16 July 2010

Premium Cars On The Up

Many of the world's car markets are not strong. There are a few emerging markets doing well but overall it's not that flash. However, the premium sector is doing well. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in Singapore.

In 2009, BMW was 7th but so far in 2010 2nd. In June it was the top selling make. Mercedes likewise 5th in '09 but so far in '10 3rd. Audi 13th to 9th, Porsche 22nd to 16th (no accounting for taste) Jaguar 26th to 22nd and this continues on down to the exclusive marques that sell in small numbers.

The reason may be that the Singapore market's sales are well down overall, but the upmarket brands seem immune to this, for the time being at least. Something similar is happening in other markets such as Germany. In Australia consumer items like cars have been getting substantially cheaper in time taken to earn the money to buy them. For example, today it takes a worker on average earnings just 43 weeks to buy a new BMW 320i, down from 54 weeks of wages just over five years ago. So are more people able to afford to move up to a premium car rather than a mainstream model? It seems so. Markets such as China and India are where the real future growth is as an affluent middle class swells.

The bottom line: So while the world markets struggle, the premium brands are enjoying stronger sales.

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