Wealthy Customers want Customized Cars

By Frost & Sullivan, Special for  USDR

Wealthy consumers willing to pay for innovative, customisable, high-performance, technologically advanced vehicles are driving the super luxury vehicles market. Growth is augmented by high demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossovers that are both practical and luxurious. As super luxury vehicles are more profitable than their mainstream counterparts, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are maximising the use of flagship vehicle platforms by offering state-of-the-art luxury features, infotainment, safety, and driving technologies at a premium  price.

Trends in Global Super Luxury Vehicles Market, 2016 – 2025, recent research from Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Subscription, examines the influence of connectivity, electrification, and autonomous technology on the future of global super luxury vehicles. The study finds that 2016 was a successful year for super luxury brands, with an 8% increase in sales from 2015, bringing car sales to 6.85 million. Key market players, such as Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, Jaguar, Karma, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Lucid Motors, Maserati, McLaren Automotive, Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Maybach, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls-Royce Cars, and Tesla, and their strategies are also  assessed.

“To gain a competitive advantage, OEMs should focus on building vehicles with significant convenience features in addition to maximum customisation options,” said Frost & Sullivan Mobility Research Analyst Venkata Balakrishnan. “Super luxury vehicles are expected to be among the first to feature level 4 autonomous technologies by late 2018 and level 5 by 2020 as customers are eager to pay for advanced features that are unique and  luxurious.”

From a regional perspective, the United StatesMiddle East and China sell the most super luxury vehicles, with US manufacturers focusing on electric vehicle technology and European manufacturers looking toward improving passenger comfort and autonomous technology  adoption.

Global super luxury vehicle developments and trends driving growth  include:

  • High sales in upmarket SUVs and crossover vehicles;
  • The introduction of flagship sedans and SUVs to add to the ultra-luxury sedans and sports cars segments;
  • Launch of electric super luxury segment with Lucid, Fisker, and Faraday Motion ushering in their vehicles by 2019;
  • High profits per vehicle priced above $15,000 due to bespoke customer options;
  • OEM investment in super luxury vehicles by entering new segments such as BMW with the X7, Audi with the Q8, and Porsche with the Mission E;
  • Development of autonomous technology up to level 5 by 2020 to present cars without steering wheels and pedals; and
  • High penetration of electrified powertrain by 2020 with more than 50 percent of super luxury brands selling hybrid and electric vehicles.

“Super luxury automakers are focusing on in-vehicle human-machine interaction and artificial intelligence (AI) to act as a brain in the connectivity system,” noted Balakrishnan. “Virtual cockpits and lounge-style interiors will be possible through autonomous level 5 technology, which will be dependent on AI technology to customise passenger  data.”

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