Luxury Cars Sales Hit by Looming Recession

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
luxury cars sales hit by looming recession

The downturn in the economy isn't just affecting the mainstream automakers. The Wall Street Journal reports luxury car manufacturers are also suffering. (Yes, suffering.) In March, luxury car sales sank 14 percent from last year. "Super luxury" cars such Bentley, Rolls and Maybach were hit the hardest– the uber expensive segment fell 39 percent. Of those models, Bentley was the biggest loser, with a 42 percent loss. Entry level luxury models (BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-Class) were down by 13 percent. Middle (though not middling) luxury cars (BMW 5-Series, Jaguar S-type, Infiniti M35) were down 20 percent. And upper luxury vehicles (Mercedes E-Class, BMW 6- and 7-Series) dropped 24 percent. It's probably not a very good sign for the rest of us when even the wealthy start economizing on their whips.

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  • Threeer Threeer on Apr 11, 2008

    I try to feel sorry for folks sitting in the upper stratosphere of the economic scale, but I just can't force myself to do it. I don't consider myself poor, but $100k a year with a 16 year old child staring college in the face doesn't make me feel rich, either. I live well within my means, owning a five year old Jeep Liberty and an 11 year old Toyota Tercel pushing 174k (man, I love that thing!). Junior will be needing his own ride by the end of this summer, and while I'd dearly love a newer car for me, I'll most likely wind up buying another $2000 beater and giving my son his car back. We may not be in a true recession, but the thought of making another car payment (or any kind of debt payment beyond the house I live in) is something I can't stomach. Call me anti-American (as it seems the "American" thing to do is to load up on debt to the point of sheer stupidity), but my days of credit cards and car loans is over. So while we may not be in a recession, the realities of the economy are forcing (me, at least) to make changes to my personal financial plan. And maybe that's a good thing for the country in general...

  • Peteinsonj Peteinsonj on Apr 11, 2008

    Here in NYC the blood bath has hit the financial markets, and losing, what about another 12,000 Bear Stearns jobs soon, isn't going to help. There is a glut of job candidates in this industry. In the 'burbs this has killed real estate in places like Short Hills, not just the 'average" condo market. Its these folks, with the huge bonuses, that would spend, spend, spend on real estate, cars, travel, entertainment. All those areas are going to suffer - and everyone downhill of that economy will suffer too. Perhaps there will be some ridiculous deals on Bentley's in the near future. (and Tata couldn't have bought Jag/Landrover at a worse time!) Pete

  • Skor Skor on Apr 11, 2008

    Luxury car sales will take a hit from the lose of poser and sort-of-affluent customers, but if the economy really tanks, the truly wealthy will also avoid luxury brands. During the depression, wealthy people avoided drawing attention to themselves by not driving "in-your-face" bling-mobiles. When your average unwashed is standing in line for his government cheese, someone driving a new 7 Series is a mighty tempting target.

  • Menno Menno on Apr 11, 2008

    I have to think that the link pertaining to how the Dummycraps are talking down the economy is somewhat simplistic. On one hand, yes they are doing that - and their lapdogs in the main stream media (which all swing left) are following along. Yet discernment of what goes on around me in our nation tells me we are in a heap of trouble. As in, the dung has already slid off the huge shovel and is coming down on our heads real soon. The reason there is a slight disconnect between the official figures not showing things as bad as they are, is because Repugnicans are better at fiddling official figures. They have actual biz experience, while a lot of Dummycraps just sit in ivory towers and teach college kids how to be socialists. What's that old saying "those that can't, teach".