The perception of what constitutes a “luxury vehicle” may be changing, especially if price is the top factor, according to TrueCar, Inc.
The car selling service says that when it comes to sales of vehicles with prices exceeding $50,000 most would think German luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz would hold the top spots, but it’s just not so.
“Conventional wisdom says German premium brands would dominate the list of top-selling vehicles over $50,000,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “The reality is that this price segment of the market is dominated by American pickups and SUVs sold through non-premium brand dealers.”
Leading the way? The best-selling vehicle overall, of course: the Ford F-150. Not only is it the lead dog, but also it’s not even a close race with projected sales of 189,776 units this year, TrueCar claims.
That will likely surpass total U.S. volume of luxury car benchmarks including BMW’s combined 3, 5 and 7 Series sales or total deliveries for the Audi brand this year. In fact, TrueCar suggests that full-size trucks and SUVs will capture six of the top 10 spots when it comes to the sales of vehicles more than $50,000 this year.
Continued improvements in the U.S. economy, including recovering housing and construction starts and relatively inexpensive fuel, have buoyed demand for trucks and luxury vehicles this year. TrueCar projects total sales of high-priced models to far exceed 1 million units this year.
(Plunging fuel prices equating to more pickup sales. For more, Click Here.)
The $50,000 price tag is one that more folks than ever seem willing to take on, accounting for 8.1% of total industry volume this year, which is up from 6.6% of total sales last year, based on TrueCar data. The average transaction price for vehicles through November is $31,831 this year. Overall auto sales have grown 5.4%.
(Click Here for the facts behind the decade-best November auto sales.)
“It wasn’t so long ago that $30,000 was considered an important pricing threshold and the province of premium brands only,” Krafcik said. “A better economy, cheaper gasoline and improving vehicle quality have changed that. Now, with over a million new vehicle sales transacting over $50,000, it’s fair to say ’50 is the new 30.'”
(To see why nearly half of all EVs are sold in California, Click Here.)
Ford’s revenue from F-Series transacting at prices over $50,000 will be approximately $10.8 billion, representing about a third of total revenue for the pickup line, which TrueCar estimates at $32.2 billion. F-Series is the best-selling and highest-revenue model line in the U.S. auto industry.
Fiat Chrysler’s Ram pickups rank second in the over-$50,000 price segment with estimated sales of 76,266 this year. Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class sedan – a luxury benchmark – is third in the over-$50,000 group with estimated sales of 67,006.