2014 was a good year to be a luxury brand, with sales hitting new highs.
Market leaders Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi each posted record sales, up 15.8 percent, 10.7 percent and 20.1 percent respectively.
Mercedes-Benz’s annual tally fell just 1103 units short of making it the tenth-bestselling brand in Australia, a feat it achieved in individual months.
Other luxury players also posted significant sales gains; Porsche (up 47.6 percent), Rolls-Royce (up 143.8 percent), Land Rover (up 21.0 percent), Bentley (up 11.6 percent), Jaguar (up 5.6 percent), Aston Martin (up 8.1 percent), Alfa Romeo (up 5.3 percent) and Lexus (up 1.2 percent) all achieved higher sales in 2014 than they did in 2013, despite the total Australian market being down 2.0 percent.
FCAI chief executive Tony Weber put the unprecedented growth in luxury-car sales down to sharper pricing, better vehicles and a new breed of smaller, more affordable cars.
“It’s because of their affordability and the wide range of models the luxury brands bring in; they’ve moved into new market segments, so there’s more buyers attracted to them,” Weber said.
“Affordability is enormous. The C-Class Mercedes is cheaper today than it was 15 years ago and it’s a much better car.”
Weber is confident the luxury-brand growth – which is impacting some of the more expensive versions of mainstream models – can continue throughout 2015.
In a year when it spent millions on V8 Supercar racing, Volvo sales plunged 9.3 percent, although the S60 on which the race cars are based bucked the trend with an 11.7 percent gain.
Sports car makers Lotus and Lamborghini also dropped, down 14.1 percent and 42.6 percent respectively.