Buyers are taking the high road
THE prestige vehicle market in Cairns is on a high.
Low interest rates, better specification and competitive offerings across the brands are driving the growth.
Sales of luxury cars, wagons, sports cars and SUVs so far this year total 152, lead by Mercedes-Benz (43), followed by BMW (33), Lexus (29), Audi (22), HSV (16), Range Rover (5) and Jaguar (4)
Audi Centre Cairns dealerprincipal Alan Baxter said at the end of April the overall Cairns vehicle market was down 6.6 per cent or 285 units.
“But year to date the premium segment is up by 34 per cent (39 units),” he said.
“This growth coming from B segment SUV up 142 per cent with the balance from the A segment sedan and hatch market up 79 per cent.
“The affordability of premium vehicles has never been better fuelled by low interest rates, enhanced specifications levels and very strong offerings in the market place.
“We have had some availability issues with the B segment Audi Q5, which has made supply difficult, however, we now have adequate stock arriving from this week.
“That should set us a new delivery record in May for Audi.
“We are a little buoyed with the current level of Audi inquiry and feel it is very sustainable.”
Trinity Auto Group general manager Richard Jaska said prestige sales were going well.
“People are buying across the (Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Range Rover) range at the moment,” he said.
Mr Jaska said in particular SUVs priced $60,000-$80,000 across all marques were popular as well as sedans in the same price range.
“I think that in the price range $60,000-$80,000 new car buyers are seeing the value in European engineering and refinement.
“People are comparing European with Asian and locally built vehicles more than ever.
“I hope the rest of the year follows suit.
“I think we have all been surprised by the jump in sales, however, the product, price and marketing for all of our marques is brilliant.”
Lexus of Cairns general manager Michael Briscoe said since Lexus had broadened its range the dealership had been experiencing “substantial growth”.
“Our customers are always looking for, and appreciating something new, both in features and technology,” he said.
“The recently released thoroughly modern Lexus turbocharged two-litre engine has set new standards for comfort and smoothness.
“Demand continues to rise for turbo models and it’s fitted to five vehicles in our range – from the coupe RC to the SUV RX.
“Luxury is becoming more accessible in the marketplace offering products at more accessible pricing therefore luxury continues growing.
“SUVs are taking the lead. The Lexus NX SUV launched just a year ago is in the biggest demand of all our range and is competing in one of the fastest growing luxury segments.
“It’s poised to take a market share with its cutting edge design, feature-laden interior and dynamic performance offering.”
Westco BMW sales manager David Avery said the dealership had exceeded target and had a “healthy order bank”.
“Anything with an X in front of it is selling well, particularly X1, X3 and X4,” he said.
“Nationally the premium segment is growing 22.4 per cent but in Cairns it is 34 per cent. Low interest rates and value in the products are driving the growth.
“The X3 is very competitive as BMW have included at no cost a MSport innovation package, which is $7000 of extra value.
“The X1 is very strong and interest in the M2 is high.
“We have sold one and awaiting delivery.
“A X6M is due next week as well as a X6 40d. There is still high interest in high end SUVs.
“The improved 3 series is attracting interest.
Ireland HSV sales manager Jon Maurice said high end models such as the HSV GTS and R8 models continued to be strong as well as the Holden Commodore SSV Redline and Calais V V8.
“Our order bank of the vehicles is very healthy and continues to be a lot of our main inquiry,” he said.
Mr Maurice said the V8 Aussie vehicles were competitively priced with the same power and performance as well as the high end features and level of comfort and technology of higher priced Euro brands.
“The future is very bright for HSV and Holden as there are a number of very exciting and limited edition models in the wings that will be on offer in the coming months.”