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Luxury Cars - US - January 2012

This report explores the luxury automotive market in the U.S. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting sales, consumption, and trends, and what these may mean for future sales, promotional campaigns, and industry innovations.

This report provides an in-depth examination of the luxury vehicle market for automotive companies, industry retailers, dealerships, and marketers interested in pursuing opportunities to innovate trends within segments and to evaluate the competition. Sales cover traditional luxury automakers and non-traditional automakers.

Specific questions that are answered in this report include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What are the key segments and sub-segments of the luxury vehicle market?
  • How is the definition of “luxury” shifting for the U.S. car market?
  • How has the economy impacted the luxury vehicle market and why?
  • What are the implications of premium hybrid vehicles on the luxury vehicle market?
  • What are the best ways to target different levels of affluent consumers in the luxury vehicle market?
  • How do consumers define a luxury vehicle, by price or brand?
  • Would American consumers consider buying a Korean or Chinese luxury vehicle?
  • What are consumer perceptions regarding luxury vehicle brands?
  • What are the most popular research tools consumers use when looking for a luxury vehicle?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Market data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Return to growth in luxury vehicle market
                            • Figure 1: U.S. unit sales of luxury vehicles, 1995-2016
                            • Figure 2: Fan chart forecast of total U.S. luxury vehicle unit sales, 2006-16
                          • Market factors
                            • A return to prosperity will help luxury vehicle sales
                              • Figure 3: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and U.S. corporate profits, 1990-2011
                            • Top-tier no-cost maintenance packages from luxury brands
                              • New product launches lead to spikes in the market
                                • The “green” status symbol may compete with the luxury status symbol
                                  • Segmentation
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Four-door sedans most popular
                                        • Figure 4: Twitter followers and Facebook fans, January 2012
                                        • Figure 5: Resources used when researching luxury vehicles, October 2011
                                      • Respondents desire comfort/a smooth ride
                                        • Figure 6: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicle ownership, by gender, October 2011
                                      • Affluent households believe luxury is decided by brand, not price
                                        • Figure 7: Attitudes toward luxury vehicle ownership, by household income, October 2011
                                      • Generational differences about what makes a vehicle “luxury”
                                        • Figure 8: Attitudes toward luxury vehicles, by generation, October 2011
                                      • What we think
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • Unique buyer experiences
                                          • Luxury vehicle cross-promotion
                                          • Inspire Insights

                                              • Trend: Creative Class
                                                • Trend: Sense of the Intense
                                                • Market Size

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Return to growth in luxury vehicle market
                                                      • Stronger growth expected
                                                        • Introduction of a new subsegment
                                                          • Market size and forecast
                                                            • Figure 9: U.S. sales of luxury vehicles, 2006-16
                                                            • Figure 10: U.S. sales of luxury vehicles vs. all vehicle sales, 1995-2011
                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                              • Figure 11: Fan chart forecast of total U.S. luxury vehicle sales, 2006-16
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • A return to prosperity will help luxury vehicle sales
                                                                  • Figure 12: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, 1990-2011
                                                                  • Figure 13: Unemployment rate, population aged 16+, 1990-2011
                                                                • Corporate profits impact luxury vehicle sales
                                                                  • Figure 14: U.S. corporate profits, 1990-2011
                                                                • New product launches
                                                                  • Figure 15: Sales from launch patterns for premium midsized models; Lexus GS, Audi A6, and Cadillac DTS, 2003-11
                                                                  • Figure 16: Sales from launch patterns for premium compact models; Lexus IS, Cadillac CTS, and BMW 3-Series, 2003-11
                                                                • Japanese earthquake and tsunami
                                                                    • Figure 17: U.S. New unit sales of Japanese automotive companies and brands, 2010-11
                                                                  • Maintenance packages for luxury vehicles
                                                                    • Figure 18: Included maintenance coverage offered by luxury brands, by vehicle manufacturer and vehicle, 2011
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • The “green” status symbol may compete with the luxury status symbol
                                                                      • Figure 19: Total U.S. sales and forecast of hybrid vehicles, 2006-14
                                                                      • Figure 20: Projected U.S. supply of electric vehicles, by make, 2011-15
                                                                  • Segmentation

