The luxury car market in America seems to be based, largely, on image. Often times people buy cars simply because of how they will look in it or how others will perceive them in it. The problem with that is, people miss out on a lot of good cars because they’re too concerned with the image.
Now, don’t mistake me, because when you buy a car, regardless of what you buy or why you buy it, you are branding yourself. A conscious decision is made to live with a specific car and make many payments on it for years to come, so the car you choose says something about you, whether you think so or not. If you buy a Corolla, it shows you value reliability and efficiency over all else. If you buy and M4, performance and handling are your forte.
In America, we simply won’t buy wagons because the image of the Plymouth Woodie Wagon comes to mind every time we hear wagon. So instead of buying wagons, we buy wagons with AWD and a minutely raised ride height because they have a different title — Crossover.
Us American enthusiasts have been begging for BMW, Audi and Mercedes to bring us their Hot Wagons that Europe has. We want an M5 Touring or an RS6 Avant. Europeans love ‘em and we want them too. But we won’t get them, simply because the potential sales figures aren’t high enough to warrant the cost of bringing them over here.
But I have an idea.
We seem to be way too caught up on the name wagon. When companies change the name to crossover or sports activity vehicle or whatever, we seem to go “Oh well it isn’t a wagon, honey, it’s a sports-activity-crossover-utility-trek, it must be better”. So maybe, if BMW were to change the name of one of these go-fast wagons, we’ll buy enough to have them here regularly. A name like Shooting Brake might do.
Firstly, Shooting Brake sounds awesome. Secondly, it harkens back to a time when rich men used to get into these wagon-like vehicles, loaded with weapons and to go for a hunt. So it has some prestige and a whiff of snobbery to it. Also, Shooting Brakes usually tend to be faster vehicles with lower, sexier rooflines, like the Ferrari FF. So maybe an M6 Gran Coupe Shooting Brake will do (BMW’s had longer, siller names than that).
Mercedes sells a Shooting Brake in Europe, the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake. People love it there, and it looks fantastic. The M6 Gran Coupe is already better looking than the CLS63, so why not give it a shot? Maybe make a special edition, in limited numbers, to test the market. Advertise it here in the ‘States, and see what happens. The sexier roofline and cool sounding name might just be enough to sway us Yankees.