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    Notes From The Numbers - Luxury Edition


    Each month we chronicle the sales figures for each of the manufacturers in our Sales Figures Forum. Here are notes from the "Who's Who" for November 2013.

    The luxury brands posted mixed results. Some brands posted healthy overall numbers, but when you dig in to where that growth came from, we find that it comes entirely from one or two models. Others posted more modest brand growth numbers, but spread that growth over a larger number of product lines. Generally, we feel that a 10% sales increase over a majority of a brand's product line is a healthier gain than a 20% increase owed mostly to a single model.

    2014 Mercedes Benz S Class 7

    • The two biggest selling German luxury brands also had the most to lose. Mediocre results for both Mercedes and BMW this month. BMW's 1.7% sales increase supported entirely on the growth of just two models, the X1 and 3-series. The Mini brand was down double digits across the board. Mercedes Benz did a bit better with a 13.4% increase with that growth spread primarily over the CLA, E-Class, and M-Class models. Audi gained a similar 13%, but spread that increase over a sturdier base of 5 models and didn't suffer losses as great as the others where losses occurred.

    2013 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD 4

    2014 Acura MDX 4

    2013 Cadillac XTS4 Platinum 8

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    Actually this is kind of a disappointment. Cadillac deserves much more than 11.4% given how dramatically they have improved and revamped their products and how comprehensive their lineup is.

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    Chrysler LLC does not have any luxury brands (or cars!) to speak of. Not even the old New Yorker of the 80s or the 90s qualified as luxury.

    The 300 is a luxury car...

    Do you guys think I should have included Buick? Except the Verano and Encore, most of their cars sticker predominatnly over $30. Even the Regal which is under $30k MSRP for the most basic model heads north of that as soon as the destination charge is added.

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    Percentages can be deceiving, Lincoln may have been up 17% but does anyone see them as a threat? When your sales are in the gutter, going up 17% isn't too hard. It is hard to see Volvo lasting much longer, that brand seems ready to die.

    Cadillac needs more models, they need ATS and CTS coupes, they need at least 1 convertible if not 2. The product line just isn't as diverse as the German brands. Cadillac doesn't have hybrid or diesel powertrains like Lexus or the Germans do. I think those areas need addressed to see the sales gains, because some people will buy solely on MPG, or want a coupe or convertible and Cadillac doesn't have that product yet.

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    Chrysler LLC does not have any luxury brands (or cars!) to speak of. Not even the old New Yorker of the 80s or the 90s qualified as luxury.

    The 300 is a luxury car...

    Do you guys think I should have included Buick? Except the Verano and Encore, most of their cars sticker predominatnly over $30. Even the Regal which is under $30k MSRP for the most basic model heads north of that as soon as the destination charge is added.

    I think it would be good to clearly define the mid luxury segment from the high luxury segment.

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    Percentages can be deceiving, Lincoln may have been up 17% but does anyone see them as a threat? When your sales are in the gutter, going up 17% isn't too hard. It is hard to see Volvo lasting much longer, that brand seems ready to die.

    Cadillac needs more models, they need ATS and CTS coupes, they need at least 1 convertible if not 2. The product line just isn't as diverse as the German brands. Cadillac doesn't have hybrid or diesel powertrains like Lexus or the Germans do. I think those areas need addressed to see the sales gains, because some people will buy solely on MPG, or want a coupe or convertible and Cadillac doesn't have that product yet.

    When your rebuilding a brand and their image, I can understand the desire to have a halo car like a 2 door convertible, but I think that is a waste of money at this time and there are better options to sink R&D into for expanding models that will have a greater impact on the Cadillac line. The coupes and diesels / Hybrid power trains will be better for Cadillac than the convertible. That can be done down the road when profits are deeper.

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    Percentages can be deceiving, Lincoln may have been up 17% but does anyone see them as a threat? When your sales are in the gutter, going up 17% isn't too hard. It is hard to see Volvo lasting much longer, that brand seems ready to die.

    Cadillac needs more models, they need ATS and CTS coupes, they need at least 1 convertible if not 2. The product line just isn't as diverse as the German brands. Cadillac doesn't have hybrid or diesel powertrains like Lexus or the Germans do. I think those areas need addressed to see the sales gains, because some people will buy solely on MPG, or want a coupe or convertible and Cadillac doesn't have that product yet.

    Volvo is trying to nudge prices up. Slower sales will be a result of that.

    I thought I was pretty clear in my intro paragraph that I was attempting to address the deception of percentages.

    Cadillac is the one brand with the most growth potential in the near term because they have the most core products coming online soon. The 2014 CTS really won't take off for another month or two, then we'll get Escalade, ATS coupe, plus whatever else Cadillac has up their sleeves.

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    Percentages can be deceiving, Lincoln may have been up 17% but does anyone see them as a threat? When your sales are in the gutter, going up 17% isn't too hard. It is hard to see Volvo lasting much longer, that brand seems ready to die.

    Cadillac needs more models, they need ATS and CTS coupes, they need at least 1 convertible if not 2. The product line just isn't as diverse as the German brands. Cadillac doesn't have hybrid or diesel powertrains like Lexus or the Germans do. I think those areas need addressed to see the sales gains, because some people will buy solely on MPG, or want a coupe or convertible and Cadillac doesn't have that product yet.

    When your rebuilding a brand and their image, I can understand the desire to have a halo car like a 2 door convertible, but I think that is a waste of money at this time and there are better options to sink R&D into for expanding models that will have a greater impact on the Cadillac line. The coupes and diesels / Hybrid power trains will be better for Cadillac than the convertible. That can be done down the road when profits are deeper.

    It doesn't have to be a halo convertible, but the A5, 3-series Lexus IS and Infiniti G37 have convertibles, I assume the Infiniti Q50 will spawn a convertible once the G is totally gone. Then you have the TT, SLK and Z4, and none of those are halo products. An ATS coupe and convertible makes sense.

    Cadillac needs and 8-speed, since the Corvette is getting one, I assume all Cadillacs will too. They need a hybrid SRX to battle Lexus, and some diesel power in the sedans. If Audi, BMW and Mercedes have 40-45 mpg sedans and Cadillac comes back with a 29 mpg CTS, that doesn't look too competitive, and they will lose the green buyer. If they don't have the R&D budget to do it all, they are in trouble because Mercedes has a big R&D budget, BMW seems to also with their green movement push, and Toyota isn't running out of money anytime soon.

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    Cadillac has 8-speeds in the CTS. And they have that FWD 7-speed DCT GM filed a patent for

    But only on the V-sport and optional on the 3.6. And not available on the turbo 4, or ATS or Escalade. Most of the luxury segment has 7 or 8 speeds, and Mercedes will have 9 on the 2015 models. Even Chrysler, Dodge and Hyundai have 8-speeds. It seems that Cadillac should have 8-speed standard across the line, if brands below can offer it.

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