Lux­ury sales still boom­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - PRESTIGE - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR

WHILE Aus­tralian new-car sales may be head­ing for another record and most Top 10 brands are up, the latest fig­ures show pres­tige mar­ques are out­pac­ing the rest of the mar­ket.

Over­all sales are up by 3.6 per cent year-to-date to Septem­ber, but that’s noth­ing com­pared to the growth in the top-end of town.

Porsche is the big­gest win­ner, with the largest per­cent­age in­crease: up a stag­ger­ing 65 per cent year-to-date, driven largely by de­mand for its new baby SUV, the Ma­can.

Vol­ume lux­ury brands are also up, with Mercedes lead­ing the way (up 20 per cent yearto-date) thanks mostly to the C-Class sedan (pic­tured) and strong AMG sales.

Fel­low Ger­man brands BMW (up 14 per cent so far this year) and Audi (up 18.4 per cent) are also get­ting a boost from a mix of fresh me­tal and run-out mod­els at dis­counted prices.

Even Toy­ota’s lux­ury brand Lexus has fi­nally turned the cor­ner af­ter years in the dark, up 32.3 per cent thanks to its NX baby SUV.

Land Rover is en­joy­ing the ben­e­fit of a re­freshed model range (up 9.4 per cent) even though its mar­ket share is un­der threat from other brands em­brac­ing the SUV boom.

It seems the well heeled are en­joy­ing the spoils of low in­ter­est rates that make re­pay­ments more af­ford­able than ever be­fore.

In ef­fect, the more you spend, the more you save.

Which is pos­si­bly why su­per lux­ury brands such as As­ton Martin (up 17 per cent) and Maserati (up 36 per cent) are also pow­er­ing.

Fer­rari is set for an all-time record in Aus­tralia (up a stag­ger­ing 75 per cent) as buy­ers emerge from the GFC and feel safe to treat them­selves again.

Lam­borgh­ini’s growth (up 360 per cent) is dis­torted by a change of dis­trib­u­tors last year, which meant sales al­most came to a stop. But not ev­ery­one is a win­ner: Rolls-Royce is out of vogue (down 27 per cent), shift­ing just 24 cars so far this year ver­sus 33 for the same pe­riod in 2014.

Mean­while, the data shows sales of small cars priced be­low $40,000 are in fact down 7.4 per cent year-to-date — but de­liv­er­ies of small cars priced above that thresh­old are up 8.7 per cent, show­ing our in­creas­ing ap­petite for lux­ury ap­point­ments in the con­ve­nience of a hatch­back. Sales of the Mercedes C-Class sedan are up 110 per cent to Septem­ber (more than dou­bling, from 3500 de­liv­er­ies in the first nine months of 2014 to 7400 so far this year), drag­ging the mid-size mar­ket up with it by 30 per cent.

Sports cars priced above $200,000 are up 19.8 per cent but be­low $80,000 de­liv­er­ies are down 5.6 per cent.

SUV sales are also telling. Mid-size soft-road­ers above $60,000 are up 33.5 per cent, while fam­ily faux-wheel-drives be­low $60,000 are up 12.8 pc.

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