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Luxury car

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Rolls-Royce Phantom IV (1950–1956)

A luxury car is a car that provides increased levels of comfort, equipment, amenities, quality, performance, and associated status compared to moderately priced cars.

The term is subjective and reflects both the qualities of a car and the brand image of its manufacturer.[1] Luxury brands rank above premium brands, though there is no fixed demarcation between the two.[2]

Traditionally, most luxury cars were large vehicles, though smaller sports-oriented models were always produced. "Compact" luxury vehicles such as hatchbacks, and off-road capable sport utility vehicles, are relatively modern trends.[1]

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Car

Car

A car or automobile is a motor vehicle with wheels. Most definitions of cars say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport people.

Comfort

Comfort

Comfort is a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship. Persons who are lacking in comfort are uncomfortable, or experiencing discomfort. A degree of psychological comfort can be achieved by recreating experiences that are associated with pleasant memories, such as engaging in familiar activities, maintaining the presence of familiar objects, and consumption of comfort foods. Comfort is a particular concern in health care, as providing comfort to the sick and injured is one goal of healthcare, and can facilitate recovery. Persons who are surrounded with things that provide psychological comfort may be described as being "in their comfort zone". Because of the personal nature of positive associations, psychological comfort is highly subjective.

Quality (business)

Quality (business)

In business, engineering, and manufacturing, quality – or high quality – has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something ; it is also defined as being suitable for the intended purpose while satisfying customer expectations. Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace. Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly. Support personnel may measure quality in the degree that a product is reliable, maintainable, or sustainable. In such ways, the subjectivity of quality is rendered objective via operational definitions and measured with metrics such as proxy measures.

Social status

Social status

Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to possess. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, groups, and organizations in a society. Status is based in widely shared beliefs about who members of a society think holds comparatively more or less social value, in other words, who they believe is better in terms of competence or moral traits. Status is determined by the possession of various characteristics culturally believed to indicate superiority or inferiority. As such, people use status hierarchies to allocate resources, leadership positions, and other forms of power. In doing so, these shared cultural beliefs make unequal distributions of resources and power appear natural and fair, supporting systems of social stratification. Status hierarchies appear to be universal across human societies, affording valued benefits to those who occupy the higher rungs, such as better health, social approval, resources, influence, and freedom.

Vehicle

Vehicle

A vehicle is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles, railed vehicles, watercraft, amphibious vehicles, aircraft and spacecraft.

Compact car

Compact car

Compact car is a vehicle size class — predominantly used in North America — that sits between subcompact cars and mid-size cars. "Small family car" is a British term and a part of the C-segment in the European car classification. However, prior to the downsizing of the United States car industry in the 1970s and 1980s, larger vehicles with wheelbases up to 110 in (2.79 m) were considered "compact cars" in the United States.

Hatchback

Hatchback

A hatchback is a car body configuration with a rear door that swings upward to provide access to a cargo area. Hatchbacks may feature fold-down second row seating, where the interior can be reconfigured to prioritize passenger or cargo volume. Hatchbacks may feature two- or three-box design.

Classification standards

Several car classification schemes include a luxury category, such as:

  • Australia: Since the year 2000, the Federal Government's luxury car tax applies to new vehicles over a certain purchase price, with higher thresholds applying for cars considered as fuel efficient.[3][4] As of 2019, the thresholds were approximately AU$66,000 (US$50,000) for normal cars and AU$76,000 (US$57,000) for fuel-efficient cars.[5]
  • Europe: Luxury cars are classified as F-segment vehicles in the European Commission classification scheme.[6][7][8]
  • Italy: The term "auto di lusso" is used for luxury cars.[9]
  • France: The term "voiture de luxe" is used for luxury cars.[10]
  • Germany: The term German: Oberklasse (upper class) is used for luxury cars.[11]
  • Russia: The term (автомобиль представительского класса ("representative class vehicle, also translated as luxury vehicle) is used for luxury cars.[12]
  • Rental cars: The ACRISS Car Classification Code is a system used by many car rental companies to define equivalent vehicles across brands. This system includes "Luxury" and "Luxury Elite" categories (along with "Premium" and "Premium Elite" categories).[13] The criteria for a vehicle to be considered "luxury" is not published.

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Car classification

Car classification

Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation, description, and categorization of cars.

F-segment

F-segment

The F-segment is the 6th category and largest of the European segments for passenger cars, and always belongs to "luxury cars".

Euro Car Segment

Euro Car Segment

Excepting those of the Europe-wide safety assessment programme Euro NCAP, vehicle segments in Europe do not have formal characterization or regulations. Although the definition is vague, there is little overlap between segments A–F based on weight and size parameters.

German language

German language

German, or more precisely High German, is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Western Europe and Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol. It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg and Belgium, as well as a recognized national language in Namibia. Outside Germany, it is also spoken by German communities in France (Bas-Rhin), Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary (Sopron).

