Luxury market growing, thanks to entry-level vehicles, brand experience

The luxury market is growing, but today’s luxury buyer is very different from 10 years ago, says a new study by Jumpstart Automotive Media.

Luxury automakers are introducing a variety of entry-level vehicles that compete with non-luxury choices filled with advanced technology and features. The many entry-level models, combined with more aggressive financing and CPO options, mean a luxury vehicle has never been more affordable.

Luxury sales have grown in response. Today they account for 13 percent of total sales, up 3 percent from 2014.

Today’s luxury owners are young, college educated, homeowners and are willing to pay more to get what they want. They are more likely to be self-employed, and are 69 percent more likely to use their vehicles primarily for their personal business. And 91 percent of luxury buyers interviewed said they would rather have a vehicle that is satisfying to them, rather than one impressive to others.

The study also found that total brand experience is critical in connecting to and impressing today’s luxury auto shopper. “From the car’s performance and events to the dealership and maintenance experience, consumer perception is impacted throughout the entire shopping journey,” said Michael Baer, senior vice president of Ipsos, Affluent Intelligence Group. Ipsos, a market research company, was a partner in the study.

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