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Premium cars and SUVs are majority of the market
                                                                        • Summary sales by segment
                                                                          • Figure 21: U.S. sales of luxury vehicles, by segment, 1995-2016
                                                                          • Figure 22: Index of U.S. sales of exotic and premium vehicles, by segment, 1995-2016
                                                                          • Figure 23: U.S. market share of luxury vehicles, by segment, 1995-2016
                                                                          • Figure 24: Total U.S. sales of luxury cars, by segment, 2009-11
                                                                        • Premium cars
                                                                          • Figure 25: Total U.S. unit sales and forecast of premium cars, 2006-16
                                                                        • Premium SUVs
                                                                          • Figure 26: Total U.S. unit sales and forecast of premium SUVs, 2006-16
                                                                        • Premium sports cars
                                                                          • Figure 27: Total U.S. unit sales and forecast of premium sports cars, 2006-16
                                                                        • Exotic cars
                                                                          • Figure 28: Total U.S. unit sales and forecast of exotic cars, 2006-16
                                                                        • Premium pickups
                                                                          • Figure 29: Total U.S. unit sales and forecast of premium pickups, 2006-16
                                                                      • Manufacturer and Brand Sales

                                                                        • Premium cars
                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Overview
                                                                              • Figure 30: New unit sales of premium cars, by parent company, 2005-11
                                                                            • Premium full-size cars
                                                                              • Figure 31: Image of Hyundai Equus, 2012
                                                                              • Figure 32: Image of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 2012
                                                                              • Figure 33: Image of Audi A8, 2011
                                                                              • Figure 34: New unit sales of premium full-size cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                            • Premium midsize cars
                                                                              • Figure 35: New unit sales of premium midsize cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                            • Premium compact cars
                                                                              • Figure 36: Image of Lexus IS, 2011
                                                                              • Figure 37: New unit sales of premium compact cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                            • Premium subcompact cars
                                                                              • Figure 38: Image of Lexus CT, 2011
                                                                              • Figure 39: New unit sales of premium subcompact cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                            • Premium SUVs
                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                    • Figure 40: New unit sales of premium SUVs, by parent company, 2005-11
                                                                                  • Premium full-size SUVs
                                                                                      • Figure 41: Image of Infiniti QX, 2012
                                                                                      • Figure 42: New unit sales of premium full-size SUVs, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                    • Premium midsize SUVs
                                                                                      • Figure 43: New unit sales of premium midsize SUVs, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                    • Premium compact SUVs
                                                                                      • Figure 44: Image of BMW X3, 2012
                                                                                      • Figure 45: New unit sales of premium compact SUVs, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                    • Premium subcompact SUVs
                                                                                      • Figure 46: Image of Concept BMW X1, 2012
                                                                                    • Premium sports cars
                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                            • Figure 47: New unit sales of premium sports cars, by parent company, 2005-11
                                                                                          • Premium midsize sports cars
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Image of Porsche 911, 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 49: New unit sales of premium midsize sports cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                          • Premium compact sports cars
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Image of Porsche Cayman, 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 51: New unit sales of premium compact sports cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                          • Premium subcompact sports cars
                                                                                            • Figure 52: New unit sales of premium subcompact sports cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                          • Exotic cars
                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Fiat the exotic leader
                                                                                                • Figure 53: U.S. sales of exotic cars, by parent company, 2005-11
                                                                                              • Exotic compact sports cars
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Image of Ferrari California, 2011
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Image of Maserati GranTurismo, 2011
                                                                                                • Figure 56: U.S. sales of exotic compact sports cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                              • Exotic full-size cars
                                                                                                • Figure 57: Image of Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2011
                                                                                                • Figure 58: Image of Maybach 57, 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 59: U.S. sales of exotic full-size cars, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                              • Premium pickups
                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Overview
                                                                                                      • Figure 60: New unit sales of premium pickups, by parent company, 2005-11
                                                                                                    • Full-size pickups
                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Image of Cadillac EXT, 2012
                                                                                                      • Figure 62: New unit sales of premium full-size pickups, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                                    • Premium midsize pickups
                                                                                                      • Figure 63: New unit sales of premium midsize pickups, by brand, 2005-11
                                                                                                  • Leading Company Profiles

