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Super-Expensive Cars Are Pushed by Manufacturers/Luxury Car Market Is Highly Competitive, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Sales of luxury cars were on the rise again in the U.S. in 2014. The BMW Group (which includes BMW and MINI) sold 395,850 vehicles in America during 2014, up from 375,782 in 2013. Mercedes-Benz broke records in 2014, selling 330,391 units, up from 312,534 in 2013 and 274,134 in 2012. Lexus sold 311,389 units (up 13.7% from 2013) and Audi sold 182,011 (up 15.2%). Meanwhile, Porsche saw sales of 47,007 vehicles in 2014, up 11.1% from 2013.
The market in ultimate cars is still largely dominated by Italian makers including Lamborghini and Bugatti (a subsidiary of Volkswagen). The 2015 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster starts at $4.5 million with a 750-horsepower, 6.5-liter 12-cylinder engine that goes from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse goes for a cool $2.5 million and packs a 1,200-hp engine that accelerates from zero to 62.5 mph in 2.6 seconds. This vehicle also holds the distinction of being the world’s fastest production roadster at 255.5 mph (in late 2015, the model was completely sold out). The Ferrari LaFerrari starts at $1.4 million with a 788-horsepower, 6.3 liter 12-cylinder engine.
German auto groups are also claiming a piece of the ultra-high-end market. BMW owns the Rolls-Royce brand (with the 2015 Phantom Drophead Coupe Nighthawk base priced at $440,825). For 2014, Rolls Royce announced record worldwide sales of 4,063 cars in 2014, up from 3,630 in 2013 and 3,575 in 2012.
Volkswagen owns the Bentley brand in addition to Bugatti. Bentley’s Continental GT is the big success story in upper-end sedans, selling at much higher volume than its competitors. 
For those with shallower pockets but a strong desire for luxury, GM has invested heavily in its Cadillac line. Due to the popularity of high-end cars and SUVs from Lexus, BMW and Infiniti, GM has reinvented its Cadillacs. The brand is now offering the CTS sedan (the 2016 model CTS sedan starts at about $45,560) and the SRX SUV (the 2016 model starts at about $37,605).
Porsche launched a small SUV called the Macan. The 2016 model sells for between $52,600 and $73,900 (with a turbo-charged engine), and is the company’s attempt to go head-to-head with the Mercedes GLK and the Lexus 350.
Korean manufacturer Hyundai offers an expensive sedan that it hopes will compete with Lexus and Mercedes. Hyundai’s Genesis model is priced from a base of $35,495 for a coupe to $38,950 for a sedan. The fact that Korean manufacturers are now noted for very high quality vehicles may give a boost to this car.

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