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Old 10-03-2008, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default The rich don't want to apper too susessful?

Published: October 02, 2008
DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- The rich may be different, but maybe not all that different in the current economic climate.
Bentley Motors' U.S. sales slipped by '25-odd percent' this year, due to a combination of market conditions and new-product cadence, according to a spokesman.
Bentley Motors' U.S. sales slipped by '25-odd percent' this year, due to a combination of market conditions and new-product cadence, according to a spokesman.


Sales of new vehicles in the $100,000 range are skidding, for reasons "more psychological than practical," said Susan Jacobs, president of auto consultant Jacobs & Associates. She said wealthy Americans are losing "that splurge mentality" in today's souring economic climate and predicted the top of the market will remain weak for some time.

Not a time to be conspicuous
And then, of course, there's been backlash in mainstream America over Wall Street "fat cats" who have contributed to the financial meltdown that's prompting a $700 billion bailout by the U.S. government.

Bentley Motors' U.S. sales slipped by "25-odd percent" this year, due to a combination of market conditions and new-product cadence, a spokesman for the automaker said. Bentley's research and dealer comments revealed people are now questioning whether it's socially acceptable to buy big-ticket items such as a high-end car or yacht, he added.

Consumers with a net worth of between $3 million and $5 million "are second-guessing their high-end purchases because of the economy," he said. So the Volkswagen AG-owned brand, which does a limited amount of national U.S. newspaper advertising via Fuse Communications, Birmingham, Mich., has been tweaking its event marketing to focus on more affluent prospects -- Americans with a net worth of some $25 million or more.

Bentley sold 2,001 new cars in the U.S. in the first eight months of 2008, or 808 fewer units than in the same 2007 period, according to Automotive News. Aston Martin and Porsche each saw their U.S. sales drop by more than 15% through August vs. a year ago, while Mercedes-Benz USA's Maybach arm slid by almost 8% in the same period, Automotive News figures show. Sales of Ferrari-branded cars dipped to 1,080 from 1,173 in the eight months.

The anomaly was Rolls-Royce: BMW's Rolls-Royce brand sold 296 cars through August, up 5% from the 281 it sold domestically a year ago.

Perception is a problem
Bob Austin, founder of consultant Auto Futures Group and an industry veteran, warned that even though the target market's own income may not be threatened, potential buyers of ultra-luxury automobiles are concerned about how they might be perceived: "Will they be seen as evil Wall Street tycoons or successful business people?" The former communications general manager for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in North America advised marketers to profile their owners as good guys who are creating jobs and making other noteworthy social contributions.
BMW's Rolls-Royce was the anomaly, enjoying higher U.S. sales through August, up 5% from last year.
BMW's Rolls-Royce was the anomaly, enjoying higher U.S. sales through August, up 5% from last year.


Maserati North America President-CEO Marti Eulberg said she hasn't started to feel or see any evidence of potential negative images of her buyers from Main Street America. The Fiat Group-owned brand has seen its U.S. sales climb to 1,748 cars in the first eight months of the year vs. 1,736 in the same year-ago period, according to Automotive News. But sales of Maserati's flagship sedan, the Quattroporte, are off by more than 40%, Ms. Jacobs said.

Ms. Eulberg said sales have shifted from the aging sedan, which got a significant facelift for the 2009 model, to the GranTurismo sports car (which starts at $113,750 and went on sale 11 months ago).

Maserati in 2002 returned to the U.S. market, which was the automaker's biggest last year, accounting for 2,650 of the 7,353 cars delivered globally in 2007. Another possible reason for Maserati's growth is the carmaker started to do more vehicle leasing last year after launching its captive finance arm, Maserati Finance Co.

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Maserati does all its advertising in-house, including direct mail and 650,000 monthly e-mails to owners, prospects and hand raisers. The average buyer has an annual household income of $500,000.

"It used to be believed that the super-affluent buy what they want, when they want," Ms. Jacobs said. But the major declines in real estate values, the stock market and other economic indicators "does have an impact at the upper end."





Linky to story http://adage.com/article?article_id=131436
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:12 AM   #2
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Default Many dealerships may close...

Analysts had already predicted that the credit crisis would take a bite out of auto loans -- and, therefore, out of auto sales. On Wednesday, we learned just how bad things are.

Americans bought 964,873 vehicles last month, the first time in 15 years that monthly U.S. sales fell below 1 million.

Ford Motor (F, news, msgs) reported a whopping 33.8% decline from last September, far worse than the expected 22% decline.

General Motors (GM, news, msgs) reported a 15.6% decline in September sales, better than analysts' expectations for a 26% drop. And Chrysler, which is majority-owned by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, reported a 33% drop.

"An already weak economy compounded by very tight credit conditions has created an atmosphere of caution," Jim Farley, Ford's worldwide-marketing chief, said in a statement Wednesday. "Even if you have good credit, there's a reluctance to pull the trigger on a big-ticket item" like a car.

* Top Stocks blog: The latest on the auto industry

Ford said the dismal sales were "tantamount . . . to a natural disaster."

The automaker, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first Model T, had 60% of the global auto market in 1924, according to John Wolkonowicz, auto analyst at Global Insight. In the first half of 2008, Ford was fourth in worldwide sales.

Sales of Ford's flagship F-series pickups, normally the best-selling vehicles in the United States, were down nearly 42% from a year ago, while sport-utility-vehicle sales tanked 57% last month.

And the problems weren't restricted to U.S. manufacturers: Japanese automaker Toyota Motor (TM, news, msgs) reported a 32.3% decline in sales.





More here http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...es-plunge.aspx
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAP TOP GAMER View Post
Analysts had already predicted that the credit crisis would take a bite out of auto loans -- and, therefore, out of auto sales. On Wednesday, we learned just how bad things are.

Americans bought 964,873 vehicles last month, the first time in 15 years that monthly U.S. sales fell below 1 million.

Ford Motor (F, news, msgs) reported a whopping 33.8% decline from last September, far worse than the expected 22% decline.

General Motors (GM, news, msgs) reported a 15.6% decline in September sales, better than analysts' expectations for a 26% drop. And Chrysler, which is majority-owned by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, reported a 33% drop.

"An already weak economy compounded by very tight credit conditions has created an atmosphere of caution," Jim Farley, Ford's worldwide-marketing chief, said in a statement Wednesday. "Even if you have good credit, there's a reluctance to pull the trigger on a big-ticket item" like a car.

* Top Stocks blog: The latest on the auto industry

Ford said the dismal sales were "tantamount . . . to a natural disaster."

The automaker, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first Model T, had 60% of the global auto market in 1924, according to John Wolkonowicz, auto analyst at Global Insight. In the first half of 2008, Ford was fourth in worldwide sales.

Sales of Ford's flagship F-series pickups, normally the best-selling vehicles in the United States, were down nearly 42% from a year ago, while sport-utility-vehicle sales tanked 57% last month.

And the problems weren't restricted to U.S. manufacturers: Japanese automaker Toyota Motor (TM, news, msgs) reported a 32.3% decline in sales.





More here http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...es-plunge.aspx
Not all dealers are doing terribly. Last month we hit 130% of our sales objective.
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:23 AM   #4
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the only thing keeping me from buying a new tahoe is the monthly mods payment. I have enough for the vehicle, but not the vehicle upgrading hobby. If gas flattened out to like 2.75-3$ neighborhood, I think I could do it ( both, I mean)

If I have no credit card debt, and dont care too much about gas, am I "rich" and therefore "a snobbish, religious, homophobe" who clings to "guns and religion" when things get tough?
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