Unrestricted Global Thermonuclear War Of Luxury Erupts

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
unrestricted global thermonuclear war of luxury erupts

Few topics attain as much attention as something only a few can afford: Luxury cars, with special emphasis on who sells the most.

While some snootily state that a lot of these cars can’t possibly be listed as luxury comment, Connolly leathernecks battle in the burlwoods. The war for luxury-leadership is fought on a global scale, where Dr. Z. exhorts his troops to fight back the onslaught of the Bavarian Barbarians. Month after month, skirmishes for market share erupt on U.S. shores as well.

Edmunds sends the latest dispatches from the frontlines of conspicuous consumption:

“The battle of giants for the lead in the U.S. luxury market got even more interesting in July, as No. 1 BMW crept a little further into the lead over No. 2 Mercedes-Benz during the month; Lexus remained hamstrung by supplies; and other players were jockeying for the No. 3 spot. BMW brand sold about 135,000 vehicles year to date through July, and last month upped its edge over the Mercedes brand, which sold about 130,000 during the first seven months. Lexus brand sales were off by 19 percent in July and are off by 19 percent for the seven months, even though availability has begun to return to form. Audi and even Lincoln staged their own surges during the month as the entire segment began easing into the traditional summer sell-down.”

Carmakers appear to be unfazed by a near-bankrupt government, record unemployment, and homes that refuse to work as ATMs. “Despite the recent economic news, our BMW Group sales in July continued their good momentum,” said Jim O’Donnell, president and CEO of BMW. Audi splurged and announced that it will be “the official automotive partner” this year’s Emmy Awards in September.

However, Hollywood declined to a side-show. World War L will be decided in garage-to-garage battles in Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin. As you can see, in China’s countryside, they already advanced a step above the hoi-polloi …

Join the conversation
  • Windswords Windswords on Aug 09, 2011

    Bertel, What is your definition of a luxury brand? If you include Buick and Acura (and Lincoln for that matter) then you should include sales of Chrysler and some Jeeps. Are a Regal and TSX luxury cars but a 300c and a Jeep GC Limited are not?

    • See 2 previous
    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Aug 09, 2011

      It's not my definition. The chart is by Edmunds. Where I worked, we would call Audi, BMW, Daimler etc. "Premium" brands. "Luxury" is reserved for Bentleys, Rollers et al.

  • Eldard Eldard on Aug 10, 2011

    If Buick and Lincoln are luxury cars, then I am a Prada heir.

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