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Luxury automotive sales up for a majority of brands
                                                                                                        • Figure 64: U.S. new vehicle sales and market share by sales parent, and brand, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                      • Luxury-Domestics
                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Ford Motor Company
                                                                                                            • GM
                                                                                                              • Luxury imports
                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • For luxury imports, success is measured by more than sales
                                                                                                                    • BMW
                                                                                                                      • Daimler
                                                                                                                        • Geely
                                                                                                                          • Honda
                                                                                                                            • Hyundai-Kia
                                                                                                                              • Fiat
                                                                                                                                • Porsche
                                                                                                                                  • Renault-Nissan
                                                                                                                                    • Tata
                                                                                                                                      • Toyota
                                                                                                                                        • Volkswagen
                                                                                                                                        • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Luxury product innovation (or reinnovation)
                                                                                                                                              • Adaptive headlights
                                                                                                                                                • Rain-sensing features
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Advertisement of Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
                                                                                                                                                  • Start-stop technology
                                                                                                                                                    • Luxury fractional ownership
                                                                                                                                                      • Gesture control for vehicles’ in-dash systems
                                                                                                                                                      • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Online initiatives and social media presence
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Automotive companies’ Facebook and Twitter followers, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Audi
                                                                                                                                                            • Print advertising
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Audi A7 Jealousy paint print ad, May, 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • TV advertising
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Audi, television commercial, breaking out of the old money prison, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • BMW
                                                                                                                                                              • Print advertising
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: BMW diesel engine print advertisement, October, 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • TV advertising
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: BMW television commercial, we make the ultimate driving machine, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Cadillac
                                                                                                                                                                • Print advertising
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Cadillac power of elegance print ad, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • TV advertising
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Cadillac television commercial, we make Cadillac CTS Coupe, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Cadillac television commercial, we make Cadillac CTS-V, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                                • Mercedes-Benz
                                                                                                                                                                  • Print advertising
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Print Ad, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Luxury Vehicle Ownership

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Acura, BMW, and Lexus most popular
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Luxury vehicle ownership, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • $100K income households most likely to own luxury
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Luxury vehicle ownership, by household income, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Style/Type of Luxury Vehicle Owned

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Four-door sedans most popular
                                                                                                                                                                          • Older luxury vehicle owners most likely to own sedans
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Style/type of luxury vehicle owned, by age, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Less-affluent respondents more likely to buy two-door coupes
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Style/type of luxury vehicle owned, by household income, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Households with children prefer SUVs
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Style/type of luxury vehicle owned, by presence of children in household, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Resources Used when Researching Luxury Vehicles

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Online research and reading reviews most common
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Resources used when researching luxury vehicles, by gender, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Those aged 45-54 most likely to search online
                                                                                                                                                                                • Older respondents least likely to research
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Resources used when researching luxury vehicles, by age, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent households most likely to use a variety of research
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Resources used when researching luxury vehicles, by household income, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Must-have Features on Luxury Vehicles

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Performance, enhanced safety top must-have features
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Must-have features on luxury vehicles, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Performance a must-have feature for 45-54s
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: Must-have features on luxury vehicles, by age, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes Toward Luxury Vehicle Ownership

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Respondents desire comfort/a smooth ride
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicle ownership, by gender, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger respondents buy for power and speed
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicle ownership, by age, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • More-affluent respondents feel American cars not as luxurious
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicle ownership, by household income, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes Toward Luxury Vehicles

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brand matters more than price
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Korean and Chinese companies have a lot to overcome
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicles, by gender, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Affluent households believe luxury is decided by brand, not price
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicles, by household income, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Generational differences about what makes a vehicle luxury
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicles, by generation, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Luxury Vehicle Brand Perceptions

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jaguar and Porsche top nonexotic brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Brand perception map, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Asian respondents most likely to own Acura, BMW, and Lexus brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Luxury vehicle ownership by race, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Black respondents consider performance and enhanced safety most important
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Features on luxury vehicles consumers must have, by race, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • “Other races” decide luxury by brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Consumer attitudes toward luxury vehicles, by race and Hispanic origin, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                • AB Volvo
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Alfa Romeo
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Alliance Of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • American Express Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Aston Martin Lagonda Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                • AUDI AG
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bentley (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • BMW of North America, LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Daimler AG
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ferrari S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fiat Auto
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Gallup Organization, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Harley Davidson, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hyundai Motor America
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jaguar Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Kia Motors America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Land Rover North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Maserati S. p. A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mazda North American Operations
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • National Independent Automobile Dealership Association (NIADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nissan North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Proton Cars (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Saab Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Subaru of America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Suzuki Motor Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                                                                                                • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Volkswagen of America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Luxury Cars - US - January 2012

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