Buyers Avoid Premium Luxury Cars for Psychological, not Financial Reasons

Thanks to the recent Wall Street crisis, sales of vehicles in the $100,000 range are beginning to stumble – but the reason may be more psychological than financial.

Despite not feeling the pinch from the falling economy, it appears those able to afford ultra-luxury cars don’t want to be perceived as greedy or insensitive during a time when others are losing everything. Bob Austin, a consultant with Auto Futures Group, says people are worried if they’ll be viewed “as evil Wall Street tycoons or successful business people.”
Bentley sold 808 fewer vehicles in the first eight months of 2008 than 2007, while Ferrari sales dipped by almost 100 units. Aston Martin and Porsche saw their sales figures drop by about fifteen percent, while Mercedes-Benz USA’s Maybach arm slid eight percent. The only anomaly amongst these luxury automakers seems to be BMW’s Roll-Royce, which has seen a 5% increase in U.S. sales over the past year.
As people consciously avoid being tied to financial leaders, Susan Jacbos, president of Jacobs and Associates, believes that more wealthy Americans will lose “that splurge mentality.” ;
Source: Advertising Age