Car rental

Car rental

A car rental, hire car or car hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short periods of time to the public, generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks. It is often organized with numerous local branches, and primarily located near airports or busy city areas and often complemented by a website allowing online reservations.

Characteristics

Hispano-Suiza J12 Kellner Pillarless Sedan
Hispano-Suiza J12 Kellner Pillarless Sedan

Features

Luxury cars have traditionally emphasized higher levels of comfort and safety.[14] Manufacturers often introduce new safety technologies and comfort amenities on luxury models before they are available on more affordable models.[15] Some brands, like Audi and BMW have expanded their marketing by "introducing lesser priced and strip-down economy versions of their products."[16]

Luxury vehicles can be a status symbol for conspicuous consumption.[17] However, since many European luxury car buyers shy away from conspicuous consumption, brands offer buyers the option of removing exterior badges that identify the model name or engine size.[18]

The suspension system of most luxury cars is tuned to prioritize ride quality over handling, however, some cars are marketed as "sports luxury" and have a greater emphasis on handling characteristics.[19][20]

Layout and powertrain

Traditionally, luxury cars have used a front-engine, rear-wheel drive (FR) layout. The FR layout is more expensive to produce and produces lower fuel economy than a front-wheel drive layout, however, it allows for larger engines (particularly straight-six, V8, and V12) to be used.[18][21][22][23]

Some American luxury cars during the 1970s through the 1990s switched to a front-wheel drive layout with transverse engine, due to the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and the 1979 fuel crises which eliminated many FR platforms in favor of the more economical front-wheel drive (FF) layout.[24] From the early 2000s, several of these American luxury cars reverted to FR layouts.[25][26][27][28]

Since the introduction of the Bentley Continental GT in 2003, additional luxury cars feature all-wheel drive.[29]

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Hispano-Suiza J12

Hispano-Suiza J12

The Hispano-Suiza J12 is a luxury automobile that was made by Hispano-Suiza in France from 1931 to 1938. It was the largest and most expensive car ever built by Hispano-Suiza. It replaced the Hispano-Suiza H6. The J12 was only available as a chassis, buyers having to arrange with an outside coachbuilder to integrate a body.

Audi

Audi

Audi AG is a German automotive manufacturer of luxury vehicles headquartered in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. As a subsidiary of its parent company, the Volkswagen Group, Audi produces vehicles in nine production facilities worldwide.

BMW

BMW

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, abbreviated as BMW, is a German multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles and motorcycles headquartered in Munich, Bavaria. The corporation was founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of aircraft engines, which it produced from 1917 until 1918 and again from 1933 to 1945.

Conspicuous consumption

Conspicuous consumption

In sociology and in economics, the term conspicuous consumption describes and explains the consumer practice of buying and using goods of a higher quality, price, or in greater quantity than practical. In 1899, the sociologist Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption to explain the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury commodities specifically as a public display of economic power—the income and the accumulated wealth—of the buyer. To the conspicuous consumer, the public display of discretionary income is an economic means of either attaining or of maintaining a given social status.

Ride quality

Ride quality

Ride quality refers to a vehicle's effectiveness in insulating the occupants from undulations in the road surface. A vehicle with good ride quality provides a comfort for the driver and passengers.

Automobile handling

Automobile handling

Automobile handling and vehicle handling are descriptions of the way a wheeled vehicle responds and reacts to the inputs of a driver, as well as how it moves along a track or road. It is commonly judged by how a vehicle performs particularly during cornering, acceleration, and braking as well as on the vehicle's directional stability when moving in steady state condition.

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT

The Bentley Continental GT is a grand tourer manufactured and marketed by British automaker Bentley Motors since 2003. It was the first car released by Bentley under Volkswagen AG management, after the company's acquisition in 1998, and the first Bentley to employ mass production manufacturing techniques.

Straight-six engine

Straight-six engine

The straight-six engine is a piston engine with six cylinders arranged in a straight line along the crankshaft. A straight-six engine has perfect primary and secondary engine balance, resulting in fewer vibrations than other designs of six or less cylinders.

V8 engine

V8 engine

A V8 engine is an eight-cylinder piston engine in which two banks of four cylinders share a common crankshaft and are arranged in a V configuration.

V12 engine

V12 engine

A V12 engine is a twelve-cylinder piston engine where two banks of six cylinders are arranged in a V configuration around a common crankshaft. V12 engines are more common than V10 engines. However, they are less common than V8 engines.

Transverse engine

Transverse engine

A transverse engine is an engine mounted in a vehicle so that the engine's crankshaft axis is perpendicular to the direction of travel. Many modern front-wheel drive vehicles use this engine mounting configuration. Most rear-wheel drive vehicles use a longitudinal engine configuration, where the engine's crankshaft axis is parallel with the direction of travel, except for some rear-mid engine vehicles, which use a transverse engine and transaxle mounted in the rear instead of the front. Despite typically being used in light vehicles, it is not restricted to such designs and has also been used on armoured fighting vehicles to save interior space.

