is an upmarket Accord derivative. I didn’t design the J35 engine, but know from research that the 3.5l engine used in the TSX and base TL is a variant of the engine used in the Accord, Ridgeline, and Pilot. Same displacement, cylinder dimensions, valvetrain, with a slightly higher compression ratio to squeeze a little additional output to justify an Acura badge and markup instead of that squared-in H logo. Both are built at the same Marysville, OH plant. In my opinion, they both have the same attempt to imitate the Hofmeister Kink in the rear door (though way more poorly executed in the TL where the trim extends onto the C-pillar rather than on the door). The (IMHO) awkward drivers-side fuel filler door placement cuts across the bodyside character line in both. Perhaps they don’t share the same body panels but, to me, there are clear details that illustrate they share some common lineage.

      Again, it’s up to each reader to form his/her own opinion of how closely the TL and Accord are related.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Colors and position of the lines in the graph are backwards again. Red should be for 2010 sales and on top as that is the point you making. It looks like BMW is kicking ass if you do a brief look of this table.

    Did anyone pay attention in their stats class to learn the importance of color / position in graphs?

  • avatar
    Invisible

    So, has anyone explained why TTAC listed Mercedes on top?

    Do the Mercedes #’s include all those Sprinter Vans?


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