Even luxury car buyers are migrating to more cost-effective models or brands, according to recent market studies. But while they have made the switch, they still want to have the options they've come to expect in a luxury car. In 2009, about 14% of wealthier car buyers have opted to buy a Buick or the Hyundai Genesis instead of a luxury brand.
Meanwhile, some shoppers chose a smaller offering of the same brand they have driven for years. For instance, many have moved from a Mercedes E-class down to a C-class. The number of people who have switched out of a traditional luxury brand is up from 4% of buyers in 2006.
Obviously, the primary cause of the migration is the economic crisis over the last year. Home and portfolio values are down, leading to a low public perception of health. These high-end shoppers require features such as heated leather seats, navigation, and Bluetooth.
But then, many of these comforts that were previously found only in ultra-luxury cars have slowly invaded the mainstream vehicles. Buick is ecstatic that its newly designed LaCrosse sedan is a hit among switching consumers.
The LaCrosse has an entry price that starts at $27,835 including $750 for destination. Moreover, Buick will offer a lower-cost model in its sporty Regal, which is expected to be priced around $26,000.
On the other hand, Hyundai has had much success with its range-topping Genesis sedan, which can cost up to $15,000 less than a similarly equipped luxury car. In fact, the sales of the Hyundai Genesis grew 52% over November of last year.