All-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

An all-wheel drive vehicle is one with a powertrain capable of providing power to all its wheels, whether full-time or on-demand.

History

European manufacturers

Bugatti Royale (1927–1933)
Bugatti Royale (1927–1933)

Prior to World War II, a wide array of European producers made luxury cars, including Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, Delage, Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, Bentley, Alvis, Avions Voisin, Isotta Fraschini, Horch, Simson, Stoewer, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Hispano Suiza, Daimler Company, and Spyker.[30][31]

France was a leading producer of powerful luxury automobiles prior to World War II.[32] After World War II, the French government used puissance fiscale tax regulations to encourage manufacturers to build cars with small engines, and French motorists to buy them.[32] The Maserati-powered Citroën SM and the Citroën C6 were arguably the last domestic French luxury cars.[33][34] In the 2010s, some French manufacturers have attempted to develop luxury cars, however the lack of a historical legacy has hindered these efforts.[35] In 2014, Citroën introduced DS Automobiles sub-brand to market luxury cars.[36][37]

Pre World War II intermediate car manufacturers like Renault, Fiat, Opel, Lancia, Škoda, Riley, Praga, Peugeot, Hillman, Tatra made luxury cars but were forced to make economy cars and superminis post World War II. Following World War II, Germany rose to become an export powerhouse, building on success with the Mercedes-Benz brand, later joined by BMW, which acquired Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, as well as Volkswagen that controls Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti brands.

In the Soviet Union, the manufacturer ZiL (then called Zis) began producing representational limousines in the mid-1930s. In the early 1950s GAZ joined with the somewhat smaller "Chaika" model range.

North American manufacturers

1940 Packard 180 Darrin Sport Sedan
1940 Packard 180 Darrin Sport Sedan

The luxury car phenomenon began at the start of the automobile industry when the wealthy frequently invested in the manufacture of such models to gain the social prestige associated thereby.[38] Emphasis was also placed on custom-built coachwork.[39] The 1920s and 1930s were the apogee of production of these very large luxury automobiles from many manufacturers. The significant North American manufacturers from 1910-1940 were Auburn, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Continental, Cord, Daniels, DeSoto, Duesenberg, Franklin, Imperial, LaFayette, LaSalle, Lincoln, Marmon, Packard, Peerless, Pierce Arrow, Ruxton, Stearns-Knight, and Stutz. The Great Depression put many luxury car manufacturers out of business; others would hold on before going defunct during the postwar era.[40][41]

From 1946 until the late 1990s, Cadillac was the top-selling brand of luxury cars in the U.S., while Lincoln was second.[42] The most successful and long-running model names during this era were the Cadillac DeVille, Lincoln Continental, and the Chrysler Imperial. The Lincoln Mark Series and Cadillac Eldorado were positioned in the personal luxury category and competition between them continued into the 1990s.[43]

The personal luxury car emerged into mass popularity and affordability as an America-specific category of popularly-priced cars made from the 1950s by the four domestic manufacturers (GM, Ford, Chrysler, and AMC) that reached peak popularity in the 1970s.[44] The cars were stylized, mass-produced two-door coupés or convertibles, relying on standard components.[45] These distinctively styled cars were targeting the needs of individual customers, not an entire family.[46] The longest running model lines were the 1958-1997 Ford Thunderbird, 1956-1998 Lincoln Mark Series, and the 1967-2002 Cadillac Eldorado.

In 1990, American luxury brands dominated with Cadillac selling over a quarter-million cars and Lincoln had its best year ever at 231,660 units.[47] However, the market was changing with an ever greater acceptance of smaller, more efficient imported luxury brands while at the same time, the domestic manufacturers were downsizing their models with product decisions that backfired on quality and brand respect.[47]

Since the late 1990s, Japanese and German brands have sold the most luxury-type cars in the United States. However, the Cadillac Escalade has led the luxury SUV segment sales in the United States since its introduction in 1998, with the highest sales for 15 out of its first 20 years on the market.[48][49]

In the 2000s, both Ford and General Motors produced luxury pickups: the 2002-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT, 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood, and 2006-2014 Lincoln Mark LT. In the late 2000s, the Cadillac CTS and Cadillac DTS led to a resurgence in the brand's luxury sedans.[50] The equivalent sedan from the Ford group, the 2008 Lincoln MKS, was also regarded as a significant improvement over previous models.[51] In 2010, BMW was the best-selling luxury vehicle manufacturer by sales, with Audi and Mercedes-Benz the second and third highest selling luxury brands.[52]

East Asian manufacturers

Chinese manufacturer Hongqi was launched in 1958, making it the oldest Chinese luxury car marque.[53] Later newcomers joined taking advantage of the rise of electric powertrains, with NEV brands such as Nio in 2014, Li Auto in 2015, HiPhi in 2019, and BYD in 2020 producing luxury electric and hybrid vehicles.

