… unless you’re Chinese, in which case Japanese luxury brands are definitely designing those grilles for you.
According to Automotive News, China is poised to eclipse the United States as the number one luxury car market. To get ready for that eventuality, Japanese luxury car brands are designing their cars to cater to the tastes of affluent, young, Chinese car buyers.
Two concepts just revealed by Volvo shows where the brand’s 40 Series vehicles are headed.
The imaginatively-named Concept 40.1 and 40.2 were the centerpieces at today’s launch of Volvo’s global small car strategy. The growth-primed automaker plans to hit the premium small car market with a series of vehicles built around its Compact Modular Architecture.
Is there a Swede in your future?
Like a Dreadnought-class battleship, the current generation of the hulking and insanely lavish Rolls-Royce Phantom is being mothballed, but it gets one final hurrah.
The folks behind the Spirit of Ecstasy are busy building — sorry, “crafting” — the ultimate Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé vehicles before those models slip the surly bonds of earth.
Just 50 will be made, and Rolls is naming the bespoke collection after those big 1970s televisions you saw in the back pages of National Geographic. (Read More…)
Kia’s rear-drive premium sedan is looking pretty production ready in these spy photos.
The teasing has now gone on for five years, ever since the GT concept bowed in Frankfurt in 2011. The vehicle photographed near Kia’s southern California headquarters stays true to the concept’s general proportions, though the clamshell (“suicide”) doors are, not surprisingly, absent from the mix.
Designed to battle German competitors at the high end of the market, the 2018 GT will source its platform from the upcoming Genesis G70 sedan. (Read More…)
America’s record-breaking new vehicle sales volume in calendar year 2015 was powered in part by better-than-average growth from premium automakers.
Yet after BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, and Cadillac all failed to match the rate of industry-wide expansion in 2015, the first four months of 2016 have revealed that even more top-level premium brands are fading as the market for new vehicles continues to expand. U.S. auto sales are up 3.4 percent in 2016. Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW (the three top-ranked premium auto brands), Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti posted declining sales in the first-third of 2016.
Largely at fault are the passenger car divisions at each brand, but a number of high-volume SUVs/crossovers that are failing to match last year’s first-third sales pace, as well. (Read More…)
Hyundai Motor Company wants its flagship Genesis brand to ooze luxury, and it just added another top industry talent to its dream team to make sure that happens.
The South Korean automaker now has the expertise of former Bentley exterior designer Sangyup Lee, who just jumped ship from the British luxury automaker, Reuters reports.
Lee will serve as vice-president in charge of Hyundai and Genesis design, joining Bentley alumnus Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai Motor’s new Prestige Design Division head. (Read More…)
Will there be black berets, obscure Russian poetry and Yoko Ono albums for sale at the door?
Fans of the General no doubt recoiled in horror at reports that Cadillac — a brand that conjures images of Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, the movie Badlands, and the hopes and aspirations of middle America — is opening a swank coffee joint in Manhattan.
Well, it true. They’re here, they’re upscale, get used to it.
If you’re really lucky, maybe one day you will find yourself drinking java from the upper slopes of a mountain you’ve never heard of while discussing designer fragrances and interpreting (wrongly) works of modern art…alongside a Cadillac. (Read More…)
The newest luxury marque is already pursuing an electrification strategy to compete with the Germans.
Genesis, the upstart luxury division of Hyundai, rolls out its first vehicles this year, and plug-in hybrid models will soon follow, reports Automotive News.
The effort is all about battling competitors BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche on their own turf. Those luxury automakers are planning to increase their hybrid offerings in a market seen as more receptive to plug-ins. (Read More…)
Buick is poised to take the Verano behind the barn and vacate the compact car market in North America, according to sources familiar with the automaker’s plans.
The Verano’s dwindling sales share and the popularity of the automaker’s crossovers and SUVs is behind the decision to phase out the entry-level luxury compact, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)
The Lexus RX isn’t a sales success; it’s a sales phenomenon. It’s a magical cash generating unicorn that can seemingly do no wrong. The RX outsells every other luxury vehicle in America. Despite sales being down 6.5 percent in 2015, the RX crossover nearly outsold the entire Lincoln brand. When the numbers were tallied, Lincoln brand as a whole beat the single Lexus model by just 617 units.
Why do I bring up the Lexus RX so early in a review ostensibly about a Lincoln crossover? Two reasons. We might as well talk about the elephant in the room and I genuinely don’t understand why the RX outsells the MKX by nearly 5:1. As I discovered during a week with the latest incarnation of Lincoln’s MKX, the Lincoln is quite simply a better Lexus than the RX.