Ultra-luxury cars sales up, average $161,276
The tough economy isn’t tough for everyone, according to the latest luxury car and truck sales figures for Miami-Dade County.
A total of 5,477 luxury cars and high-end sport utility vehicles were sold countywide in the second quarter from April through June, according to Dominion Enterprises, a Virginia-based firm that tracks auto dealership sales nationwide.
The total was down slightly from 5,512 luxury vehicle sales in the second quarter last year. That was due to a drop in luxury car sales, but sales were up in the specialty car category — composed of ultra-luxury models — as well as for high-end SUVs, Dominion’s Cross-Sell reports show.
Some 2,044 luxury cars sold in Miami-Dade in the second quarter at an average price of $62,579, down from 2,210 in the second quarter of 2012.
However, the highest end of the local auto market grew. Sales of specialty models — led by the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-Benz 550 S Series — rose to 511 at an average price of $161,276, compared with 486 sales a year earlier.
In addition, sales of high-end SUVs — dominated by compact models rather than the large models popular in the 1990s — also grew, with 2,922 sales at an average price of $72,465, compared with 2,816 sales a year earlier.
The numbers suggest that the top of Miami’s auto market continues to do well, as more consumers seem to be opting more often for high-end SUVs over luxury cars. In fact, among the 20 top-selling luxury vehicles in Miami-Dade, 14 were SUVs, including 11 compact SUV models.
Worldwide, SUV sales have grown by more than 50% since 2005. In the US, SUV sales have almost doubled since 2006 and now represent about 14% of the domestic auto market, according to Forbes magazine, citing consulting firm Strategic Vision.
In recent years, the increasing appeal of SUVs has luxury automakers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz producing new brands of high-end SUVs. And even ultra-luxury makes such as Bentley, Ferrari and Maserati are getting into the act.
“We did our homework,” Bentley top executive Wolfgang Durheimer, who spearheaded the SUV plan at Porsche and joined Bentley to do the same, told Forbes.
“The longer we are investigating the SUV idea, the more confident we get that this is a very good solution for Bentley,” Mr. Durheimer said.
Whether it is SUVs, luxury sedans or sports cars, the local luxury market is dominated by imports. Among cars, the top-selling makes, in order of sales, were BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi and Infiniti. Among trucks, the top-selling makes were Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW, Land Rover and Audi.
Affluent consumers are carrying the auto market. A federal survey found that households making $100,000 a year or more account for 43% of the dollars spent on cars and 54% spent on trucks, including SUVs.
“Remember a couple of things: on average [affluent consumers] have 2.6 cars, so they may have a luxury car, but not every car [they have] is luxury,” Steve Kraus, chief insights officer at Ipsos MediaCT’s audience measurement group, recently told Media Post Publications.
According to Dominion’s Cross-Sell reports, the top-selling selling specialty or ultra-luxury cars in Miami-Dade in the second quarter were the Porsche 911 (84 sold at an average of $103,919); the Chevrolet Corvette (50 sold at an average of $113,401); the Ferrari Ferrari (43 sold at an average of $242,964); the Maserati Granturismo (36 sold at an average of $127,081); and the Rolls Royce Rolls Royce (19 sold at an average of $247,540).
This year, auto sales in the US have been at their highest levels since pre-recession 2007, and ultra-luxury brands such as Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce are seeing the greatest demand, according to CNBC.
“We had an [increase] of 30% in the year 2012,” Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann told the network. “We had a good distribution over the region, so we had more than 70% sold outside Europe.”
And the wealthy are looking for unique models and greater horsepower.
“It is a record year in terms of V-12 [12 cylinder] sales for Lamborghini,” Mr. Winkelmann said. “We have never done so many V-12s in the entire life of Lamborghini, so it was a very good year.”