Japanese manufacturers have been producing luxury cars since the 1950s, including the Toyota Crown (1955–present),[54][55] Prince/Nissan Gloria (1959–2004), Nissan Cedric (1960–2015), Mitsubishi Debonair (1964–1998), Nissan President (1965–2010), Toyota Century (1967–present), Mazda Luce/929 (1969–1991), and Honda Legend (1985–present).

Since the 1980s, overseas sales of Japanese luxury cars have increased, challenging traditional European luxury brands.[56]

Several East Asian manufacturers have created sub-brands for the marketing of luxury cars. The first of these was the 1986 launch of Acura (a Honda sub-brand), followed by Lexus (Toyota) in 1989, Infiniti (Nissan) in 1989, and Genesis (Hyundai) in 2015.[56]

Global financial crisis

The late-2000s global financial crisis was the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s that the luxury car market suffered considerably, something not seen in previous economic downturns. Many such customers saw their net worth decline following the collapse in financial markets and real-estate values.[17][57] For example, some of the steepest drop-offs came at the high end, including the BMW 7 Series and Rolls-Royce Phantom, and in 2010 Mercedes-Benz dropped the price of the W212 E-Class. The unusually sharp decline in luxury car sales has led observers to believe that there is a fundamental shift and reshaping of the luxury automotive market, with one industry official suggesting that the marques no longer command the premiums that they used to, and another saying that conspicuous consumption was no longer attractive in poor economic conditions.[56] Additionally, mainstream brands have been able to offer amenities and devices such as leather, wood, and anti-lock brakes, previously found only on luxury cars, as the costs decline.[56]

However, luxury vehicle sales did not collapse as much as their non-luxury counterparts.[58][59] This was aided by growing interest in luxury vehicles from emerging markets such as China and Russia.[56]

Sales in the entry-level luxury segment remained strong throughout the GFC, due to prices being lowered to compete with well-equipped non-luxury cars.[60][61] For example, in Canada, several luxury manufacturers set sales records in August 2009, due mostly to discounted pricing on entry-level luxury vehicles.[62][63]

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Bugatti Royale

Bugatti Royale

The Bugatti Type 41, better known as the Royale, is a large luxury car built from 1927 to 1933 with a 4.3 m (169.3 in) wheelbase and 6.4 m (21 ft) overall length. It weighs approximately 3,175 kg (7,000 lb) and uses a 12.763 litre (778 cu in) straight-eight engine. For comparison, against the Rolls-Royce Phantom VII, the Royale is about 20% longer, and more than 25% heavier. This makes the Royale one of the largest cars in the world. Furthermore, with the limited production run and the premium nature of the vehicle, it is also both one of the rarest and most expensive vehicles in the world.

Rolls-Royce Limited

Rolls-Royce Limited

Rolls-Royce was a British luxury car and later an aero-engine manufacturing business established in 1904 in Manchester by the partnership of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. Building on Royce's good reputation established with his cranes, they quickly developed a reputation for superior engineering by manufacturing the "best car in the world". The business was incorporated as Rolls-Royce Limited in 1906, and a new factory in Derby was opened in 1908. The First World War brought the company into manufacturing aero-engines. Joint development of jet engines began in 1940, and they entered production. Rolls-Royce has built an enduring reputation for development and manufacture of engines for defence and civil aircraft.

Bugatti

Bugatti

Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a German then French manufacturer of high-performance automobiles. The company was founded in 1909 in the then-German city of Molsheim, Alsace, by the Italian-born industrial designer Ettore Bugatti. The cars were known for their design beauty and for their many race victories. Famous Bugatti automobiles include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 "Royale", the Type 57 "Atlantic" and the Type 55 sports car.

Delage

Delage

Delage was a French luxury automobile and racecar company founded in 1905 by Louis Delâge in Levallois-Perret near Paris; it was acquired by Delahaye in 1935 and ceased operation in 1953.

Delahaye

Delahaye

Delahaye was a family-owned automobile manufacturing company, founded by Émile Delahaye in 1894 in Tours, France. Manufacturing was moved to Paris following incorporation with two unrelated brothers-in-law as equal partners in 1898. The company built a low volume line of limited production luxury cars with coachbuilt bodies; trucks; utility and commercial vehicles; busses; and fire-trucks. Delahaye made a number of technical innovations in its early years; and, after establishing a racing department in 1932, the company came to particular prominence in France in the mid-to-late 1930s, with its Type 138, Type 135SC, and type 145 cars winning numerous races, and setting International records. The company faced setbacks due to the Second World War, and was taken over by amalgamation with arch competitor Hotchkiss in 1954. Both were taken over by the Brandt organization, within mere months, with automotive product manufacturing ended.

Bentley

Bentley

Bentley Motors Limited is a British designer, manufacturer and marketer of luxury cars and SUVs. Headquartered in Crewe, England, the company was founded as Bentley Motors Limited by W. O. Bentley (1888–1971) in 1919 in Cricklewood, North London, and became widely known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. Bentley has been a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1998 and consolidated under VW's premium brand arm Audi since 2022.

