Emphasis on luxury at Detroit Auto Show

Luxury car have proven recession proof, most of the major international luxury brands surpassing sales records in 2012. Audi, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati are all unveiling luxury cars or concept models at the Detroit Auto Show (North American International Auto Show) taking place this week.

Overseas manufacturers, especially those in Europe, are looking to U.S. car buyers to bail them out of the even worse economic woes back home. But American luxury brands are upping their game too.

Lincoln is introducing a compact sport utility model called MKC, aimed at the downsizing luxury trend the German brands have pioneered.

Cadillac has for the first time physically separated itself from the traditional grouping of General Motors brands on the show floor at Cobo Center. Cadillac will be across the massive room, next to other luxury brands. “There definitely is much more emphasis on luxury at this show. You can see it just looking at the dedication of floor space,” said Cadillac’s new leader, Global Vice President Bob Ferguson. “It’s about business fundamentals.”

Luxury cars are lower in volume but individually more profitable than mass-market models. Marketing research indicates luxury buyers are the first to spend in a recovering economy. Successful luxury lines have the effect of drawing less affluent buyers to related brands: Lexus has helped drive Toyota sales. Cadillac helps Buick, said Ferguson.

For Lexus, it’s a matter of getting maximum exposure for its redesigned and bolder-looking midsize IS sedan. “NAIAS will draw more than 5,000 journalists from around the world this year, so it’s the perfect venue to debut a vehicle with a lot of international appeal,” said Curt McAllister, spokesman for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

Some of the luxury car launched at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) include: Jeep: Grand Cherokee, Compass, Patriot  / Chevrolet: Onix, Spin, Orlando, Sail, Trax world cars  / Lincoln: MKC compact SUV / Mercedes: E63, AMG 4Matic, E Class  / Infinity: Q50  / VW: Seven-seat SUV concept / BMW: 1 Series, X4 concept, 4 Series concept / Honda: Urban SUV concept / Toyota: Furia concept Audi: RS7 concept, Q3RS,

adapted from Detroit News

BMW 4 Series Coupe, at Detroit Auto Show 2013