What are luxury car brands?

Top 15 Best Selling Luxury Car Brands in the USOver the last several years, to say the US and world economy was not doing well would have been an understatement. Despite some economists and analysts saying the recession was over in the summer of 2009, for the consumer it appeared as though that was just fanciful thinking. The mortgage crisis, elevated gas prices and job cuts all created a bleak environment and it showed. One area noticeably hit by the poor economic forecast was the automotive industry. Many brands witnessed stagnant sales figures. Luxury car brands especially suffered lower sales figures as people saved money and bought more cautiously.

As there is a direct link between the luxury car industry and the economy, the recent improvement in the world economy had a visible effect on the types and numbers of cars being sold in the US. Within the last two years, luxury car sales figures have been gaining much ground thanks to an improving economy. Last year’s sales records showed that the luxury car market was well on its way to recovery and even expanding in certain sectors. This has seen notable luxury brands develop not only new generations of existing cars but introduce new lines of sedans and increasingly popular crossovers.

The following looks at the top 15 luxury brands in the United States. Figures are based on 2014 sales stats and the percentage of the market sales is indicated for each manufacturer. As you’ll see, the luxury car market in the United States is dominated as much by horsepower and performance as it is by leather interiors and ergonomics. All of the traditional brands are here and the various car lines and series you would expect to see are all represented. What is surprising is that the luxury market is as much the domain of the crossover and small SUV as it is the sedan or coupe. Clearly demonstrating the demand for crossovers among the population, luxury brands have made a point of offering many high-end options for the owners who need room for the family but don’t want a minivan.

15. Bentley – 0.2%

If this was a list of the most luxurious cars, then Bentley would put the others to shame. Since this is a list of sales in the US, Bentley finds itself at the other end of the spectrum. Bentley sales have been relatively low over the past several years. Unsurprisingly, this British carmaker (now owned by Volkswagen) felt the pinch of the financial crisis in 2009 when car sales plummeted to around 1, 300. Since then, sales have gradually improved up to 2014 when the company sold 3, 003 cars, their best year in the US since 2007. Considering the carmaker only produced just over 10, 000 cars in 2014, it shows how important the US market is. Company leadership hopes to double the company’s sales over the next few years and plan to release an SUV to tap into a different part of the luxury car market.

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