Avions Voisin

Avions Voisin

Avions Voisin was a French luxury automobile brand established by Gabriel Voisin in 1919 which traded until 1939.

Isotta Fraschini

Isotta Fraschini

Isotta Fraschini was an Italian luxury car manufacturer, also producing trucks, as well as engines for marine and aviation use. Founded in Milan, Italy, in 1900 by Cesare Isotta and the brothers Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste Fraschini, in 1955 it was merged with engine manufacturer Breda Motori and renamed F.A. Isotta Fraschini e Motori Breda.

Horch

Horch

Horch was a car brand manufacturer, founded in Germany by August Horch & Cie at the beginning of the 20th century.

Maybach

Maybach

Maybach is a German luxury car brand that exists today as a part of Mercedes-Benz. The original company was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl Maybach, originally as a subsidiary of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, and it was known as Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH until 1999.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz, commonly referred to as Mercedes and sometimes as Benz, is a German luxury and commercial vehicle automotive brand established in 1926. Mercedes-Benz AG is headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Mercedes-Benz AG produces consumer luxury vehicles and commercial vehicles badged as Mercedes-Benz. From November 2019 onwards, Mercedes-Benz-badged heavy commercial vehicles are managed by Daimler Truck, a former part of the Mercedes-Benz Group turned into an independent company in late 2021. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the largest brand of premium vehicles in the world, having sold 2.31 million passenger cars.

Daimler Company

Daimler Company

The Daimler Company Limited, prior to 1910 The Daimler Motor Company Limited, was an independent British motor vehicle manufacturer founded in London by H. J. Lawson in 1896, which set up its manufacturing base in Coventry. The company bought the right to the use of the Daimler name simultaneously from Gottlieb Daimler and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft of Cannstatt, Germany. After early financial difficulty and a reorganisation of the company in 1904, the Daimler Motor Company was purchased by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) in 1910, which also made cars under its own name before the Second World War. In 1933, BSA bought the Lanchester Motor Company and made it a subsidiary of Daimler Company.

Brands

A Duesenberg, "one of the great luxury cars"[64] with custom body by Willoughby
A Duesenberg, "one of the great luxury cars"[64] with custom body by Willoughby
1932 Nash Ambassador, characterized as "the Duesenberg from Kenosha"[65]
1932 Nash Ambassador, characterized as "the Duesenberg from Kenosha"[65]
A 1930s Italian Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S LeBaron Boattail Roadster[66]
A 1930s Italian Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S LeBaron Boattail Roadster[66]
1936 Delage D8 120 Chapron Cabriolet[67]
1936 Delage D8 120 Chapron Cabriolet[67]
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial-Roadster[68]
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial-Roadster[68]

Some auto manufacturers market their luxury models using the same marque as the rest of their line. Others have created a separate marque (e.g. Lexus, launched by Toyota in 1989)[69] or purchased one (e.g. Bentley, by Volkswagen in 1998).[70][71]

Occasionally, a luxury car is initially sold under a mainstream marque and is later rebranded under a specific luxury marque (for example the Hyundai's Genesis to Genesis G80 as well as the Citroën DS to DS 5).[72][73]

For mass-produced luxury cars, sharing of platforms or components with other models is common,[74] as per modern automotive industry practice.

Carmaker Sample luxury vehicle brands
Aston Martin Aston Martin, Lagonda
Auburn Duesenberg, Cord, Auburn
BMW BMW, Rolls-Royce, Mini
BYD BYD, Denza[75]
Chrysler Corporation Imperial, Chrysler, DeSoto
Dongfeng Motor Corporation Voyah
FAW Group Hongqi
Ferrari N.V. Ferrari
Ford Motor Company Lincoln, Continental, Zephyr
GAC Group Aion,[76] Trumpchi
Geely Volvo Cars,[77][78] Lynk & Co,[79] Polestar,[80] Lotus, Zeekr,[81] Jidu Auto[82]
General Motors Cadillac, LaSalle
Great Wall Motors WEY, TANK
Hispano-Suiza Hispano-Suiza
Honda Acura
Hudson Motor Company Greater Eight,[83][84] Italia[85][86]
Human Horizons HiPhi
Hyundai Genesis Motor
Ideal Team Ventures Apollo, De Tomaso[87]
Kaiser-Frazer Frazer
Li Auto Li Auto
Lucid Motors Lucid Motors
Mahindra Group Automobili Pininfarina
Mercedes-Benz Group Mercedes-Benz, Maybach
McLaren Group McLaren Automotive
Nash Motor Company Ambassador,[88][89] Nash-Healey[86]
NEVS SAAB
NAMI Aurus
Nio Nio
Nissan Infiniti
SAIC Motor IM Motors[90]
Stellantis DS, Alfa Romeo, Maserati
Studebaker Packard[91]
Tata Motors Jaguar Cars, Land Rover, Daimler, Lanchester
Toyota Lexus, Century,[92] Crown[93]
Volkswagen Group Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini
Wanxiang Karma Automotive
Weltmeister Weltmeister

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Duesenberg

Duesenberg

Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company, Inc. was an American racing and luxury automobile manufacturer founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, by brothers Fred and August Duesenberg in 1920. The company is known for popularizing the straight-eight engine and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. A Duesenberg car was the first American car to win a Grand Prix race, winning the 1921 French Grand Prix. Duesenbergs won the Indianapolis 500 in 1924, 1925, and 1927. Transportation executive Errett Lobban Cord acquired the Duesenberg corporation in 1926. The company was sold and dissolved in 1937.

