Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Entry-Level Luxury Models Open Doors to Many Buyers

June 10, 2002

Ten of 12 luxury brands have outperformed the overall auto market this year, which is down 2.7 percent since January, according to USA Today. Up: Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti, Acura, Cadillac, Audi, Saab, Jaguar, Land Rover. Down: Lincoln and Volvo.Particularly strong have been sales for entry-level models. Analysts say it's because of stable income growth in middle-class households, new products and incentive deals.Many entry-level buyers are moving up from Toyotas, Hondas and domestic brands such as Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge, said Art Spinella of CNW Marketing/Research. "These people are drawn to Jaguar, Mercedes and Lexus because they areaspirational brands," he says. "They always wanted a luxury car, and now they can afford one even though it's not the most expensive model."To automakers, the boom in entry-level sales justifies efforts to make their premium brands more affordable, according to USA Today.
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