While the last three years have seen strong sales for the luxury automotive industry, buyers and brands alike are wondering if this will last. The last large decline was seen in 2009 when the economy took a fall. However, 2017 saw a nearly 17 million total vehicles sold. According to Automotive News, luxury sales in the US rose a total of 1.8 percent in January alone. With brands such as Tesla, Lexus and Mercedes reporting an increase in sales, other brands such as Ram and Lincoln have seen a decline in the last year. Here are some brands that are forecasted to lead luxury automotive sales this year.
While sales dropped under 1% in January 2018, Mercedes-Benz has already established a clear lead in automotive sales. The luxury brand recently won two luxury sales crowns back to back. Mercedes offers a wide variety of vehicles including sedans, coupes, hybrids and vans. You can even join their Fleet Program should you need company cars.
The company is also continuously releasing new styles, with a roster of “Future Vehicles” available on their website. These include designs such as an electric intelligence concept car and the all-new Project ONE. Although they had a small dip in January, Mercedes believes their GLC compact crossover and flagship S class aided its sales. CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA Dietmar Exler says “The GLC is performing well with customers. We were outsold a couple of times last year, so we increased supply to the dealers drastically.”
With a rocky start to 2017, Lexus is beginning this new year on a high note. As of January, the company had come in at number three with 17,914 vehicles sold and a 15% increase. The brand has a variety of styles for any driver including coupes, hybrids and supercars. Lexus has even dipped its toes into the sports world with racing vehicles and sponsored golf athletes. The Lexus Sport Yacht was also recently honored this month at the Japan International Boat Show.
Lexus is continuing its design innovation with the release of its first-ever compact luxury crossover. The UX Crossover features new technology, better performance and new finishes to help draw in sales throughout 2018 and beyond. First introduced in 2014, the RC coupe is also expected to receive an update. Lexus expects to release the RC F SPORT Black Line Special Edition at this years New York Auto Show. Only 650 units will be available with gloss exterior paint and standard matte black wheels.
From the Model 3 debut in 2017 and aggressive timelines from CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has experienced a roller coaster of sales. Just in February, Tesla Inc. saw the largest quarterly loss in its history of more than half a billion dollars. While Tesla missed the mark on many of Musk’s predictions for the year, he set his eyes on larger profits for 2018. In a previous statement, he expects to produce 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week to return to profitable numbers. The luxury automotive brand delivered 100,000 vehicles in 2017 and expects to increase the number in 2018.
Another goal for Tesla in the new year involves a self-driving car. The company plans to drive a Tesla across the country without the driver ever touching the wheel. This is expected to be a test drive for its autonomous-driving capabilities in future vehicles as well.
With analysts predicting an upward trend in luxury auto sales this year, companies such as Lexus and Tesla are ahead of the pack. Want an up-close look at some of the newest models in luxury automotive? Check out some of our favorites from the annual Geneva Motor show!