Isotta Fraschini

Isotta Fraschini

Isotta Fraschini was an Italian luxury car manufacturer, also producing trucks, as well as engines for marine and aviation use. Founded in Milan, Italy, in 1900 by Cesare Isotta and the brothers Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste Fraschini, in 1955 it was merged with engine manufacturer Breda Motori and renamed F.A. Isotta Fraschini e Motori Breda.

Delage

Delage

Delage was a French luxury automobile and racecar company founded in 1905 by Louis Delâge in Levallois-Perret near Paris; it was acquired by Delahaye in 1935 and ceased operation in 1953.

Brand

Brand

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that distinguishes one seller's good or service from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition and, importantly, to create and store value as brand equity for the object identified, to the benefit of the brand's customers, its owners and shareholders. Brand names are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

Bentley

Bentley

Bentley Motors Limited is a British designer, manufacturer and marketer of luxury cars and SUVs. Headquartered in Crewe, England, the company was founded as Bentley Motors Limited by W. O. Bentley (1888–1971) in 1919 in Cricklewood, North London, and became widely known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. Bentley has been a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1998 and consolidated under VW's premium brand arm Audi since 2022.

Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai Motor Company, often abbreviated to Hyundai Motors and commonly known as Hyundai, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and founded in 1967. Currently, the company owns 33.88 percent of Kia Corporation, and also fully owns two marques including its luxury cars subsidiary, Genesis Motor, and an electric vehicle sub-brand, Ioniq. Those three brands altogether comprise the Hyundai Motor Group.

Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai Genesis

The Hyundai Genesis is an executive four-door, five passenger, rear or all-wheel-drive full-size luxury sedan manufactured and marketed by Hyundai. The Hyundai Genesis debuted in 2008 until Genesis spun off as a separate entity in 2017, rebadging the vehicle as the G80. Introduced in concept form at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, and internally designated as the BH model, the Genesis was expected to cost $533 million to develop. Hyundai began marketing the first generation Genesis worldwide in 2008 as a "premium sports sedan". The second generation Genesis debuted in Seoul, Korea in November 2013 followed by the 2014 North American International Auto Show and Toronto Auto Show. It is marketed worldwide. On 4 November 2015, Hyundai officially separated Genesis into its own luxury division, Genesis Motor. The leap into a stand-alone, luxury brand came on the heels of marked success in the luxury market, paired with consumer demand for the Genesis name.

Genesis G80

Genesis G80

The Genesis G80 is an executive sedan manufactured by South Korean luxury marque Genesis, which is owned by Hyundai Motor Company. The G80 model was previously introduced as the second-generation Hyundai Genesis model (DH) and then rebranded as the G80 in 2016 after Genesis Motor was established as a separate luxury division of Hyundai.

Citroën DS

Citroën DS

The Citroën DS is a front mid-engined, front-wheel drive executive car manufactured and marketed by Citroën from 1955 to 1975, in fastback/sedan, wagon/estate, and convertible body configurations, across three series of one generation.

DS 5

DS 5

The DS 5 is a compact executive hatchback which was designed and developed by the French automaker Citroën, and launched in the market in Europe in November 2011. It was the third model in the premium sub brand DS. Released as the Citroën DS5, the car was relaunched as the DS 5 in 2015, following Citroën's decision to rebadge its DS models and market them under the brand DS.

Car platform

Car platform

A car platform is a shared set of common design, engineering, and production efforts, as well as major components, over a number of outwardly distinct models and even types of cars, often from different, but somewhat related, marques. It is practiced in the automotive industry to reduce the costs associated with the development of products by basing those products on a smaller number of platforms. This further allows companies to create distinct models from a design perspective on similar underpinnings. A car platform is not to be confused with a platform chassis, although such a chassis can be part of an automobile’s design platform, as noted below.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC is an English manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. Its predecessor was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. Steered from 1947 by David Brown, it became associated with expensive grand touring cars in the 1950s and 1960s, and with the fictional character James Bond following his use of a DB5 model in the 1964 film Goldfinger. Their sports cars are regarded as a British cultural icon. Aston Martin has held a Royal Warrant as purveyor of motorcars to Charles III since 1982, and has over 160 car dealerships in 53 countries, making it a global automobile brand. The company is traded at the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. In 2003 it received the Queen's Award for Enterprise for outstanding contribution to international trade. The company has survived seven bankruptcies throughout its history.

