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US Luxury Cars market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Luxury Cars market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

This Report covers the sale of new domestic and imported luxury vehicles, consumer perceptions of luxury brands, and attitudes toward car ownership.

Sales figures throughout this Report apply to new luxury vehicles and do not include pre-owned vehicles.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Automotive sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Luxury brands will need to gain market share for growth in a stagnant market, and Millennials will be the key demographic for success. Brands will need to not only compete with each other but also compete with entry-level brands as they become increasingly sophisticated and advanced driver safety systems gain widespread adoption across all brands. Buddy Lo
Automotive Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Luxury market remains stagnant until 2020
              • Figure 1: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast of new luxury cars, 2012-22
            • Women in the market for cars less likely than men to consider a luxury brand
              • Figure 2: Luxury intent, by gender, August 2017
            • Off-lease vehicles give shoppers cheaper alternatives to a new luxury purchase
              • Figure 3: Method of acquisition, by most recently acquired vehicle, by luxury makes, 2014-17
            • The opportunities
              • Hispanic Millennials are a priority target
                • Figure 4: Purchase intent, by Millennials and Hispanic origin, August 2017
              • Luxury brands still something shoppers aspire to
                • Figure 5: Luxury intent, August 2017
              • Comfort, tech, and style will win luxury car shoppers
                • Figure 6: Luxury reasons, August 2017
              • Married urbanites show high luxury intent
                • Figure 7: Luxury consideration – CHAID – Tree output, August 2017
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Luxury car market remains stagnant through 2019
                  • Luxury SUVs and crossovers continue to see growth
                    • Off-lease CPO vehicles continue to pressure new vehicle sales
                      • High consumer confidence and employment bodes well for luxury
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Forecast predicts stagnant market through 2020
                          • Figure 8: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast of new luxury cars, 2012-22
                          • Figure 9: Total US unit sales and forecast of new luxury cars, 2012-22
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Luxury segment benefitting from SUV and crossover craze
                          • Figure 10: Total US unit sales of new luxury vehicles, by segment, 2012-16
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Certified pre-owned and off-lease luxury vehicles pressure new sales
                          • Figure 11: Method of acquisition, by most recently acquired vehicle, by luxury makes, 2014-17
                      • Market Factors

                        • High consumer confidence and low unemployment empower car shoppers
                          • Figure 12: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-July 2017
                        • Low gas prices fuel SUV and crossover purchases
                          • Figure 13: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-August 2017
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Mercedes-Benz has largest market share in the luxury segment
                          • Lexus’s car lineup struggles through 2017
                            • Luxury brands announce conversion to electric and hybrid drive trains
                              • Tesla’s highly anticipated Model 3 begins mass production
                              • Luxury Car Sales by Brand

                                • Americans say “Ja!” to German luxury
                                  • Figure 14: Market share, by luxury brands, January-August 2017
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Mercedes-Benz leads the luxury market
                                  • Figure 15: Mercedes-Benz C-Class online display ad, September 2017
                                  • Figure 16: Mercedes-Benz #MBLGBT C-Class Cabriolet online display Ad, June 2017
                                • Jaguar F-Pace is a big success story for the British automaker
                                  • Figure 17: Jaguar “Impeccable Timing” sales event print advertisement, March 2017
                              • What’s Struggling?

                                • Luxury brands struggle to sell cars
                                  • Lexus’ car sales drop by over a fifth of 2016 figures
                                    • Figure 18: Lexus “Golden Opportunity” sales event, online display ad, August 2017
                                  • BMW’s truck growth unable to overcome car declines
                                  • What’s Next?

                                    • Luxury brands announce electrification plans for model lineup
                                      • Tesla depends on a successful Model 3 rollout
                                        • Cadillac pilots Book by Cadillac subscription service
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Downward trending purchase intent may be reversing
                                            • English speaking Hispanic Millennials show high luxury intent
                                              • Comfort, tech, and style drive luxury purchase reasons
                                                • German luxury brands viewed most positively by consumers
                                                • Purchase Intent

                                                  • Downward trending purchase intent goes into reverse
                                                    • Figure 19: Purchase intent, July 2016-August 2017
                                                  • Millennials are the dominant car buying group
                                                    • Figure 20: Purchase intent, by generation, August 2017
                                                  • English-speaking Hispanic Millennials show high purchase intent
                                                    • Figure 21: Purchase intent, by Millennials and Hispanic origin, August 2017
                                                  • Major life events correlate with high purchase intent
                                                    • Figure 22: Purchase intent, by major life events, August 2017
                                                • Luxury Intent

                                                  • Nearly two in five aspire for a luxury brand
                                                    • Figure 23: Luxury intent, August 2017
                                                  • Millennials a key target for luxury
                                                    • Figure 24: Luxury intent, by generation, August 2017
                                                    • Figure 25: Luxury intent, by generation and Hispanic origin, August 2017
                                                  • Men show higher desire for luxury badge than women
                                                    • Figure 26: Luxury intent, by gender, August 2017
                                                  • Married city dwellers likely to buy a luxury brand
                                                    • Figure 27: Luxury consideration – CHAID – Tree output, August 2017
                                                    • Figure 28: Infiniti QX30 – Carpool, March 2017
                                                    • Figure 29: 2017 Audi A4: Driver Assistance Systems, March 2016
                                                • Luxury Reasons

                                                  • Comfort, tech and style drive reasons for buying luxury
                                                    • Figure 30: Luxury reasons, August 2017
                                                  • Millennials value what’s under the hood as much as the badge on top
                                                    • Figure 31: Luxury reasons, by Millennials, August 2017
                                                • Luxury Brand Perceptions

                                                  • German luxury brands top consumer perceptions
                                                      • Figure 32: Luxury brand perceptions, August 2017
                                                    • Blacks view Cadillac favorably in critical factors
                                                      • Figure 33: Luxury brand perceptions, by luxury car shoppers, August 2017
                                                    • Tesla electrifies hybrid and EV shoppers
                                                      • Figure 34: Luxury brand perceptions – Tesla, by hybrid/EV shoppers, August 2017
                                                  • Attitudes toward Car Ownership

                                                    • Personal car ownership isn’t ending anytime soon
                                                      • Figure 35: Attitudes toward car ownership, August 2017
                                                    • Luxury car shoppers even more attached to their vehicles
                                                      • Figure 36: Attitudes toward car ownership, by luxury intent, August 2017
                                                    • Leasing an attractive option for Hispanic Millennials
                                                      • Figure 37: Attitudes toward car owners, by Hispanic origin and generation, August 2017
                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                    • Data sources
                                                      • Sales data
                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Direct marketing creative
                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                  • Terms
                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                      • Figure 38: Units sold and market share, by brand, January-August 2017
                                                                      • Figure 39: Units sold and market share, by brand, 2016