BusinessWeek has an interesting article on the latest news in the auto industry and especially, the luxury cars market. As we all know by now, the auto industry is hurting, badly and the prognosis for 2009 is far from positive. Beside the Big Three out of Detroit, all the other carmakers are seeing a drop in sales, this including the luxury car makers, like BMW, Mercedes or Audi, just to name the German ones.
But BMW’s CEO of North America, James O’Donnell seems to keep a positive spirit and says:
“Luxury sales, we believe, will bounce back in the second half of the year,” says O’Donnell, who cites President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed stimulus package and the $700 billion Wall Street bailout for his optimism. “I have heard estimates for the whole industry as low as 10.3 million [vehicles sold] this year, and that just can’t be with all this stimulus.”
BMW has stated many times that the new BMW 7 Series is their flagship, their saviour in 2009, but with the recent acclaimed launch of the 2009 BMW Z4, we can add the new roadster to that list as well. Two great vehicles that have brought something new to the BMW lineup.
And BusinessWeek interestingly writes about some of the smaller players, like Volkswagen, being the ones taking advantage of the situation. As they mentioned, VW offers the German technology and engineering at a much lower price, but…could this be enough to convince the consumer to jump ship?
Here is an excerpt and then the full article:
European luxury-car companies are introducing their usual lineup of new and pricey models at this week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But analysts and some industry executives are unsure about how many buyers there are likely to be this year or even in the foreseeable future.
Sales for all luxury auto brands were down across the board for 2008. In 2009 the luxury segment of the auto industry is expected to fall below 1 million units sold for the first time since 1996, according to a forecast by Global Insight. Sales tracking firm Autodata said sales last year were 1.19 million units, down 21% from 2007 when sales were 1.41 million. Luxury sales have been as high as over 1.5 million in recent years.