Market categories

Premium compact / Subcompact executive

The premium compact class is the category of the smallest luxury cars. It became popular in the mid-2000s, when European manufacturers (such as Audi, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz) introduced new entry-level models that were smaller and cheaper than their compact executive models.[94] The premium compact cars are usually based on the platform of a compact car (also known as "small family car" or C-segment), while some models may be based on a subcompact car (also known as supermini or B-segment).

Examples include the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA-Class, Audi A3, Volvo S40, BMW 1 Series, and 2 Series.[95] Premium compacts compete with well-equipped mid-size cars, and highly optioned premium compact cars can have pricing and features that overlap models in the compact executive segment.[96]

Compact executive / compact luxury

A compact executive car or a compact luxury car is a premium car larger than a premium compact and smaller than an executive car. In European classification, compact executive cars are part of the D-segment. In North American terms, close equivalents are "compact premium car", "compact luxury car",[97] "entry-level luxury car" and "near-luxury car".[98] Compact executive cars are usually based on the platform of a mid-size car (also known as large family car or D-segment), while some models may be based on a compact car (also known as small family car or C-segment).

Executive / mid-size luxury

Executive car is a British term for an automobile larger than a large family car. In official use, the term is adopted by Euro NCAP, a European organization founded to test for car safety. It is a passenger car classification defined by the European Commission.

Luxury saloon / full-size luxury sedan

The next category of luxury cars is known in Great Britain as a "luxury saloon" or "luxury limousine,"[99][100][101][102] and is known in the United States as a full-size luxury sedan, large luxury sedan, or flagship sedan.[103][104][105][106] It is the equivalent of the European F-segment and the German Oberklasse segment.

Many of these luxury saloons are the flagship for the marque and include the newest automotive technology.[107] Several models are available in long-wheelbase versions, which provide additional rear legroom and may have a higher level of standard features.[108]

Examples of luxury saloons / full-size luxury sedans include the BMW 7 Series,[109] Jaguar XJ, Cadillac CT6,[110][111] Genesis G90,[110] Audi A8,[112] Mercedes-Benz S-Class,[109] Lexus LS,[110] Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte.[109]

Ultra-luxury

Luxury cars costing over US$100,000 (as of 2007) can be considered as "ultra-luxury cars".[113] Examples include the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Maybach 57 and 62, Hongqi L5, Bentley Mulsanne, Toyota Century, and Aurus Senat.[113][114][115] High-end sports cars which are targeted towards performance rather than luxury are not usually classified as ultra-luxury cars, even when their cost is greater than US$100,000.[113] The history of a brand and the exclusivity of a particular model can result in price premiums compared to luxury cars with similar features from less prestigious manufacturers.[116] Ultra-luxury cars are usually selected as the official state car.[117]

Grand tourer

Luxury SUV/Crossover

Long before the luxury SUV segment was defined and became popular, the 1966 Jeep Super Wagoneer was marketed at the time as a fully equipped station wagon.[118][119][120][121]: 3  It was the first off-road SUV to offer a V8 engine and automatic transmission along with luxury car trim and equipment.[122] Standard features included bucket seating, a center console, air conditioning, a seven-position tilt steering wheel, a vinyl roof, and gold-colored trim panels on the body sides and tailgate.[121]: 3  By the late 1970s, optional equipment included an electric sunroof.[121]: 4  The 1978 Jeep Wagoneer Limited was the spiritual successor to the Super Wagoneer and was the first four-wheel drive car to use leather upholstery.[121]: 5 

The Range Rover was released in 1970 as a two-door vehicle for off-road durability with few "creature comforts."[123] A four-door version was added in 1981, and the model was pushed upmarket in 1983 by introducing an automatic transmission (Chrysler's A727 TorqueFlite) as an option.[124] The Range Rover had a long-travel coil-spring suspension and an aluminium V8 engine.[125]

In the mid-1990s, the SUV market expanded with new entrants. By the mid-1990s, the entry-level Ford Explorer and upscale Jeep Grand Cherokee were the market leaders for SUVs.[126] The fastest-growing sector of this market was for the so-called luxury SUVs, which included the Jeep Grand Cherokee ... the Grand Cherokee's allure: "This vehicle is proof you can have a true off-road vehicle without giving up luxuries and amenities" with the Jeep providing a crucial new intangible factor for buyers—image.[127]

The SUV models generated higher profit margins than passenger cars, and car manufacturers began introducing new luxury SUVs during the late 1990s.[128] SUVs such as the 1995 Lexus LX, 1997 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and 1998 Lincoln Navigator were the first SUVs produced by these luxury car brands. Some of these early luxury SUV models used unibody construction, becoming part of the trend moving away from the body-on-frame construction traditionally used by off-road vehicles.

