$30,000 is the new luxury-car hot spot
January 21, 2013
There's a new price battleground -- $30,000 -- for luxury-car makers as they chase younger buyers with small front-wheel-drive vehicles that are sliding down into mass-market territory.
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and others are going after the 75 million 30- to 40-year-olds who are forcing "the biggest changes the automotive industry will face," said Bernie Glaser, head of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. "They have big expectations for products and brands."
Those buyers cannot and will not pay the $40,000-plus sticker prices some of their status-conscious baby boomer parents can afford, industry researchers say. Yet they demand "attractive highly styled cars and the right technology," Glaser said.
Nonluxury brands are likely to feel the heat from new models such as the Mercedes-Benz CLA, which was shown to journalists just before the Detroit auto show.
The young shoppers targeted by Mercedes, BMW and Audi want fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines -- the engines most luxury brands shunned for the United States until two years ago -- without compromised performance.
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