Luxury sales still booming
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.