Premium Luxury Car Sales in 2006
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By Brendan Moore
Rolls-Royce, owned by BMW, sold 388 cars in the United States in 2006. Not a lot, but up from 2005 by a breathtaking six cars, since they sold 382 units in 2005. They sold 32 cars every month of 2006, except for November and December, when that number jumped to 34. I guess several people got something a little extra in their stocking at Christmas. All of BMW (including Mini, of course) together sold 313,991 cars and trucks in the U.S. in 2006.
Lamborghini rolled 876 pieces of Italian art on wheels off the blacktop in 2006, compared to 640 sold in 2005. VW-Audi, the owner of Audi, which owns Lamborghini, retailed 329,112 cars in the United States in 2006.
Maybach, owned by Mercedes, made 146 cars go across the curb in 2006. That’s a drop from 2005, when 152 Maybachs went to their new owners. As a comparative yardstick, sales of the über Mercedes S-Class sedan (no other “S” cars in this total) came in at 30,886 compared to 16,036 in 2005. Now that’s a success story. The parent, DaimlerChrysler, retailed 2,390,585 vehicles here in 2006 in the States.
Aston Martin, owned by Ford in 2006, and now on its own in the world, sold 443 cars in the U.S. in 2006, down from 492 in 2005. But, don’t feel sorry for the new owners as Aston Martin is profitable and has benefited considerably from all the upgrades to their engineering and manufacturing facilities that Ford paid for over the past few years. The new owners of Aston got a bargain, frankly.
Bentley, owned by VW, had a nice sales year, knocking out 3856 cars in the U.S. in 2006, which improved upon the 3654 they shifted in 2005. Compare that to sales of the Volkswagen Phaeton, in its last year of U.S. residence, which came to a forlorn 235 compared to 820 sold in 2005. Even the 820 units in 2005 is a pretty small number, though, considering the amount of retail points VW has in the U.S. and the fact that at least a sliver of their marketing might went towards pushing the Phaeton in 2005. The proud parent of both cars, Volkswagen of America, moved 329,112 units in 2006, up from 310,915 in 2005.
Ferrari sold 1,513 cars in the United States in 2006, compared to 1,430 in 2005. Maserati retailed 2108 cars in 2006 compared to 2018 in 2005. Fiat Auto, the parent of Ferrari and Maserati, does not sell anything else in the States, although Alfa Romeo is on schedule to show up this calendar year and will be retailed alongside Maserati in the U.S.
It will be interesting to see how sales of these marques in the U.S. shake out in 2007, which, by most forecasts, is supposed to be a flat year for American auto sales. The economic strata of the U.S. population that buys these cars is not always affected by the same market forces as the rest of the population, so a flat year overall does not necessarily translate to a flat year for the premium luxury makes.
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