During the mid-2000s, SUVs from luxury car brands grew by almost 40% in the United States to more than 430,000 vehicles (excluding SUV-only brands like Hummer and Land Rover), at a time when luxury car sales suffered a 1% decline, and non-luxury SUV sales were flat. By 2004, 30% of major luxury brands' U.S. sales were SUVs. Crossover SUVs became increasingly popular in the mid-2000s, and manufacturers also began to produce luxury versions of crossovers. The Lexus RX was the earliest luxury crossover on the market, and it has since been the best-selling luxury vehicle in the US.[129] Some luxury crossovers are built on a platform shared with sedans or hatchbacks. For example, the Infiniti FX is based upon the same platform as the Infiniti G35 sedans and coupes.[130] While early luxury crossovers released in the late 1990s have resembled traditional boxy SUVs, later crossovers, such as the Infiniti FX and BMW X6, have been designed with a sporting appearance.[131][132][133]

Despite the increased popularity of crossover models, traditional luxury SUVs remain in production. Examples include the Lexus LX, Infiniti QX80, and Lincoln Navigator.[134]

Research data from the mid-2000s suggested that luxury SUV buyers did not consider traditional luxury cars (e.g. sedans and coupes), therefore the SUV is becoming the key to bringing new customers into luxury dealerships.[135]

Luxury car companies have increasingly introduced SUV or crossover models in the 2010s. For example, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga, Aston Martin DBX, Maserati Levante, and Lamborghini Urus. Ferrari has announced that they will release an SUV model Ferrari Purosangue in 2023.[136] Some brands, such as Lincoln, have even moved to an all SUV and/or crossover lineup.

Discover more about Market categories related topics

Compact car

Compact car

Compact car is a vehicle size class — predominantly used in North America — that sits between subcompact cars and mid-size cars. "Small family car" is a British term and a part of the C-segment in the European car classification. However, prior to the downsizing of the United States car industry in the 1970s and 1980s, larger vehicles with wheelbases up to 110 in (2.79 m) were considered "compact cars" in the United States.

C-segment

C-segment

The C-segment is the 3rd category of the European segments for passenger cars and is described as "medium cars". It is equivalent to the Euro NCAP "small family car" size class, and the compact car category in the United States.

Compact executive car

Compact executive car

A compact executive car, also known as a compact luxury car, is a premium car larger than a premium compact and smaller than an executive car. Compact executive car is a UK term and a part of the D-segment in the European car classification.

Subcompact car

Subcompact car

Subcompact car is a North American classification for cars smaller than a compact car. It is broadly equivalent to the B-segment (Europe), supermini or A0-class (China) classifications.

B-segment

B-segment

The B-segment is the second smallest of the European segments for passenger cars between the A-segment and C-segment, and commonly described as "small cars". The B-segment is the largest segment in Europe by volume, accounting for 20 percent of total car sales in 2020 according to JATO Dynamics.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a compact car produced by the German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz as the brand's entry-level vehicle. The first generation was introduced in 1997, the second generation (W169) in late 2004 and the third generation (W176) in 2012. The fourth generation model (W177), which was launched in 2018, marked the first time the A-Class was offered in the United States and Canada. This fourth generation A-Class is also the first to be offered both as a hatchback (W177) and sedan (V177).

Audi A3

Audi A3

The Audi A3 is a subcompact executive/small family car (C-segment) manufactured and marketed by the German automaker Audi AG since September 1996, currently in its fourth generation.

BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 Series is a range of subcompact executive cars (C-segment) manufactured by BMW since 2004. It is the successor to the BMW 3 Series Compact and is currently in its third generation. Positioned as the entry level model in BMW range of products, the first generation was produced in hatchback, coupé and convertible body styles.

BMW 2 Series

BMW 2 Series

The BMW 2 Series is a range of subcompact executive cars (C-segment) manufactured by BMW since 2014. The 2 Series was created when BMW spun-off the 2-door models of the BMW 1 Series into a separate series.

Mid-size car

Mid-size car

Mid-size—also known as intermediate—is a vehicle size class which originated in the United States and is used for cars larger than compact cars and smaller than full-size cars. "Large family car" is a UK term and a part of the D-segment in the European car classification. Mid-size cars are manufactured in a variety of body styles, including sedans, coupes, station wagons, hatchbacks, and convertibles. Compact executive cars can also fall under the mid-size category.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W177)

Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W177)

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W177) is the fourth and current generation of the A-Class range of subcompact executive hatchbacks and sedans. It was launched in 2018 as the successor to the W176 A-Class, with sales commencing in March 2018. The available body styles include:5-door hatchback 4-door sedan 4-door long wheelbase sedan

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé is a subcompact executive sedan produced by BMW. It was revealed on 16 October 2019, and officially premiered at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It was launched in worldwide markets in March 2020. For most markets, the 2 Series Gran Coupé is the smallest four-door sedan offered by BMW, except in China and Mexico where the F52 1 Series sedan is offered.

Source: "Luxury car", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 17th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxury_car.

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